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A self-fulfilling prophecy

John 11:47-53
47 So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the Council and said, "What are we to do? For this man performs many signs. 48 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." 49 But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, "You know nothing at all. 50 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." 51 He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, 52 and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. 53 So from that day on they made plans to put him to death.

There are times in our lives when were so conusumed by our current circumstances that we speak words that become self-fulfiling prophecies. This was the case in this passage. The background for this story reaches all the way back into ch 9, when Jesus heals a blind man on the sabbath (ironic that it happens during the Feast of Dedication - 10:22, which I know as Hannukah - the festival of lights. This feast commorates the liberation and redeication of the temple. Interesting...a blind man recieves his sight during the festival of lights, and the Pharisees now afraid to lose thier polical power with the Romans and thier temple now want to kill Jesus - 9:48. But all this info requires it's own reflection).

There's a part of me that doubts that Caiaphas understood the ramifications of his comment in v 50. Yet there's another part that makes me think he'd have to be completely clueless to miss what he could have been implying. 11:55 places this comment near the time of Passover (Hannukah in Dec, Passover in April - about a 3 1/2 time span); the time when a lamb would be sacrificed for the sins of the nation. With all the preparations required for an event of this magnitude, the activities of Passover would be at the center of the attention of the members of this "council." Yet they could not make the connection that Jesus would become "the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world?" These words are a quote from John the Baptist (1:29) and had been a source of frustration for the Pharisees for almost 3 years now. Now they are creating the the circumstances that would allow these words to be fulfilled. The writer of this memoir, John, recognized this and commented on it - v 51-52.

These men were so comsumed by maintaing thier positions and sence of self-significance that they didn't even see how they were orchestrating thier own demise. Many well-intentioned people don't consider the total consequences of thier decisions. Even when they have the different pieces of the puzzle, they don't put the picture together. This "Pharisee" thinking is really a kind of "blindness" - the very issue that became the tipping point for thier fatal attraction with Jesus. Now they planned to put him to death because he had raised someone from the dead (Lazarus). This show how illogical we can be when our security is threatened.

I don't have the time to really think all this through today. But it is something I'm going to chew on for a while. Lord, heal me from blindness in my own life. Help me to see beyond my own short-sightedness and discover what your big-picture plan is.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 7, 2006 6:43 AM.

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