The plot against Jesus (Lk 22:2-22:2)

“The chief priests

And the Scribes

Were looking

For a way

To put Jesus

To death.

They were afraid

Of the people.”

καὶ ἐζήτουν οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς τὸ πῶς ἀνέλωσιν αὐτόν· ἐφοβοῦντο γὰρ τὸν λαόν.

Luke indicated that the chief priests (οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς), and the Scribes (καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς) were looking (καὶ ἐζήτουν) for a way to put Jesus to death (τὸ πῶς ἀνέλωσιν αὐτόν).  However, they were afraid of the people (ἐφοβοῦντο γὰρ τὸν λαόν).  There is something similar to this in Matthew, chapter 26:3-5, and Mark, chapter 14:1-2.  Mark had the chief priests and the Scribes, like Luke, not the chief priests and the elders as in Matthew, who wanted to kill Jesus.  For Mark, this was the fulfillment of Psalm 10:8, where they sat in ambush to murder the innocent one.  Mark said that these chief priests (οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς) and the Scribes (καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς) were looking (καὶ ἐζήτουν) for a way to deceitfully or secretly seize Jesus (πῶς αὐτὸν ἐν δόλῳ κρατήσαντες).  They wanted to kill him (ἀποκτείνωσιν).  However, these high priests and Scribes said that they did not want to seize Jesus during the Passover festival (ἔλεγον γάρ Μὴ ἐν τῇ ἑορτῇ).  They were afraid that there might be a disturbance or a riot among the people (μή ποτε ἔσται θόρυβος τοῦ λαοῦ).  Matthew said that the chief priests (οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς) and the elders or the presbyters of the people (καὶ οἱ πρεσβύτεροι τοῦ λαοῦ) gathered together (Τότε συνήχθησαν) in the palace or court of the Jewish high priest (εἰς τὴν αὐλὴν τοῦ ἀρχιερέως), called Caiaphas (τοῦ λεγομένου Καϊάφα).  This Caiaphas was the son in law of the former high priest Annas.  Since Caiaphas was the high priest or chief Jewish religious person in Jerusalem from 18-36 CE, this would fit within this time frame of Jesus.  Caiaphas was also mentioned in the Gospel of John, chapter 11:49.  These chief priests and the elders of the people seem to consult with the high priest Caiaphas, but he was not mentioned in this the plot among the other two synoptics.  Matthew had no mention of the Scribes, as in Luke and Mark, the Pharisees or the Sadducees.  This was no longer a theological argument, but a life and death issue.  The role of authority would be the key here.  Matthew said that these elders and priests conspired or plotted (καὶ συνεβουλεύσαντο) to arrest Jesus (ἵνα τὸν Ἰησοῦν κρατήσωσιν) and kill him (καὶ ἀποκτείνωσιν·) by some secret deceitful trick (δόλῳ).  However, they did not want to do it during the Passover festival (ἔλεγον δέ Μὴ ἐν τῇ ἑορτῇ).  They were afraid that this might lead to a disturbing riot among the people (ἵνα μὴ θόρυβος γένηται ἐν τῷ λαῷ).  What made them change their minds?  Have you ever been involved in a plot?

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The plot against Jesus (Mk 11:18-11:18)

“The chief priests

And the Scribes

Heard it.

They keep looking

For a way

To kill him.

They were afraid

Of him,

Because the whole crowd

Was spellbound

By his teaching.”

 

καὶ ἤκουσαν οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς, καὶ ἐζήτουν πῶς αὐτὸν ἀπολέσωσιν· ἐφοβοῦντο γὰρ αὐτόν, πᾶς γὰρ ὁ ὄχλος ἐξεπλήσσετο ἐπὶ τῇ διδαχῇ αὐτοῦ

 

There was something similar in Luke, chapter 19:47-48.  Mark said that the chief priests and the Scribes heard about this incident in the Temple (καὶ ἤκουσαν οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς).  Thus, they kept seeking or looking for a way to destroy or kill Jesus (καὶ ἐζήτουν πῶς αὐτὸν ἀπολέσωσιν).  This may have been the immediate event that caused the Jerusalem elders to be suspicious of Jesus.  However, they were afraid of Jesus (ἐφοβοῦντο γὰρ αὐτόν), because the whole crowd (πᾶς γὰρ ὁ ὄχλος) was spellbound or astonished (ἐξεπλήσσετο) by his teaching (πὶ τῇ διδαχῇ αὐτοῦ).  The plot thickens.