John 12:10
But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death;
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(10) But the chief priests consulted.—The chief priests were for the most part Sadducees (Acts 5:17). They have been acting with the Pharisees from John 11:47 onwards. Their animus is shown in that, while no charge is brought against Lazarus, his life is a witness to the divinity of Him whom they have condemned to death, and a denial of their own doctrine that there is no resurrection (Acts 23:8). The words do not mean that they came to a final decision to put him to death, but that they took counsel on the matter, and watched their opportunity.

12:1-11 Christ had formerly blamed Martha for being troubled with much serving. But she did not leave off serving, as some, who when found fault with for going too far in one way, peevishly run too far another way; she still served, but within hearing of Christ's gracious words. Mary gave a token of love to Christ, who had given real tokens of his love to her and her family. God's Anointed should be our Anointed. Has God poured on him the oil of gladness above his fellows, let us pour on him the ointment of our best affections. In Judas a foul sin is gilded over with a plausible pretence. We must not think that those do no acceptable service, who do it not in our way. The reigning love of money is heart-theft. The grace of Christ puts kind comments on pious words and actions, makes the best of what is amiss, and the most of what is good. Opportunities are to be improved; and those first and most vigorously, which are likely to be the shortest. To consult to hinder the further effect of the miracle, by putting Lazarus to death, is such wickedness, malice, and folly, as cannot be explained, except by the desperate enmity of the human heart against God. They resolved that the man should die whom the Lord had raised to life. The success of the gospel often makes wicked men so angry, that they speak and act as if they hoped to obtain a victory over the Almighty himself.That they might put Lazarus also to death - When men are determined not to believe the gospel, there is no end to the crimes to which they are driven. Lazarus was alive, and the evidence of his resurrection was so clear that they could not resist it. They could neither deny it, nor prevent its effect on the people. As it was determined to kill Jesus, so they consulted about the propriety of removing Lazarus first, that the number of his followers might be lessened, and that the death of Jesus might make less commotion. Unbelief stops at no crime. Lazarus was innocent; they could bring no charge against him; but they deliberately plotted murder rather than believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. 9-11. Crowds of the Jerusalem Jews hastened to Bethany, not so much to see Jesus, whom they knew to be there, as to see dead Lazarus alive; and this, issuing in their accession to Christ, led to a plot against the life of Lazarus also, as the only means of arresting the triumphs of Jesus (see Joh 12:19)—to such a pitch had these chief priests come of diabolical determination to shut out the light from themselves, and quench it from the earth! Never was there a more unreasonable madness and rage, to justify the apostle’s calling of the enemies of the gospel unreasonable men, 2 Thessalonians 3:2. Suppose that Christ had broken the sabbath, or had spoken blasphemy, yet what had Lazarus done?

But the chief priests,.... With the rest of the sanhedrim:

consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death; as well as Jesus, and that for no other crime, but because he was raised from the dead by him; which shows what consciences these men had, and how horribly wicked they were; that they stopped at nothing, whereby they might satisfy their malice and envy, and secure their worldly interests and advantages.

But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death;
10. But the chief priests] Nothing is here said about the Pharisees (comp. John 11:47; John 11:57), who are, however, not necessarily excluded. Both would wish to put Lazarus out of the way for the reason given in John 12:11 : but the chief priests, who were mostly Sadducees, would have an additional reason, in that Lazarus was a living refutation of their doctrine that ‘there is no resurrection’ (Acts 23:8). See on John 11:57.

put Lazarus also to death] Whatever may be true about John 11:53, we must not suppose that this verse implies a formal sentence of death: it does not even imply a meeting of the Sanhedrin.

These repeated references to the raising of Lazarus (John 11:45; John 11:47, John 12:1; John 12:9-10; John 12:17) greatly strengthen the historical evidence for the miracle. They are quite inconsistent with the theory either of a misunderstanding or of deliberate fraud.

John 12:10. Ἐβουλεύσαντο) were consulting.—ἀποκτείνωσιν, might put to death) To recall to life was something; but what is it to put to death? There was one doctrine, and one miracle, which especially occasioned their killing Jesus: the doctrine was that of Jesus being the Son of God; the miracle, the raising again of Lazarus. [To such a pitch does the bitterness of the mind that is destitute of faith advance, where there is left no way of escaping the unwelcome truth.—V. g.]

Verses 10, 11. -

(2) On the chief priests. The chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death; because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus. They deliberated to kill Lazarus as well as Jesus. It was not enough that one man should die; another and another must follow if their plan is to succeed. And now the hour had come (John 2:4; John 7:30), but not until our Lord once more warned the disciples with intense significance and explicitness of his approaching death and burial. Thus another striking illustration is given of the judgment, the crisis, the sifting process, which is always going on in the presence of Christ. His greatest signs, his wisest teachings, his most amazing love, bring out the twofold result. Some receive, some reject, some burst into louder acclaim, some try to slay. As with the history of this "Gospel," some hear in it the very voice of the Eternal, but there are others who would grind it to powder. Because Ignatius and Polycarp bear witness to the existence of the Gospel, these Lazaruses must be put to death, or banished to a later period out of harm's way. Even the genuineness of the Apocalypse, so long a tower of defense for the Tübingen school, is too powerful a proof of St. John's residence in Asia to be accepted with equanimity or left in possession, and some of the later critics have taken counsel to repudiate its Johannine authorship. John 12:10The chief priests

See on John 12:47.

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