Intro: As I was reading our passage for today, several thoughts about faith kept coming to my mind. So, please look with me; I want you to examine the faith of these religious leaders [the Pharisees]. What do you notice? These leaders have been standing face to face with Jesus watching him release the power of God to raise three people from the dead: Jairus’ daughter, the widow’s son, and Lazarus (Matthew 9:18–26; Luke 7:11-17; John 11:1-44). However, instead of celebrating this miraculous power of God’s goodness and being excited about what that power could do for God’s people, the City of Jerusalem, and the spiritual redemption of the world, these leaders are more concerned and focused on the world’s power [Roman empire]. Keep in mind the Jews only received partial freedom from the Romans; they were still living under constant brutality and threat—a forced peace settlement based on fear and control. Jesus wanted so much more for them; true freedom and peace with God.
So, my first thought about faith: Every believer has experienced the greatest healing and liberating miracle of all times—we have eternal life and salvation because Christ has redeemed us and raised us from dead living. Therefore; it is an act of unfaithfulness to think more about what is going on in the world [fear of what any human being/governing authority] can do to us than what is purposed for us by God. Our faith must stay focused on the unseen eternal things as we, through prayer and praise, call for the promises of God to be manifest and revealed. Jesus is eternal! We must celebrate the power of God with us and be courageously obedient to the Spirit’s promptings if we are going to see our faith overcome the work of evil in our Father’s world.
My second thought about faith: God can speak prophetically through willing mouths, unaware mouths, and even unwilling mouths if it accomplishes His Kingdom purpose. With words God places in his mouth, Caiaphas sets the plan of God in motion to offer Jesus as the Pascal Lamb who will lay down His life to save God’s people and the world. So, the next time we are tempted to minimize the power of God moving in us, may we immediately cast that worldly mindset down and ask God to use our faith and mouths to accomplish His purpose. Don’t be surprised by the words you may speak as a willing vessel. Remember, in our lesson today, God uses even the twisted motives and actions of his enemies to bring about his will; how much more will he use his sons and daughters. No devil can thwart the purposes of God. Glory to our righteous King!
John 11:45-52 NLT The Plot to Kill Jesus
45 Many of the people who were with Mary believed in Jesus when they saw this happen. 46 But some went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 Then the leading priests and Pharisees called the high council [Sanhedrin] together. “What are we going to do?” they asked each other. “This man certainly performs many miraculous signs. 48 If we allow him to go on like this, soon everyone will believe in him. Then the Roman army will come and destroy both our Temple [our place] and our nation.”
49 Caiaphas, who was high priest at that time,[that year] said, “You don’t know what you’re talking about! 50 You don’t realize that it’s better for you that one man should die for the people than for the whole nation to be destroyed.”
51 He did not say this on his own; as high priest at that time he was led to prophesy that Jesus would die for the entire nation. 52 And not only for that nation, but to bring together and unite all the children of God scattered around the world.
Prayer: Lord, thank You for using this passage today from the Apostle John to challenge my thinking. I want to use my faith—through spoken words and courageous actions— in such a way it advances Your kingdom of salvation and eternal life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.