We take a peek in on the chief priests and the scribes today. Jesus has beaten them at every turn and now they have gathered to lick their wounds and plot their next move.
Jesus already left for Bethany, by way of Mt. Olivet, earlier that evening so they think they are free to scheme. We will join them in the judgement hall at Caiaphas’ home. Twenty or so chief priests have gathered tonight to discuss what should be done about Jesus.
Chief priest and scribes are conversing in small groups throughout the room. The majority of them are grumbling about the encounters with Jesus this past week. “I thought once we got Him on our home territory we would be able to take Him down.” “Why couldn’t He stay with those backwards Galilean’s? Why did He have to come to Jerusalem anyway?” “Did He have to make us look like fools in front of the people? Maybe those simpletons didn’t understand His meaning.” “I would love to take Him down a peg or two!”
Caiaphas is standing to the side fuming. He understands the feelings of his fellows intimately. Jesus’ characterizations of the religious leaders as hypocrites and such reflect directly on him too. After all, he is the High Priest this year. Anais is watching to see what Caiaphas is going to do. He is disgusted with his son in law. If HE were still High Priest, he would have dealt with this upstart Jesus some time ago. HE would never have let it get this far.
Caiaphas finally calls the room to order. Conversations around the room suddenly stop and all eyes and ears are attending to Caiaphas. “Jesus’ behavior in the temple today was beyond insulting! We will not tolerate this kind of behavior. If He continues in this venue He will turn all of Jerusalem against us. We CAN NOT let that happen. We need to deal with Him decisively and permanently.” Heads nod around the room. They are all tired of being bested by Him. They want a little payback too.
One of the scribes near Caiaphas asks, “So what are we supposed to do about it?”
“I’ll tell you what we are going to do; we are going to kill Him. Because of His popularity with the masses we need to keep this quiet. We need to round up some ‘reliable’ witnesses who will swear to whatever we tell them to.”
Anais speaks up now, “We can’t kill Him during the festival. If we want this kept quiet we will have to wait until everyone has left for home. Any sooner and we run the risk of Jesus’ inciting a riot.”
Caiaphas jumps in again, “It’s agreed then, he has to go. Right after the festival we will grab Him and hand Him over to the Roman soldiers for execution.”
Once the decision has been made and voiced, calm seems to descend on the group. “I can hardly wait to see Jesus’ face when we finally do move on Him.”
The problem with their plan is that it doesn’t take into account Jesus’ own actions and the plans of God. He had a plan these men were going to fulfil and it was going to be on His schedule, not theirs.
Father God, You had everything well in hand when this group met that night. You even let them think they were doing something good. How deluded they were! They had to work very hard to maintain their viewpoint of Jesus. If they let their hatred slip for one moment they would have seen their actions for what they really were; the actions of desperate men trying to justify their own agenda. They were doing everything they could to protect their seat of power. How often do I make plans, deluding myself into thinking that I am acting on Your behalf, when I’m really acting for my own selfish goals? I should know by now that You see ALL of my motives.
Your timing Lord is also SO perfect. Your plans called for things to happen on a schedule and You saw to it that they did. I’m so glad I can trust You to keep things on track in this department, even when I try to rush them. I would love to rush Jesus’ return, but I can’t. You were in control then, and always will be. Thank You that I can trust You with everything.