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JOHN - The Light Shines in the Darkness
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to John
PART 2 - Light Shines in the Darkness (John 5:1 - 11:54)
C - Jesus' Last Journey to Jerusalem (John 7:1 - 11:54) The Parting of Darkness and Light
4. The raising of Lazarus and the outcome (John 10:40 – 11:54)

d) The Jewish council sentences Jesus to death (John 11:45-54)

JOHN 11:45
45 Therefore many of the Jews, who came to Mary and saw what Jesus did, believed in him.

Lazarus revived after his death, eating, drinking and speaking. People were meeting him alive on the road and in homes. Many were astounded by the majesty of Jesus and believed he was the Messiah, the Son of the living God. Thus the disciples multiplied, and people rushed to Mary’s house to witness Jesus with Lazarus. They had come to see Lazarus, but went away believing in Jesus.

JOHN 11:46-48
46 But some of them went away to the Pharisees, and told them the things which Jesus had done. 47 The chief priests therefore and the Pharisees gathered a council, and said, “What are we doing? For this man does many signs. 48 If we leave him alone like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.”

Some of those who observed the miracle hurried to the Pharisees to pass on information about Jesus’ activities. They were still unbelievers, and the Lord’s judgment on them is hinted at in the parable of the ‘Rich Man’, to whom Abraham responded, "If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, they will also refuse someone who has risen from the dead" (Luke 16:31). God’s Spirit cannot change stony hearts that refuse to trust in Jesus, even if the mightiest wonders are shown to them.

The Pharisees had great influence in the High Council of religious affairs. So much that the high priests gave in to their insistence. Seventy members were summoned to discuss the matter. The Sadducees, who denied the resurrection, welcomed the convening of the Council. The members were undecided and confused since Jesus had not committed a specific sin for arrest. However there was a Christian revival among the masses before the Passover when tens of thousands of pilgrims pour into the capital. In the debates that followed, the Council members name Jesus as a mere man, not even a man of God or a prophet. Despite this denial, they were unable to dismiss his startling miracles.

During the proceedings, fear overshadowed the atmosphere in the Council lest the imperial power should note this matter and intervene. The gathering of multitudes round a man who worked miracles in the manner of Messiah points to the risk of a rebellion. At that, the Romans would bar the temple, God’s dwelling-place. Then the services of the Temple would terminate along with the sacrifices, prayers and blessings.

JOHN 11:49-52
49 But a certain one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, 50 nor do you consider that it is advantageous for us that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation not perish.” 51 Now he didn’t say this of himself, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, 52 and not for the nation only, but that he might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.

When the confusion and tumult of the Council was at the height, the high priest Caiaphas stood up and began to attack the leaders of the nation, accusing them of ignorance and thoughtlessness. He had some right in what he said, since he was the chairman of the Council in his capacity of high priest. He had been anointed with oil, symbol of holiness, but he was an Anti-Christ. He was expected to be filled with the Holy Spirit, for God to speak through him as the nation’s leader. Yet he followed error and caprice. In assuming the role of prophet linked to his position as high priest, he described all the people as ignorant.

The kind of spirit that spoke in Caiaphas was immediately exposed, because Satan spoke in him, apparently committed to God’s purposes, but in practice opposed. Doubtless, it was better for the people that the Lamb of God should die in their place so that they might escape God’s wrath and have eternal life. But Satan’s spokesman was voicing such thoughts for political reasons, "Let Jesus die to rescue us from Roman wrath." With this devilish prediction Christ’s words were justified that the devil is the father spiritually to many Jews, because he is a liar and father of lies.

In spite of this devilish mentality, John saw that Caiaphas expressed an evil aim that was implicitly a divine truth. Caiaphas had to explain Jesus’ death as a deliverance for all, not realizing the higher implications of his "authoritative" words. The ignorant unthinking one was Caiaphas, because he did not believe in Jesus, even though the Holy Spirit had led him to utter a sentence on Christ’s atoning death. He failed to grasp the sense of his own words because he really intended the contrary.

