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John 11:45-57

Talks for Growing Christians

The Reaction of the People to the Raising of Lazarus from the Dead

John 11:45-57

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Lesson Number 54

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The person of Christ and the work of Christ divide people.
  2. The death of Christ was substitutionary.

Practical Application

  1. Don’t make decisions like Caiaphas!
  2. Don’t throw away your common sense!

Questions

  1. Discuss the composition of the council (John 11:47).
  2. Did the Jews believe the miracles of Jesus?
  3. What is the irony in John 11:.47-48?
  4. What does it take to convince a person that Jesus was who He said He was?
  5. Caiaphas, the high priest, said that it was expedient for one man to die for the people, and not the whole nation to perish. How was this a true prophecy?

Answers

  1. The council was the Sanhedrin, the ruling body of the Jews, the high court of that time. It consisted of 71 members, including the high priest, who was the presiding member.
  2. Yes. In early Jewish literature, you can read about the miracles of Jesus, but they attribute them to a different source.
  3. The very thing the Jews feared if they followed Christ came upon them. In 70 A.D., the Roman armies under Titus destroyed the temple and removed the nation.
  4. It is a matter of the will. When the claims and deeds of Christ are presented, people either accept or reject, on the basis of the will. “A person convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”
  5. The substitutionary atonement was not just for those who would believe out of Israel, but for believers around the world. From Caiaphas’ point of view, Christ’s death was pure political expediency, but God overruled his statement, and it became a prophecy of the substitutionary nature of the death of Christ.

Discuss/Consider

  1. Don’t make decisions like Caiaphas. He didn’t weigh the evidence to see what was true. He based his decision on what was expedient, what was best politically, and what was best for his own career. Pray through every decision, and make sure that it is God’s will.

Challenge

  1. Don’t throw away your common sense. Follow the model of the Lord Jesus.

Key Verses

  • “From that day on, they plotted to put Him to death.” John 11:53
  • “Caiaphas prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, and not for that nation only, but also that He would gather together in one the children of God who were scattered abroad.” John 11:51-52

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