Welcome Valley Bible Studies

Lesson 47

John 11:47-57
47 Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles.
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.
49 And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all,
50 Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.
51 And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation;
52 And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.
53 Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.
54 Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim,
      and there continued with his disciples.
55 And the Jews' passover was nigh at hand: and many went out of the country up to Jerusalem before the passover, to purify themselves.
56 Then sought they for Jesus, and spake among themselves, as they stood in the temple, What think ye, that he will not come to the feast?
57 Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a commandment, that, if any man knew where he were, he should shew it, that they
     might take him.

Background Information

Jesus lived during the days of the Roman Empire. Like most of Europe and the Middle East, the Jewish nation was subject to Roman rule. A Roman-appointed ruler was over the nation, and even the internal Jewish government operated under Roman supervision. Hence, the fear that the Romans would see a change in the Jewish state as undesirable and take forcible action against the nation had some basis in political realities.

John 11:52 speaks of Jesus gathering all the children of God together. Many Jews were living abroad in foreign lands, and Jesus had come for them too. We also know that Jesus’ salvation eventually became available to the Gentiles, and the followers of Jesus (the church) would include both Jews and Gentiles. Acts chapters 10 and 11 detail the way God opened Christ’s salvation to the Gentiles. Also in the book of Acts, we see Paul preaching the gospel in foreign countries. His typical approach was to preach first to the Jews in their synagogues, then share the message with the Gentiles. Whichever group of people John had in mind when he wrote these words, Jesus has also called people of all nationalities around the world to Himself.

Related Scriptures

Mark 15:9-10
John 10:15-18
John 11:8
2 Corinthians 5:17-21
1 John 2:2


  1. What reason did the Pharisees and chief priests give for wanting to eliminate Jesus?

  2. Based on Mark 15:10, was patriotic concern the only reason they wanted Jesus dead?

  3. Even though the high priest was corrupt, God honored the office and used him as a prophet. Can you think of any other instances in Scripture where God used an ungodly person to do His work?

  4. Why did Jesus leave the area of Judea in John 11:54? (You may remember he’d left a similar place of safety to heal Lazarus in John 11:8 in our last lesson.)

  5. Looking at John 11:57, in what way did the leaders seek to involve the common people in their scheme to kill Jesus?

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