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Session of the Sanhedrin



John 11:45-56


Many of the Jews who had come to Mary and seen what Jesus had done began to believe in him. But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. So the chief priests and the Pharisees convened the Sanhedrin and said, “What are we going to do? This man is performing many signs. If we leave him alone, all will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our land and our nation.” But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing, nor do you consider that it is better for you that one man should die instead of the people, so that the whole nation may not perish.” He did not say this on his own, but since he was high priest for that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, and not only for the nation, but also to gather into one the dispersed children of God. So from that day on they planned to kill him.

So Jesus no longer walked about in public among the Jews, but he left for the region near the desert, to a town called Ephraim, and there he remained with his disciples.

Now the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before Passover to purify themselves. They looked for Jesus and said to one another as they were in the temple area, “What do you think? That he will not come to the feast?”



IT IS BETTER FOR YOU THAT ONE MAN SHOULD DIE INSTEAD OF THE PEOPLE. The Pharisees are getting more alarmed because Jesus has been showing signs that for them prove threatening for their religion and even for their nation. In the midst of their disagreement and confusion, Caiaphas offers this word of “wisdom”: It is expedient for them that one man should die than for the whole nation to perish. In short, they will have to “sacrifice” Jesus if they want to survive. Ironically, this is the path that Jesus will choose for himself. And even the evangelist “approves” of Caiaphas’ counsel, reading it as a prophecy of what will happen to Jesus.

The phenomenon of a “scapegoat” is quite common in human societal relations. When things go wrong, someone is made to suffer, supposedly to save the rest or ensure the common good. Someone has to shoulder the blame, but often this is to conceal the real culprits and hide the truth. This is seen as the “lesser evil,” but is it really, in the long run?


SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2018,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail:; Website:

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