“And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, nor consider that it is EXPEDIENT for us, that one Man should die for the people, and that the whole nation (the Jewish Nation) perish not.”
Good morning, honourable Christian! When you seek a course of action in any given matter, you prayerfully examine your inner motives for taking that action. You do well, beloved Christian, you do very well. For so-called ‘political’ or ‘religious’ expediency - as motivation for action - brings a sure curse indeed. “…The curse causeless shall not come.” (Proverbs 26:2)
Dictionary Definition: Expedient - (adjective) suitable or appropriate; profitable or convenient rather than fair or just; advisable; being a suitable means to a desired end; something which serves to promote personal interest; a contrivance for self-interest, or exclusive group-interest. (The Chambers Dictionary p. 568)
Verse 46 in today’s Journey In John’s Gospel informs us that ’…some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done.’ The phrase ’…went their ways…’ could perhaps be better interpreted as ’…returned to the Pharisees and told them what things Jesus had done.’
The sense becomes much clearer to us. These watchers were in fact spies for the Pharisees and, therefore, returned to their religious masters to report what Jesus was doing. The Devil has his spies everywhere. Child of God, beware! (Ephesians 6:10-20)
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood (mere human foes), but against principalities, against powers (evil spiritual powers), against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12)
Hear what the great Puritan, William Gurnall (1616-1679) says in his wonderful book The Christian In Complete Armour: (1V.) The Nature of Evil Spirits (’spiritual wickedness’) The inherent nature of the devils themselves, as well as the character of their works, is included in the description, ’spiritual wickedness’. A literal rendering of the passage reads, ’against the spirituals of wickedness’…the passage also refers not only to the spiritual nature of devils but also - in fact, chiefly - to the nature and kind of sins they perpetrate. These sins are the apples of temptation which they most often use to poison the saints. Such sins are the ’spirituals of wickedness‘. Not gross, fleshy sins which ignorant sinners, like swine, wallow in - but spiritual sins, which are much more subtle and perhaps even more despicable.” (The Christian In Complete Armour, Banner of Truth Trust, P.O. Box 621, Carlisle, Pennsylvania 17013, U.S.A. p.186-187)
The Pharisees and their spies were fervently engaged in such ’spiritual sins’ on that dark day in question. Under Satan’s power and dominion, "…from that day forth they took counsel together for to put Him (Christ Jesus) to death.” (V.53) What darker, or deadlier evil depths could mankind plumb? They conspired, as willing servants of Satan, to put the Son of God to a cruel death. There will, no doubt, be a special Hell reserved for such vile sinners.
See how subtle the evil Caiaphas weaved his web of death - under a guise of political, religious, and National expediency. Beware of expediency!
“…It is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation (the Jewish Nation) perish not.” (V.50)
Having established a spurious National need for their expediency, they then put their evil plan into full action: “Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a commandment, that, if any man knew where He (Jesus) were, he should shew it, that they might take (arrest) Him.” (V.57)
How often do we Christian societies today - in this 21st Century - hear politicians and so-called religious leaders call for collective actions ’in the interests of National security’; or ’…in the public interest…’? Sound familiar? I often wonder whose real interests are being served.
In the light of what Gurnall defines as ’…the spirituals of wickedness…’ perhaps we evangelical, Bible-believing, Christians should question what is being proposed daily ’…in the public interest…’ by such religious and political leaderships? Much of it does not promote Godliness. And, after all, we only get the religious and political leaders that we ourselves vote into office!
Thought: It is one very foolish turkey that votes to bring about an early Thanksgiving or Christmas season. Christian, get your armour on!