I can’t take credit for this one. As previously shared, my pastor is currently leading us through a survey of the gospels. We remain in the Gospel According to St. John, and today’s reflection comes from the latter half of chapter 11. We know chapter 11 for the death and resurrection of Lazarus, but after that there was more collusion to come against Jesus. When he taught this, Supt. Brian R. Nelson, Sr. stopped in key places in John 11 and lifted the background information. When we learned the cultural, spiritual and political details of the time, it made this account come alive with context.
After the resurrection miracle, the chief priests and Pharisees met in a council (v. 47). They were enemies, yet they united to concoct a plot to kill Jesus (v. 53).
Therefore the chief priests and the Pharisees convened a council, and were saying, “What are we doing? For this man is performing many signs. If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.”…So from that day on they planned together to kill Him. (vv. 47-48, 53 NASB, emphasis added)
Pastor honed in on Caiaphas (pictured), as the high priest appointed by Rome. This is a small yet crucial detail because it shows us how he acts in Rome’s interests and sees Jesus as an enemy of the state. Caiaphas prophesies Jesus’ death.
But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, nor do you take into account that it is expedient for you that one man die for the people, and that the whole nation not perish.” Now he did not say this on his own initiative, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but in order that He might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. (vv. 49-52 NASB, emphasis added)
One implication of this passage is that prophetic ability comes with the priesthood. Caiaphas did not speak of his own initiative. His prophecy did not come from a pure life or pure heart. As Rome’s religious mole, he operated fully for Rome’s interest and his benefit. As high priest, on the office was the ability to see and foretell.
Pastor’s main point was sobriety in this age that’s drunk over pathetic prophecy. Discipline in study and meditation of God’s Word helps ALL BELIEVERS discern authentic God-breathed (inspired) prophecy.
Notes for your consideration (vv. (45-51)
- Everyone who testifies about God’s ability does not believe. Make sure you and I believe. (vv. 45-46)
- When one’s heart is hard, a miracle won’t convince him. (Caiaphas and these religious leaders were not moved when they received the report of Lazarus raised from the dead.)
- Caiaphas is not of God, although a high priest. He was appointed by Rome, as their man on the inside. Then he lobbied for Rome’s interests. Note that no one in this religious group discerned Caiaphas was not of God.
- Caiaphas, with Roman allegiance, prophesies Jesus’ death. Make sure people who prophesy about God have their allegiance to God. (And you shall know them by their fruit.)
Wow, right?! Just these few verses open our eyes to the ungodly prophetic. Sometimes God seems ruthless, but He allows us to see patterns in Scripture. He opens our understanding to see the subtle details that can help us today.
Beloved, let’s pay attention to and ponder this passage (John 11:45-57). Let’s spend some time with this passage in meditation. Then let’s hear what Holy Spirit says to us, how He applies it to our current life season.
Finally, let’s allow this passage to create or reinforce for us appropriate boundaries and grounding in the prophetic. Accuracy does not mean godliness, just like being “off” does not make one disloyal to the Lord.
Let’s attend to our relationship with the Father, and when prophecy goes forth, let’s listen for Him in SPIRIT, not attach to soulish words that won’t produce righteousness in us.
Selah, and love to all.