|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
11:47-53 There can hardly be a more clear discovery of the madness that is in man's heart, and of its desperate enmity against God, than what is here recorded. Words of prophecy in the mouth, are not clear evidence of a principle of grace in the heart. The calamity we seek to escape by sin, we take the most effectual course to bring upon our own heads; as those do who think by opposing Christ's kingdom, to advance their own worldly interest. The fear of the wicked shall come upon them. The conversion of souls is the gathering of them to Christ as their ruler and refuge; and he died to effect this. By dying he purchased them to himself, and the gift of the Holy Ghost for them: his love in dying for believers should unite them closely together.
Verse 53. - Therefore from that clay they took counsel to slay him. The οϋν shows that the advice of Caiaphas was followed, and whereas before this, minor courts and synagogues had plotted the ruin of Jesus, and they themselves had excommunicated his followers (John 9.), yet, after this evil counsel, they deliberated on the surest and safest way of destroying him. The sentence had gone forth. They bound themselves to secure his arrest for this purpose. Some of their number, a small minority, including Joseph of Arimathaea, disapproved of this counsel, and withdrew from their society (Luke 23:51), but the majority overruled the dissidents. This is the very climax of their perversity. They have resolved on the death-penalty. The sentence has been recorded against the Holiest. Priesthood and prophecy have pronounced their final verdict. They have extinguished themselves. Nevertheless, that which proved the occasion of their malice became a further proof of his Divine goodness and superhuman claims.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then from that day forth,.... Caiaphas's reasoning appeared so good, and his advice so agreeable, that it was at once, and generally assented to, except by one or two, as Nicodemus, and Joseph of Arimathea; that ever after this,
they took counsel together; at certain times, and that very often, and agreed in their counsel,
for to put him to death; this they resolved upon, before there was any legal process, before any crime was charged upon him, or any proof given, or he was heard what he had to say for himself; so highly approved of was Caiaphas's motion, to put him to death, right or wrong, whether he was innocent or not; that they had nothing to do, but to consult of ways and means of getting him into their hands, and of taking away his life in a manner, as would he most for their own credit among the people, and to his shame and disgrace, and at the most proper and suitable time.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
53. they took council together to put him to death—Caiaphas but expressed what the party was secretly wishing, but afraid to propose.
Jesus … walked no more openly among the Jews—How could He, unless He had wished to die before His time?
near to the wilderness—of Judea.
a city called Ephraim—between Jerusalem and Jericho.
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