49 Now one of them, Caiaphas, being the high priest for that year, said to them: “You don’t know anything.”
50 Neither do you consider that it is better for us that one man should die on behalf of the people so that not all of the nation should perish .
51 but he did not say this from himself, but because he was high priest for that year he prophesied that Jesus was about to die for the nation.
52 and not only for the nation, but also that He might gather into one the scattered children of God.
53 Then from that day they conferred together how they might kill Him.
There are times when speaking the truth can be hurtful, even if it is not meant to be. We know that God’s word tells us that we must always speak the truth in love: But telling the truth in love, we may grow in Him who is the head of all things, that is Christ – Ephesians 4.15. Even when the truth is spoken in a loving and compassionate way, it can also be offensive to the person being spoken to. This may be because of pride, especially if the words being spoken are words of correction and loving reproof.
Caiaphas seems to address the council in an offensive way. He was telling the rest of the council that they knew nothing. Words that were not guaranteed to win him a popularity contest. We can only imagine what the rest of the council would have thought and how they would have felt.
They would have had respect and honour for Caiaphas, since he was the High Priest. Therefore, they would accept his authoritative position. Nonetheless, they may also have felt somewhat insulted to be told that they were ignorant.
Perhaps we can assume that Caiaphas was not wanting to be offensive, but by telling the other council members that they knew nothing suggests that he was somewhat frustrated by the discussions that they were having regarding what to do about Jesus.
All of us at times have a greater knowledge than others do. Every tutor or mentor speaks from a greater wealth of experience. Those who listen to them do so because they want to acquire greater knowledge and understanding. This is how it should be within the Body of Christ, the Church. Paul gives us a timely reminder that knowledge needs to be passed on with love: If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I knew all the mysteries of the future and knew everything about everything, but didn’t love others, what good would I be? – 1 Corinthians 13.2 (NLT).
Love is the envelope that truth is to be delivered in.