After Jesus had said this, he shouted as loudly as he could, "Lazarus, come out!" 44
The dead man came out. Strips of cloth were wound around his feet and hands, and his face was wrapped with a handkerchief. Jesus told them, "Free Lazarus, and let him go."
45Many Jews who had visited Mary and had seen what Jesus had done believed in him. 46But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.
47So the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the council. They asked, "What are we doing? This man is performing a lot of miracles. 48If we let him continue what he's doing, everyone will believe in him. Then the Romans will take away our position and our nation." 49One of them, Caiaphas, who was chief priest that year, told them, "You people don't know anything. 50You haven't even considered this: It is better for one man to die for the people than for the whole nation to be destroyed." 51Caiaphas didn't say this on his own. As chief priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation. 52He prophesied that Jesus wouldn't die merely for this nation, but that Jesus would die to bring God's scattered children together and make them one. 53From that day on, the Jewish council planned to kill Jesus.
54So Jesus no longer walked openly among the Jews. Instead, he left Bethany and went to the countryside near the desert, to a city called Ephraim, where he stayed with his disciples.
55The Jewish Passover was near. Many people came from the countryside to Jerusalem to purify themselves before the Passover. 56As they stood in the temple courtyard, they looked for Jesus and asked each other, "Do you think that he'll avoid coming to the festival?" 57(The chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that whoever knew where Jesus was should tell them so that they could arrest him.)