The decision to kill Lazarus

A large number of people in the crowd learned that Jesus was present. They had come not only to see Jesus, but also to see Lazarus, the man that Jesus had brought back to life. Then the chief priests decided to kill Lazarus as well. This was because many Jews began to stop following the Jewish leaders and believed in Jesus after seeing Lazarus alive.

JN 12:9-11

Passover is near

The Festival of Passover was approaching, so many people traveled from the countryside up to Jerusalem beforehand to purify themselves. They were hoping to see Jesus. While they were standing in the Temple complex they asked each other “Do you think he’ll come to the Festival or not?” The Pharisees and the chief priests had ordered anyone who knew where Jesus was to tell them, because they wanted to have him arrested.

JN 11:55-57

The plot to kill Jesus

Because of this, many of the Jewish leaders who had come to console Martha and Mary in their grief began to believe in Jesus. However, some of them went to tell the Pharisees what Jesus had done.

The Pharisees and the chief priests convened the Sanhedrin and said “What should we do since this man is performing miracles? If we let him keep doing this, everybody will believe he’s the Messiah! Then the Romans will destroy our Temple and maybe even our nation.”

Caiaphas, the high priest that year, said “You don’t know anything! You don’t realize that it is to our advantage that one man should be sacrificed instead of the whole nation.”

Caiaphas was not speaking for himself when he said this but in his role as that year’s high priest. He was prophesying that Jesus was to die to save the nation. This sacrifice was not just for the nation but also to draw together all the children of God who were scattered around the world.

From that day on the Jewish authorities began to look for ways to kill Jesus. Because of this, Jesus no longer went openly among them but instead went to stay with his disciples in a town called Ephraim, which was in the countryside near the wilderness.

JN 11:45-54

The healed man’s testimony

The man whose sight had been restored was brought to the Pharisees. Jesus had made the mud paste and healed him on the Sabbath. The Pharisees asked the man again how his sight had been restored. The man told them that Jesus had put mud on his eyes, he washed, and then he could see.

Some of the Pharisees exclaimed “He can’t be from God! He breaks the Sabbath!” Others said “But how could a sinful man perform such miracles?” They were divided about this.

They asked the formerly blind man “What do you think about him, since he healed you of your blindness?”

The man replied “He’s a prophet.”

The Jewish authorities didn’t believe that this man had really been cured of his blindness, so they called for the man’s parents. Then they asked them “Is this your son, the one you claim was blind from birth? How is it that he can see now?”

“We assure you that this is our son, and that he has always been blind,” the man’s parents said, “but we don’t know who restored his sight or how it happened. He’s an adult. Ask him.” They said this because they were afraid of the authorities. The leaders had already proclaimed that anyone who said Jesus was the Messiah wouldn’t be allowed to go to the synagogue.

The leaders summoned the man again and asked him to solemnly swear the truth by saying to him “Give glory to God.” Then they said “We know that Jesus is a sinner!”

The man answered “I don’t know if that is true or not, but I do know that I was blind but now I can see!”

“Tell us exactly what he did and how he did it” they demanded.

“I’ve already told you and you didn’t believe me. Why should I tell you again?” he replied. “Do you want to become his disciples?”

They started to make fun of him and said “You’re his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. God definitely spoke to Moses, but this man is a mystery to us.”

“Isn’t that interesting?” he retorted. “He healed my blindness, but you aren’t sure about him. God doesn’t act for sinners – only those who fear God and do his will. In the history of the entire world, there has never ever been anyone who could heal the blindness of a person born that way. This man has to be from God, otherwise he couldn’t do this.”

“You were born full of sin, and you’re trying to teach us?” they shouted. Then they threw him out.

JN 9:13-34

Jesus predicts his departure

Then Jesus again said “I’m leaving; you’ll search for me, and die in your sinfulness. You won’t be able to follow me where I’m going.”

The Jewish authorities said “He isn’t planning on suicide, is he, when he says ‘You won’t be able to follow me where I’m going.’?”

Jesus told them “You are from the earth, while I am from heaven. You are of this world, while I am not. This is why I said you will die in your sinfulness – because you don’t believe in who I am.”

“Who are you, then?” they asked.

“Exactly what I’ve been saying from the start,” Jesus told them. There are many things I could say and pass judgment about you, but I won’t now. The One who sent me is true. I will tell the world what He has told me.”

They did not realize he was speaking about God. So Jesus said “When you raise up the Son of Man, then you will know who I am, and that I don’t do anything on my own. I say whatever the Father has taught me. The One who sent me is here with me and has never left me because I always do what is pleasing to him.”

JN 8:21-29

The light of the world

Jesus said “I am the light of the world. If you follow me you will never stumble around in the dark because you will have the light of life.”

The Pharisees said “Your testimony isn’t valid because you are testifying about yourself.”

Jesus replied “What I say about myself is true because I know where I came from and where I’m going. You don’t know either of these things about me. You make your judgments based on earthly standards, while I don’t judge at all. If I did, my judgment would be valid because I don’t act on my own, but with my Father who sent me. In your own Law it says that the testimony of two men is valid. I testify about myself, and my Father testifies about me.”

“So where is your father?” they challenged.

“You don’t know either one of us.” Jesus replied. “If you knew me, you’d know my Father as well.” He said all this while standing near the treasury when he was teaching in the Temple complex. Nobody arrested him because it wasn’t yet the time for this to happen to him.

JN 8:12-20

Debate over Jesus’ claims

The chief priests and the Pharisees challenged the Temple police when they returned without Jesus, asking “Why didn’t you bring him?”

The police answered “Nobody ever talked like this man!”

The Pharisees countered “Has he fooled you too? Has anybody among us or the Jewish rulers believed in him? But this crowd, which is ignorant of the Law, is cursed!”

Nicodemus, the Pharisee who had previously spoken with Jesus secretly, said “The Law doesn’t condemn a man before it knows what he’s doing, or before he has a chance to testify, does it?”

“Are you also from Galilee?” they questioned. “Check for yourself and learn that no prophet ever comes from Galilee.”

Everyone went home, but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.

JN 7:45-53 and JN 8:1