“They were looking
They were asking
As they stood
In the Temple.
‘What do you think?
Will he come
To the festival?’”
ἐζήτουν οὖν τὸν Ἰησοῦν καὶ ἔλεγον μετ’ ἀλλήλων ἐν τῷ
ἱερῷ ἑστηκότες Τί δοκεῖ ὑμῖν; ὅτι οὐ μὴ ἔλθῃ εἰς τὴν ἑορτήν;
uniquely indicated that these early arrivals in Jerusalem were looking for or
seeking (ἐζήτουν οὖν) Jesus (τὸν Ἰησοῦν). They were asking one another (καὶ ἔλεγον μετ’
ἀλλήλων) as they stood in the Temple (ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ ἑστηκότες) what did they think
(Τί δοκεῖ ὑμῖν)? Was Jesus going to come
(ὅτι οὐ μὴ ἔλθῃ) to the Passover festival (εἰς τὴν ἑορτήν) or not? These people who arrived early for the Passover
were in the Temple discussing whether Jesus would show up for the Passover or
not. Thus, they were looking for Jesus. Do you worry about other people showing up at
“Now the Passover
Of the Jews
Many went up
From the country
Ἦν δὲ ἐγγὺς τὸ
πάσχα τῶν Ἰουδαίων, καὶ ἀνέβησαν πολλοὶ εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα ἐκ τῆς χώρας πρὸ τοῦ
πάσχα, ἵνα ἁγνίσωσιν ἑαυτούς.
indicated that the Passover of the Jews (τὸ πάσχα τῶν Ἰουδαίων) was near (Ἦν δὲ
ἐγγὺς). Many people (πολλοὶ) went up (καὶ
ἀνέβησαν) from the countryside (ἐκ τῆς χώρας) to Jerusalem (εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα) before
the Passover (πρὸ τοῦ πάσχα) to cleanse or purify themselves (ἵνα ἁγνίσωσιν
ἑαυτούς). This would be the third
Passover in John, while the other synoptics only wrote about this final
or one Passover of Jesus in Jerusalem. Arriving
early for purification was due to the fact that some people on their way to
Jerusalem may have encountered a dead person or an unclean animal or done some
other unclean things. They needed to be
purified before the Passover event itself.
This can be found in Numbers, chapter 9:9-11. If they became unclean, they could postpone
Passover for a month. Otherwise, they
would have to do a ritual cleansing to be clean for Passover. In 2 Chronicles, chapter 30:15-20,
some unclean people still celebrated Passover, but there was a problem. Passover in Jerusalem was a big deal. Do you arrive early for worship services?
Jesus no longer
Among the Jews.
But he went
To a town
In the region
He stayed there
Ὁ οὖν Ἰησοῦς οὐκέτι
παρρησίᾳ περιεπάτει ἐν τοῖς Ἰουδαίοις, ἀλλὰ ἀπῆλθεν
ἐκεῖθεν εἰς τὴν χώραν ἐγγὺς
τῆς ἐρήμου, εἰς Ἐφραὶμ λεγομένην πόλιν, κἀκεῖ ἔμεινεν μετὰ
uniquely indicated that Jesus seemed to know that they were out to get
him. He said that Jesus (Ὁ οὖν Ἰησοῦς) no
longer walked about openly (οὐκέτι παρρησίᾳ περιεπάτει) among the Jews (ἐν τοῖς
Ἰουδαίοις). But he went from there (ἀλλὰ
ἀπῆλθεν ἐκεῖθεν), which was Bethany, to a town called Ephraim (εἰς Ἐφραὶμ
λεγομένην πόλιν) in the region (εἰς τὴν χώραν) near the wilderness (ἐγγὺς τῆς
ἐρήμου). He stayed there (κἀκεῖ ἔμεινεν)
with his disciples (μετὰ τῶν μαθητῶν).
Jesus had been in Bethany with Lazarus, Mary, and Martha that was just
two miles from Jerusalem. Jesus then went
with his disciples to a town called Ephraim, a town about 12-15 miles northeast
of Jerusalem, maybe in Samaritan territory, where the hill country descended
into the Jordan River valley. This might
have been a place where John the Baptist baptized in the wilderness, near the Jordan
River. Jesus and his disciples stayed
there rather than run into the Jews in Jerusalem. Have you ever deliberately avoided people?
