“So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the Council and said, “What are we to do? For this man performs many signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all. Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.” He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. So from that day on they made plans to put him to death.” (John 11:47-53, ESV)
After Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead earlier in the chapter the Jewish leaders were in a great quandary. If they left Jesus alone, everyone would believe on him. If they stood against him, the people would not respond well because they had seen his miracles. However, the greatest fear of these men had nothing to do with Jesus – it was the fear of losing “our place” and “our nation.”
Many times we see people who hear God’s Word, know intuitively that it is right, understand the consequences and rewards associated with it, but refuse to respond and accept it. Their reasons are often along the lines of these chief priests and Pharisees. They do not want their lives to change. They do not like what accepting this will mean for their families, their job, or their position in life. Therefore, they will ignore it, pretend it is not true, or actively work against it.
We should not be surprised when people see the truth and reject it today, for they did the same things in the days of Jesus. They could not deny his words, miracles, or power – but they denied him. The same is done by many today.
May it never be said of you.