Caiaphas and the Prophesy
(Now he did not say this on his own, but because he was high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the Jewish nation, 52 and not for the Jewish nation only, but to gather together into one the children of God who are scattered.)John 11:51-52
Verses 50-52 are a great example of how God uses both those that are His and those who do not belong to Him to accomplish His purposes. First, let’s first focus on what happened to bring the Pharisees back into the picture. To see that we need to start in verse 45, where we read how many who had been with Mary when Lazarus was raised to life were now believers in Jesus. However, there were others who had also witnessed the event and reported it to the Pharisees which of course stirred up trouble for Jesus and struck fear and concern in the Pharisees hearts. Because of their concern they called the Sanhedrin together to decide what to do to keep more people from believing in Jesus. Note, the basis of their fear was that if more people turned to follow Him they would lose their “sanctuary and nation”, (48).
Caiaphas was not just a priest that met as one of the council but he was the high priest that year. A high priest that is described by Bibleref.com as a “hardened non-believer”. Neither his prophecy nor his intentions were honorable but rather self-seeking. Bibleref.com describes it like this: ‘Caiaphas means this (50) in a worldly, political sense: that it’s better to have a troublemaker executed rather than let that person disrupt the peace.”
In verses 51-52 we find an explanation from John as to why Caiaphas even made the statement, which basically was because of his position as High Priest. He spoke true words but had no idea how true and what truth they pointed to – see John 3:16.
Application in the Here and Now
When people follow us to Jesus they may see and hear and be saved while others rile against the work He does – or the work we do in His name. We will either be instruments of peace and leading others to Christ, such as Mary in verse 45 or we will be instruments of division and crucifixion such as those who reported the things Christ was doing to the Pharisees, who planned to kill Him, (53).
Father – How great your are! Your ways are beyond my understanding. Your love and Your plan are beyond my comprehension. Use me for Your will. In Jesus’ Name – Amen!