“From that day on,
To put Jesus
ἀπ’ ἐκείνης οὖν τῆς ἡμέρας ἐβουλεύσαντο ἵνα ἀποκτείνωσιν
uniquely indicated that from that day on (ἀπ’ ἐκείνης οὖν τῆς ἡμέρας), they planned
or were determined (ἐβουλεύσαντο) to put Jesus to death (ἵνα ἀποκτείνωσιν αὐτόν). The decision to kill Jesus was made much
earlier in John than in the other synoptic gospel writers. The Sanhedrin council did not meet in an
emergency session this early in the synoptic gospels, but here in John it
was very deliberate. Have you ever
belonged to a group that had an emergency session meeting?
“This was not
For this nation only,
But to gather
Children of God.”
καὶ οὐχ ὑπὲρ τοῦ ἔθνους μόνον, ἀλλ’ ἵνα καὶ τὰ τέκνα
τοῦ Θεοῦ τὰ διεσκορπισμένα συναγάγῃ εἰς ἕν.
uniquely indicated that Caiaphas said that one man, Jesus, should die not for
their nation or country only (καὶ οὐχ ὑπὲρ τοῦ ἔθνους μόνον), but (ἀλλ’) to
gather into one (συναγάγῃ εἰς ἕν) the dispersed (διεσκορπισμένα) children of
God (ἵνα καὶ τὰ τέκνα τοῦ Θεοῦ). This
chief priest Caiaphas said that killing this one man, Jesus, would not only
help their own country, but also all those children of God who were dispersed
throughout the world. They all might
become one again. This was a reference
to the Jewish people who were living outside of Israel. For John, and the followers of Christ,
this might have meant those non-Jewish followers of Jesus after his death and
resurrection. Once again, John
indicated that Caiaphas was predicting that the whole world would follow Jesus,
not just the Israelite Jewish people.
Should all the people in the world follow Jesus?
“He did not say this
On his own.
But being the high priest
Was about to die
For the nation.”
τοῦτο δὲ ἀφ’ ἑαυτοῦ οὐκ εἶπεν, ἀλλὰ ἀρχιερεὺς ὢν τοῦ
ἐνιαυτοῦ ἐκείνου ἐπροφήτευσεν ὅτι ἔμελλεν Ἰησοῦς ἀποθνήσκειν ὑπὲρ τοῦ ἔθνους,
John uniquely indicated that Caiaphas did not say this on his own (τοῦτο δὲ ἀφ’ ἑαυτοῦ οὐκ εἶπεν). Since he was the high priest that year (ἀλλὰ ἀρχιερεὺς ὢν τοῦ ἐνιαυτοῦ ἐκείνου), he actually prophesied (ἐπροφήτευσεν) that Jesus (Ἰησοῦς) was about (ὅτι ἔμελλεν) to die (ἀποθνήσκειν) for their nation or country (ὑπὲρ τοῦ ἔθνους). John seemed to see the irony that this high priest was saying that one man should die for the whole country, exactly what Jesus did for the whole world, including his country. In other words, this high priest was prophesying about the death of Jesus for the whole world, precisely in his role as high priest under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Can one person save a country?
“You do not understand
That it is better
To have one man
Die for the people,
Than to have
The whole nation
οὐδὲ λογίζεσθε ὅτι συμφέρει ὑμῖν ἵνα εἷς ἄνθρωπος
ἀποθάνῃ ὑπὲρ τοῦ λαοῦ καὶ μὴ ὅλον τὸ ἔθνος ἀπόληται.
uniquely indicated that Caiaphas, the high priest, said they did not understand
or think (οὐδὲ λογίζεσθε) that it would be better or more profitable (ὅτι
συμφέρει) for them (ὑμῖν) to have one man (ἵνα εἷς ἄνθρωπος) die (ἀποθάνῃ) for all
the people (ὑπὲρ τοῦ λαοῦ), than to have the whole nation or country (καὶ μὴ
ὅλον τὸ ἔθνος) destroyed or perish (ἀπόληται).
Caiaphas made the argument that one person dying was better than having
the whole country wiped out. Do you think
that martyrdom is a good idea?