Jesus raised a man from the dead.  No one can deny it.  There is no debate.

But there are different responses.

Some see all of this and believe, putting their faith in Christ as their Messiah.  Others run to go tell the Pharisees because they do not know what to do.  Again, the unbelievers and the Pharisees (Also unbelievers) DO NOT deny the miracle Jesus has performed.  They just flat out deny that He is who He says He is.  If they had not already had a "problem" on their hands, they definitely do now.  Word is going to spread and the people are going to be compelled to follow Him.  

The Jewish leaders enjoyed a rare privilege in their time.  Most parts of the Roman empire were not free to worship in ways that excluded the worship of Caesar.  However through a series of major events, the Jews were given this freedom, although it was a delicate balance, one which could topple at any time.  Nothing would cause the Jews to lose their religious freedom faster than for an exciting leader to rise up and for the people to try to make him king.  If news of this made it to Rome, they would certainly sweep through Judea, probably destroy the temple, and remove (if not kill) any and all of the religious leaders. I cannot help but think the Pharisees had not thought of all this.  They had a problem on their hands...from their unbelieving hearts' perspectives.  So the answer was for Jesus to die before things got any further out of hand.

Caiaphas the Chief Priest "prophecied" that one man would die for the nation and that this event would bring God's people together.  Reading this now, we know that the death of Jesus did bring "God's people" together from around the world.  However, Caiaphas certainly did not intend to prophecy anything concerning the Church and/or Gentiles being included in God's people.  He was most likely referring to the Jews scattered abroad.  This "prophecy" was in essence an indirect order from the Chief Priest to have Jesus killed.  Now the task was to find out how to do it.

Everybody is looking out for "Number one."  The huge difference is, who is your "Number one."  It is not that much of a stretch to see the Pharisee were looking out for themselves.  If Jesus came to any higher prominence, it would result in their decline, or even demise.  Their "number one" was themselves.  As believers, we can fall into this same trap and when we do, bad things happen...

Look up 2 Corinthians 5:9, 15; 1 Corinthians 10:31; Philippians 2:3; Mark 12:30,31

-What do these passages teach us about our place in relation to God and others?
-If we were to put a rank or order together for service, which place would God, other people, and yourself be given (First, second, and third)?

Let's make sure that the LORD is "Number One" in our lives!




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