Scripture: John 11: Verse 47
Large crowds of people followed Jesus because of His preaching and miracles He performed. The sick, the lame, the palsied, the blind, the deaf, the weak, the poor, the homeless, the hungry, the oppressed and others of all walks of life followed Jesus for healing, to receive His blessing and cleansing and to experience His wonder working power.
Other people followed Jesus to criticize Him; to persecute and to prosecute Him before the civil and religious authorities.
Mary, Martha and Lazarus were well-known in their home town of Bethany in Jerusalem and beyond because of their hospitality, kindness and sharing with others who came to Bethany.
When Lazarus became sick, his sisters, Mary and Martha, sent for Jesus to heal him, but he died and was buried before Jesus arrived in Bethany. In their time of sorrow, many Jews travelled from Bethlehem to Bethany to visit Mary and Martha; to comfort them; to pay their respect to them on the death of their brother, Lazarus, and accompanied them to the grave.
When the Jews witnessed the miracle that Jesus did in raising the dead body of Lazarus, causing him to walk, though he was bound in grave clothes, some of them believed on Jesus and confessed that He was the true Messiah. The effect of the miracle of Lazarus converted some. It was a happy day for those who were converted.
The unbelievers, the skeptics, the critics and the accusers of Jesus with hardened hearts and with hearts filled with envy and malice towards Jesus went to the Pharisees, the members of the Sanhedrin, the Supreme Council, to complain about the miracles Jesus did and was doing and to bring false charges against Him for what He had done in Bethany. Their intent was to irritate the members of the Supreme Council and for them to plan ways and means to censure and to destroy Jesus.
After listening to all of the allegations and the trumped up charges levelled against Jesus, the chief priests and the Pharisees convened the Sanhedrin. The only issue on the agenda of the emergency meeting of the Sanhedrin was the question: “Why is nothing done about Jesus?” “What is the delay in dealing with Jesus?” “Why do we sit still and do nothing?” They debated that there was the need to take action against Jesus. Something must be done now.
His miracles are known all over Jerusalem and surrounding cities. We cannot deny that He performed the miracles. The beneficiaries are present as living testimonies to the power of Jesus. They have acknowledged Him to be the true Messiah. They have embraced Him and His teaching of the Gospel. We have to come up with measures to hinder and to stop Him from preaching the Word and from performing miracles. If we leave Him alone, going from place to place teaching the people and doing miracles, all men and women will believe on Him; the nation will receive Him as the Messiah and proclaim Him their King. They will be obedient to all of His commands.
If we let Jesus continue preaching and performing miracles, the Romans will intervene. They will make a pre-emptive strike to protect their sovereignty and national security. They will invade us with their powerful armies. The Romans will interpret that the setting up of Jesus by the people as the Messiah could be inferred as an act of rebellion against Caesar and his government; that if the Romans invaded the country, the Sanhedrin will lose their authority, power and their status as well as their standing. (To be continued)