John 11.49-53 cont.
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.
As we have seen Caiaphas was speaking in a prophetic role, although he did not know the full implication of what he was saying. To speak prophetically is to bring God’s word into a situation.
There is an example of this in the life of Joshua. He was the man appointed by God to succeed Moses as the leader of the Israelites. On the occasion of his being commissioned as the new leader God told Moses: “When direction from the LORD is needed, Joshua will stand before Eleazar the priest, who will determine the LORD’s will by means of sacred lots. This is how Joshua and the rest of the community of Israel will discover what they should do” – Number 27.21 (NLT).
Therefore, there were those times when the priest was also a prophet, and he determined the will of the Lord by the casting of lots. It was by the casting of lots that Matthias was chosen as a disciple to replace Judas Iscariot (Acts 1).
What Caiaphas said would have been accepted as the voice of prophecy, and, as we have seen, it was, but not in the way he or the rest of the council would understand.
Actually the very thing that Caiaphas was keen to avoid came about in AD70 when the Romans did destroy Jerusalem and the nation. Indeed the nation of Israel ceased to exist from that time until 1948.
The purpose of Jesus being sacrificed for the rest of the nation was so that He might gather together all His sheep scattered throughout the nations. This was a prophecy looking beyond those Jews scattered among the nations, it was a prophecy that included the salvation of both Jew and Gentile.
This is something that Caiaphas would not have had in mind when he said it is better for us that one man should die on behalf of the people so that not all of the nation should perish. As far as he was concerned the Gentiles were not worthy of salvation.
Therefore, although Caiaphas spoke the word of God he did not understand the fullness of God’s word.
There is no doubt that this is also true for us; when we are led by the Holy Spirit to prophecy, we may not have the full knowledge of what God is saying to us.