Faith Daily | 27 March 2021

PRAYER of the WEEK Lent Five

We thank you heavenly Father,

that you have delivered us from the power of darkness

and brought us into the kingdom of your Son:

we pray that

as by his death he has recalled us to life,

so by his presence abiding in us he may raise us

to joys eternal;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who lives ad reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

Amen APBA p490

GOSPEL for the Day: John 11: 45-57

45 Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. 46But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what he had done. 47So the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the council, and said, ‘What are we to do? This man is performing many signs. 48If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and destroy both our holy place* and our nation.’ 49But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, ‘You know nothing at all! 50You do not understand that it is better for you to have one man die for the people than to have the whole nation destroyed.’ 51He did not say this on his own, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus was about to die for the nation, 52and not for the nation only, but to gather into one the dispersed children of God. 53So from that day on they planned to put him to death.

54 Jesus therefore no longer walked about openly among the Jews, but went from there to a town called Ephraim in the region near the wilderness; and he remained there with the disciples.

55 Now the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover to purify themselves. 56They were looking for Jesus and were asking one another as they stood in the temple, ‘What do you think? Surely he will not come to the festival, will he?’ 57Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that anyone who knew where Jesus* was should let them know, so that they might arrest him.

GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by Peter Galbraith

“If left alone this person will continue to endanger our culture and undermine our power. He must be stopped”.

This kind of thinking has been manifested in our lifetimes, for some of us several times over. Think two Kennedy’s, Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi…

In this segment of John’s Gospel we see it starkly portrayed, culminating in the decision to kill Jesus (verse 53). The decision was taken in the governing council (Sanhedrin) presided over by Caiaphas the High Priest.

There were some good people in the Sanhedrin – think Nicodemus (John 3:1), Joseph of Arimathea (Mark 15:43), and Gamaliel (Acts 5:34). But we are reminded again of the saying of John Stuart Mill based on earlier thoughts of Edmund Burke. “Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.”

Even though so many had witnessed miracle after miracle, most recently the raising of Lazarus, they were split into two camps: those who saw and believed, and those who ran and reported the activities of Jesus to the powers that be.

In verses 49 to 53 Caiaphas expands the theory behind his plan to kill Jesus, but John tells us that his words were also prophetical in terms of God’s plan, being used by HIM to foreshadow a great truth.

Caiaphas proposed that sacrificing (substituting) one innocent man would save the Jewish nation by diverting the wrath of Rome from perceived insurrection. Ultimately it didn’t. John reminds us of the greater coming intervention whereby the sacrifice of Jesus on behalf of the whole of sinful humankind would enable the salvation of all who put their trust in HIM.

For as the Apostle Paul reminds us in Galatians 3: There is neither Jew nor Greek, bond or free, male or female, for we are all one in Christ Jesus.

FINAL PRAYER: Common Worship

Almighty and everlasting God,

you have given us your servants grace,

by the confession of a true faith,

to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity

and in the power of the divine majesty to

worship the Unity:

Keep us steadfast in this faith,

that we may evermore be defended from all adversities;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.


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