Religious Leaders

Delivery Plan • Religious Leaders
Mark O’Connor | Student Director

After Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, John 11:48-50 says, “‘If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.’ But one of them, Caiaphas, who was the high priest that year, said to them, ‘You know nothing at all. Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.’”

Soon it would be time for Jesus to finish His mission which included death. God used the religious leaders to fulfill prophecy. John 11:51-53 continues, “He did not say this of his own accord, but being the high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. So from that day on they made plans to put him to death.” It is humbling to realize that God does not just use the “super spiritual” to fulfill His work. He even used people who were against Him. God can even use a lost individual to prophesy for Him.

We read in the beginning in Mark 26:57 about Jesus being led to Caiaphas and the council. He had been arrested and knew what was coming in the day ahead. For some time now they have been trying to rally against him and levy charges. The High Council saw that their goal is now attainable. This is a great reminder that the crowd can be wrong.

Matthew 26:59-60 says, “Now the chief priests and the whole council were seeking false testimony against Jesus that they might put him to death, but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward.”

There were no charges to be brought against Jesus. Knowing this, they were seeking out those willing to lie about what Jesus had said or done. Not being able to do this, He spoke the truth as Jesus always does in verse 64, “Jesus said to him, ‘You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.’”

People are often offended and angry at the truth of the Gospel. We see a great example of this in verse 65 when the high priest tears his robe at what he feels is a blasphemous response. With this reaction to Jesus’ words, a course is set in motion that leads Jesus to Pilate, and His eventual death and resurrection.

This anger at truth continues today in our culture. The Gospel should be offensive to those who argue so emphatically against it. We will eventually face this false witness to the message of Jesus from those who seek to discredit it. This is why it is so important that we equip ourselves to face it and address it with the same love and grace that the Lord shows us when we so obviously do not deserve it.

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