March 02, 2023 – Thursday
John 11:41-42 NIV
45 Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. 46 But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.
Yesterday, 43Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” And Lazarus did indeed come out of the tomb and the next verse describes how he was dressed followed by another command from Jesus, 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” What did you think happened next? What would you expect to happen?
I expected great joy and amazement pointing to a belief in Jesus as the Messiah and a great celebration at the return of Lazarus to life. Instead, what the next verse tells us is, 45Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. Many of the Jews who came to visit Mary came to believe in Jesus as the Messiah. Many, not all, not even most. However, it turns out the Greek polus or polys translated as many in this verse could easily mean: ("much in number") emphasizes the quantity involved or "signifies ‘many, numerous’; . . . with the article it is said of a multitude as being numerous" – i.e. great in amount. Thus, the many in this verse likely refers to great in amount or most of them came to believe in Him.
However, it clearly was not all as, 46 But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. Why? Did they come as spies? Or were they reporting their awe about what Jesus had done? Surely it was not the latter for after they reported what happened to the Pharisees, 47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin. “What are we accomplishing?” they asked. “Here is this man performing many signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation.” They basically ignored the meaning behind what Jesus had done and were only concerned about their idol, the temple and their nation. So not much later we read, 53 So from that day on they plotted to take his life.
All of this resulted in, 54 Therefore Jesus no longer moved about publicly among the people of Judea. Instead he withdrew to a region near the wilderness, to a village called Ephraim, where he stayed with his disciples. Then in the next chapter we discover while Jesus was at a dinner held in His honor in Bethany at the home of Lazarus, Mary, and Martha, 9 Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not only because of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10 So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, 11 for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and believing in him. They not only wanted Jesus dead but Lazarus as well.
Bottom Line: A lack of faith, of understanding, can lead not only to sin, but a sin that grows and grows like the Pharisees who had become filled with bloodlust in calling for Lazarus’ death as well as that of Jesus. His followers would be next, persecuted by Saul.
Prayer: Almighty God, Thank You for not letting us be blinded by our own selfish desires such that we would deny You, Your Son, the Holy Spirit, and all that has been done for us. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton