John 11:47 “The Problem with Jesus”

Introduction:  To those who do not believe on Jesus there is a significant problem.  The problem lies in the facts.  Facts are things that actually exist; realities; truths. Those who do not believe in Jesus must ignore truth.  The Pharisees do not believe on Jesus and they are having to deal with the facts.  Individually the problem is to large to handle so they seek to solve the problem together.  


I. Presenting the Problem with Jesus.

(John 11:47)  Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles.

            The Chief priests are of the sect of the Sadducees.  They do not believe in the resurrection nor do they believe in Angels.  The Pharisees believe in both of these things and are at odds with the Sadducees.  They set aside their differences because they have a common problem.  The actual problem is their lack of faith.  The problem they have is that they do not believe on Jesus.

            They state the problem in their counsel with a question.  “What do we?” They need a plan of action.  Jesus is doing, literally, many signs.  He keeps proving over and over again that He is the Messiah.  The proofs or signs are so many that even among the Pharisees there are men who have believed on Jesus. It is hard to fight the facts.  Truth will always prevail. Those in the right will always be vindicated.


II. Presenting the consequences of the Problem with Jesus.

(John 11:48)  If we let him thus alone, all [men] will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.

            A problem is only a problem if it has consequences. The consequences of their problem with Jesus lies with their current state of affairs. If they take no action to stop Jesus from doing signs and miracles then the people will no longer follow and support their current rulers but will instead follow Jesus. They will believe on Jesus and will make Him their King. 

            The consequences of the problem with Jesus will be, as far as they see it, that the Romans will come and destroy the temple, which is their place and not God’s, and will scatter the people as did the Babylonians and the Assyrians.

            The Pharisees conclude that God would not protect them from the Romans because as they see it Jesus is a sinner and not from God at all.  They see Him as a rebel and God would not be pleased to have Jesus rule as King over Israel.  How wrong they are for Jesus is their King.  He is the King of Kings.  No power on earth will be able to resist His power and authority.


III. The Source of the Problem with Jesus.

(John 11:49)  And one of them, [named] Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all,

            The problem the Jews have is that Jesus is doing many miracles or signs.  The real problem is that they do not believe on Him.  The source of the miracles Jesus is doing is God the Father and the source of their unbelief is the devil.

            Caiaphas speaks up and states a fact. He is the High priest and has the job of interceding between the people and God.  When He speaks the people are to listen.  In the midst of men who believe a lie it seems odd that Caiaphas states a great truth.  Caiaphas informs them that they know nothing at all.  They are ignorant of the truth.  How refreshing to hear such words.  It is precisely what they need to hear.  There is much they do not know.  They do not know God the Father and they do not know His Son.  They do not know that they are headed for Hell.  They do not know that they are sinners, condemned and unclean. They do not know that they need to repent. They know nothing at all.  The things the know and seem so sure of are lies.


(John 11:50)  Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.

            Caiaphas continues proclaiming great truths.  These men indeed had not considered Isaiah chapter fifty three. It is expedient, necessary, that one man should die for the people.  This great truth has been known and taught by one generation to another ever since Adam’s fall.  Except a savior should come and pay the sin debt of mankind then all men would perish.  Caiaphas, a lost man, is preaching a great truth.  If he only believed what he was saying there would be hope for him.  Is it possible that Caiaphas is a saved man and is speaking up for Jesus?


(John 11:51)  And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation;

            No.  Caiaphas is not speaking these words of truth on his own.  God the Father, the very source of the problem they have with Jesus, has caused the high priest to prophesy.  God has caused men in the past to say things they do not mean.  He caused King Saul to prophesy when King Saul was outside the will of God. These words of truth which we have recorded here are rooted in God the Father.


(John 11:52)  And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.

            John elaborates for our benefit on what God was saying through Caiaphas.  Praise the Lord, Jesus did not just die to save the nation of Israel only but all who will come to Him in repentance and faith. (1 John 2:2)  And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for [the sins of] the whole world.


IV. Presenting a solution to the Problem with Jesus.

(John 11:53)  Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.

            A solution to the problem they have with Jesus is proposed.  Remember that the real problem is their unbelief.  The solution their perceived problems is to put Jesus to death.  This will stop Him from doing miracles.  This will take him out of the way and cause the people to return to following them.  This will keep the Romans from taking away their place and their nation.  Or at least this is what they believe.  They will succeed, at least in their minds, in putting Jesus to death but their place and nation will not be secure.  They will loose everything.  They will be killed by the Romans and the Temple will be completely destroyed.  Their solution will cause the very thing they are trying to avoid.

            They have a problem with Jesus and the problem is that they do not accept Jesus as their savior.  If they would set aside their pride and prejudice and humble themselves and pray to God for forgiveness their problem with Jesus would turn into their salvation.  Their place would become God’s place.  Their Nation would become God’s nation.  Their problem would become their deliverance.  If they would only believe the truth they would saved.

            Do you have a problem with Jesus?  Is it hard for you to “kick against the pricks?”