- Religion and Philosophy
John's Gospel-a new look-no 18: Destroying evidence about Jesus
John’s Gospel – a new look- no 18. Getting rid of the evidence about Jesus.
The attitude of "don't confuse me with the facts because my mind is made up' is a sad reflection on closed minds. The faith that John is pleading for in his Gospel is based on what he and the other disciples saw with their own eyes and experienced in their own lives. It was not something that they heard about from others but something that was as real as anything they knew. In fact they were prepared to go to jail and even die for what they believed with all their hearts and minds."That what was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our own eyes, which we have looked at and touched with our own hands we proclaim concerning the Word of Life". (! John 1:1) After all they were there when Jesus did many of his miracles, when he was crucified, and then saw him after he rose from the dead.
Unfortunately the Jewish leaders of the time that Jesus lived and died and was raised from the dead decided that the truth had to be hidden. This was because it threatened their positions and power as religious leaders in Jerusalem. So they decided to do something about it. This action is what John describes in this section of his gospel account.
When evidence is obvious but people do not want it to be seen then every effort is made to destroy that evidence. This was what happened with Jesus according to the account given by John in this section."What are we achieving? they asked "here is someone performing many miraculous signs. If we let him go on like this everyone will believe in him..." (John 11:47).
The miracles that Jesus performed, and especially the raising of Lazarus from the dead, was creating serious problems to the Jewish leaders. They saw him as a huge threat to their position of power. The answer was then fairly simple; remove the man and if possible also remove the evidence.
“If we allow him to continue like this everyone will believe in him” they complained. (11:48) Because of their openly stated plan to kill Jesus John records that Jesus no longer traveled openly but retreated to the town of Ephraim near the desert.
Lazarus however was alive and well and because of him ‘many believed in Jesus’ (12:11) and so the chief priest also made plans to kill him. The trouble with these plans was that a greater power was working in the world and so their efforts were doomed to failure. One man would eventually die ‘so that many can be saved’ (11:51/52), but this would happen according to God’s timetable and not man’s.
The problem is that even today many deny the truth about Jesus and so they do everything to reject facing up to that truth. Denying the truth does not solve the problem because the question, "what will you do with Jesus? will not simply go away. You are strongly advised to read the whole book of John and then make up your own mind.