Devotions

Evil Pragmatism

Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Friday, 03 February 2017

Print

READ:

John 11:49-57

49 And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, 50 Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. 51 And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; 52 And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad. 53 Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death. 54 Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, and there continued with his disciples. 55 And the Jews' passover was nigh at hand: and many went out of the country up to Jerusalem before the passover, to purify themselves. 56 Then sought they for Jesus, and spake among themselves, as they stood in the temple, What think ye, that he will not come to the feast? 57 Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a commandment, that, if any man knew where he were, he should shew it, that they might take him.

1 Corinthians 1:23-24

23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

EXHORTATION:

T

he discussion of the Sanhedrin was getting them nowhere. So Caiaphas, the high priest, took charge. He made a definite proposal. “It is expedient [profitable] for us, that one man should die for [huper, as a substitute for] the people, and that the whole nation perish not” or “may not be destroyed” (v. 50). It was as simple as that. Either Jesus must die, or the nation, including the Sanhedrin, would be destroyed. And it was to their profit that the former should happen. Therefore, the entire matter was to be decided, not on what was right, but on the basis of expediency. What travesty, when pragmatism discards Christ, His truth and moral uprightness!

John inserts a parenthetical statement at this point. “But being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; and not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad” (vv. 51, 52). This, of course, is John’s interpretation of Caiaphas’s statement. John’s emphasis was that unknowingly Caiaphas had prophesied, though not intentionally, the substitutionary atonement of Christ. According to John, his words were descriptive of the purpose of Jesus’ death as a substitute for sinners. In reality, he had no knowledge of or interest in such matters. He simply made a grim proposal as to how the members of the Sanhedrin might save their own skin. But God had an overruling purpose.

From that day forward the Sanhedrin took counsels among themselves to put Jesus to death (v. 53). They had often purposed to do it in the past. After the raising of Lazarus, it became the avowed program of the Sanhedrin. It was their loss versus Jesus’ death. And they voted for Jesus’ death.

THOUGHT:

Pragmatism that denies Christ is a damnable ideology.

PRAYER:

Give me grace, Lord, never to esteem my life above Your glory!