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Daily Reading: 23rd February 2015

John 12.9-11 cont.

9 Then a large crowd of Jews knew that He was there, but they came not only because of Jesus, but so that they might see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead.

10 Then the chief priests consulted on how they might kill Lazarus,

11 for many of the Jews went to Him, because they were believing in Jesus.

Fear is a powerful motive, and it is seems that the chief priests feared the influence that Jesus was having on the crowds who were making their way to Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover.

Their fear was that they might lose their control of the religious life of the nation. They also feared that the Roman authorities would clamp down on them severely if the movement that accompanied Jesus grew into social unrest.

They saw that Lazarus had become a focal point for the people’s attention, and an doorway for people to follow Jesus.

They could not deny that Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead. Whether or not they witnessed Jesus doing this we cannot say, but they would most certainly have been aware of this powerful display of Jesus.

Lazarus would have been like a magnet attracting people not only to himself, but also to Jesus.

Yet, like a magnet that pushes away the opposite pole, so the chief priests were of the ‘opposite pole’ and were not attracted to the reality of the power of Jesus displayed in Lazarus.

Therefore, they sought to reverse what Jesus had done by plotting to have him killed.

This is an amazing attitude, where the religious authorities sought to counteract the miracle of Jesus. They sought to destroy the life that Jesus had given to Lazarus.

Their fear of Jesus led them to bring death, which is the direct opposite of what Jesus did, for He came to bring life, as Jesus said: The thief only comes that he might steal and kill and destroy. I came that they might have life and have it in abundance – John 10.10.

We may face situations when the vision that God gives us fills us with fear and dread. In such times we must be steadfast and not giving into fear. Instead we must adhere to God’s word, which tells us: Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and He will help you – Psalm 37.5 (NLT). We must also live in the faith that God’s word tells us: In love there is no fear because perfect love drives it out – 1 John 4.18.

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