47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees came together in council and they said: “What are we doing, for this Man does many signs?”
48 If we leave Him like this, all men will believe in Him and the Romans will come and take this place of ours and the nations.
* Some translations translate ‘this place’ as ‘this temple’, since they were in the temple holding their council.
When we come face to face with some sudden occurrence we may be tempted into a knee jerk reaction. We often see this in politics. In the British parliament on budget day, the shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer has to immediately give a reply to the Chancellor’s budget statement, although he has no prior knowledge of what the chancellor’s speech will include. This may mean that the shadow Chancellor gives a knee jerk reaction.
The Jews may have been tempted into making a panic reaction to the success and popularity that Jesus was receiving. They could not deny the signs that Jesus was performing, and they felt that they could not ignore that many were coming to believe in Him.
Their fear was that if Jesus was the cause of political unrest, then the Romans would step in and clamp down on the limited freedoms that the Romans allowed.
Therefore, in their fear they began to think about what they should do about Jesus.
How do we avoid knee jerk reactions? We can find an answer in the actions of Nehemiah. He was the kings’ cup bearer, so he was privileged to have access to the king (of Persia). Nehemiah was saddened by the news of the dereliction of Jerusalem. The King noticed the sadness of his face so he asked Nehemiah why was he was so sad. Then we read:  So the king asked me, “Why are you so sad? You aren’t sick, are you? You look like a man with deep troubles.”
Then I was badly frightened,  but I replied, “Long live the king! Why shouldn’t I be sad? For the city where my ancestors are buried is in ruins, and the gates have been burned down.”
 The king asked, “Well, how can I help you?”
With a prayer to the God of heaven,  I replied, “If it please Your Majesty and if you are pleased with me, your servant, send me to Judah to rebuild the city where my ancestors are buried.”
 The king, with the queen sitting beside him, asked, “How long will you be gone? When will you return?” So the king agreed, and I set a date for my departure.
 I also said to the king, “If it please Your Majesty, give me letters to the governors of the province west of the Euphrates River, instructing them to let me travel safely through their territories on my way to Judah – Nehemiah 2.2-7 (NLT)
Wherever we are and in whatever circumstances we may find ourselves in, we have the privilege of being able to quickly pray and ask Jesus to control the words of our mouth and the actions that we should take.