John the evangelist, perceived the meaning of this statement in the widest range as salvation for the world. Jesus did not die to atone only for the sins of his people, but for every believer among the nations. All who trust in him are the children of God, so by their trust in the Savior they receive eternal life.

The aim of our faith is not just personal salvation, but unity of all God’s children to be one in Christ. His love is the symbol and power of Christianity. His name unites his followers. Whenever they link with their center, they are linked with one another. Let us wake up and hurry towards him to discover that we are brothers and sisters in God’s family, more intimate than worldly kinship.

JOHN 11:53-54
53 So from that day forward they took counsel that they might put him to death. 54 Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews, but departed from there into the country near the wilderness, to a city called Ephraim. He stayed there with his disciples.

Some members of the Council were vexed by Caiaphas’ harsh prediction, as they felt for Jesus, but the majority were pleased, believing that God had spoken by Caiaphas to pass sentence on the deluder and save the nation. By a consensus, the Council accepted the sentence, and agreed Caiaphas’ suggestion to execute Jesus. No doubt, some of those present, the more upright, protested, but no one paid heed. The wily Caiaphas had misled them into a plan to destroy Jesus and do this secretly so as to avoid a disturbance among the people.

Jesus heard of this plot, and perhaps was aware of it by divine insight. He left the area of the Council’s jurisdiction and went to the area of the Jordan valley east of Nablus, waiting there with his disciples for the hour of his sacrifice and rising.

The battleground had become clear. His quarrel with the priests since the cleansing of the Temple, together with his dispute with the legalists and since he healed on a Sabbath has now reached a climax with Lazarus’ raising. So the people’s leaders resolved to kill the benefactor right away.

Light shines in darkness, and darkness does not overcome it.

Dear brother, have you seen that Christ is the light? Has his Gospel illumined your mind and renewed your heart? Has his everlasting life come upon you, and has his Spirit led you to repentance and confession of your sins, and created faith in you to bless and make you holy? Open yourself to let the Spirit of Christ draw you, yielding your life and future to him, so that you may not consent unwillingly with Jesus’ enemies in their judgment of him. Rather, join with his disciples, and know the Holy One so that you may confess, "We have seen his glory, glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."

PRAYER: Lord Jesus Christ, thank you for not denying the truth in the hour of peril; you have ever glorified your heavenly Father. Pardon our weak faith and neglect. Draw us into your fellowship with the Father, to live in eternal life and serve you without ceasing. Receive our lives to be a praise for your glorious grace.


  1. Why did the Jewish Council kill Jesus?

QUIZ - 4

Dear reader,
send us correct answers to 15 of these 17 questions. We shall then send you the sequel of this series of studies.

  1. How did Jesus prove to the Jews that they were not the children of Abraham?
  2. What are the qualities of the devil that Jesus made clear to us?
  3. Why did the Jews want to stone Jesus?
  4. Why did Jesus heal the man born blind?
  5. Why did the Jews deny the possibility of the healing of the man blind from birth?
  6. What did this young man realize gradually during his interrogation?
  7. What does bowing down before Jesus signify?
  8. What are the blessings Jesus bestows on his sheep?
  9. How does Jesus become the Good Shepherd?
  10. How does Christ lead his flock?
  11. How did Jesus proclaim his divinity?
  12. Why did Jesus speak of God’s glory, even though Lazarus died?
  13. Why did Jesus advance victoriously to rescue Lazarus?
  14. How do we rise from death today?
  15. Why was Jesus troubled and why did he weep?
  16. How did God’s glory appear in the raising of Lazarus?
  17. Why did the Jewish council kill Jesus?

Remember to write your name and full address on the quiz page of answers, not just on the envelope. Send it to this address:

Waters of Life
P.O.Box 600 513
70305 Stuttgart

Internet: www.waters-of-life.net
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