Monday, March 5
An Impossible Choice
Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.
The Jews were in a tough spot. Jesus had amassed quite a following, and his rebellious words and actions were drawing too much attention. If Rome, Israel's occupying oppressor, thought Jesus was stirring up a revolt against her, she would strike first, swift and thorough. But neither did they want blood on their hands, especially the blood of someone who had so much support among the masses. Ultimately, they decided it was worth the risk of upsetting the commoners to prevent angering a greater force, Rome. Jesus had to die.
Narrative Lectionary Text: John 11:45-57
Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what he had done. So the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the council, and said, ‘What are we to do? This man is performing many signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and destroy both our holy place and our nation.’ But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, ‘You know nothing at all! You do not understand that it is better for you to have one man die for the people than to have the whole nation destroyed.’ He did not say this on his own, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus was about to die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but to gather into one the dispersed children of God. So from that day on they planned to put him to death.
Jesus therefore no longer walked about openly among the Jews, but went from there to a town called Ephraim in the region near the wilderness; and he remained there with the disciples.
Now the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover to purify themselves. They were looking for Jesus and were asking one another as they stood in the temple, ‘What do you think? Surely he will not come to the festival, will he?’ Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that anyone who knew where Jesus was should let them know, so that they might arrest him.