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.”
Where are you most comfortable?
Some of us like being outside.
Some of us like being inside.
Some of us like to dress up and go to a nice restaurant.
Some of us like being in a crowd.
Some of us like eating some pintos and cornbread at home and sitting in our own chair in our comfortable britches.
Nothing wrong with either right? We’re built differently. We are individuals. No sin there.
However; there are things that need changing within us and sometimes that even affects things that make us the most comfortable.
Let’s pick up our series on John right after Jesus has raised Lazarus from the dead. We’re right before the Passover and Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, but let’s not skip ahead. So again, right after Lazarus is raised.
 Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him,  but some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.  So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the council and said, “What are we to do? For this man performs many signs.  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.”  But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all.  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.”  He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation,  and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.  So from that day on they made plans to put him to death.
 Jesus therefore no longer walked openly among the Jews, but went from there to the region near the wilderness, to a town called Ephraim, and there he stayed with the disciples.
 Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover to purify themselves.  They were looking for Jesus and saying to one another as they stood in the temple, “What do you think? That he will not come to the feast at all?”  Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that if anyone knew where he was, he should let them know, so that they might arrest him.
Looks like Caiaphas and the Jews are being pushed out of their comfort zone?
NOTE: I want to pause here and have you note something really big. It’s in this passage that the Jews really reject Jesus. There’s several instances before and even this mock trial we see after He is taken from the Garden, but it’s here that they make up their minds to kill Him.
You see why? Verse 45 many Jews…believed in Him
So a reminder that there are Jews who believe and those who do not. Our application is that they are rejecting the deal Jesus offers for their own deal……and how are we like that? How can we avoid it.
Why are they upset?
Upsetting of the status quo
By the way…their concerns are legitimate regarding how the Romans might act if the people start following Jesus. Remember Rome is the super power, so Caiaphas isn’t wrong in thinking change could result in Rome dropping the hammer on them and the Jews losing what little influence they have. The Romans have a deal with Caiaphas and the Jews and it allows the Jews to rule over their people within the realm of what’s allowed and it keeps riots from obstructing Roman rule. (One hand washing the other).
So they call together the Sanhedrin (70 men comprising the highest ruling body of the Jews) and decide that Jesus is messing up their deal.
The commentaries say the Caiaphas is radical and ruthless in his decision. Oh by the way….……. by AD 70 Rome has actually dropped the hammer and leveled the Temple, so they by killing Jesus they got the deal they wanted….and it didn’t turn out like they thought.
How does this relate to us?
- We don’t like our deal messed up either.
- Sometimes when pushed too far (away from our deal) we do drastic things t00.
What do you mean by “my deal” preacher? Glad you asked. I’m going to provide you some points and scripture here in a minute, but here it is in my words, how I would tell my own kids about good and bad deals.
- Don’t be lazy or sorry and not work
- You don’t have to be a doctor or lawyer, just work and make something of your life
- Don’t be a drunk, my family ruined itself with drinking and trouble
- Treat your momma right
- Save your money
- Respect your elders
- Don’t be arrogant or a jerk
- Love your wife or husband
- The world is lying at every turn, don’t believe 99% of what you see on tv, movies or media
- Get saved, Pray, go to church, read your bible
……at this point you’re thinking of course (just common sense) well this is the minimum let’s see what else we’re supposed to do that sometimes messes up our deal and frankly we’d rather wallow in our own deal than change
- love your neighbor and that means everyone (color, race, culture)
- Live at peace with everyone you possibly can
- Realize you have faults that you may refuse to see and allow Jesus to change you
- Follow Jesus even if it means He sends you to the other side of the world (even though I really wished you lived 2 minutes from me until I’m old and die)
- Help the poor and needy (have compassion for them)
- Pray for your friends, family, spouse and kids even if they aren’t here yet
- Don’t quit, life is hard
- Stay away from porn
- Don’t be tempted to leave your spouse
- Be ready to be persecuted or at least viewed differently for your beliefs
- Don’t be a complainer or whiner
- Pray for wisdom (take the deal that God offers)
So “your deal” is what makes you comfortable and maybe it doesn’t draw you closer to God. I’m not trying to make a legalistic list. I’m telling you there are a bunch of things that Jesus has dragged me through and out of because of my own selfishness and pride. My deal was I wanted everything to go the way I thought or I was dissatisfied, disappointed and depressed…..until I realized that my Christian life was more than waiting to die and go to heaven and live like I used to in the meantime.
Until we realize that the life Jesus has for us now is better than what deal we are comfortable with, we will struggle and by the way…some people decide that’s the way they want to live and they struggle.
What if Jesus calls you to change?
 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
What would it change? (Everything)
 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires,  and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds,  and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.  Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,  and give no opportunity to the devil.  Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.  Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.  Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Why should I change? (I’m saved)
 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.  For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.  And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
Who would it impact?
Everyone we know and some that we don’t.
 Do all things without grumbling or disputing,  that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,
Here’s what I’m trying to do here, what I think we can practically glean for our lives from what we see here. I think people in general like the familiar and when called to do more it makes us uncomfortable (outside of our deal), sometimes so uncomfortable we just won’t do it. Sometimes we need to change. What if “that’s just the way I am” isn’t “just the way He wants you”? Jesus died for us so that we can have this new life. The Jews had clear evidence that Jesus was the Messiah and some believed, and some didn’t and eventually killed Him. We have clear evidence in who Jesus is…your choice to believe.