John 11:45-57 People That Reject Jesus

by | May 30, 2024 | John, New Testament

I. Mixed Reaction To Jesus Vs. 45, 46

A. Some Believed On Jesus V. 45

1. Jesus had done the most amazing miracle of His ministry so far.
2. The miracles were used by God to bless people and to demonstrate who Jesus was.
3. Some of these people believed on Jesus.

B. Some Rejected Jesus V. 46

1. In spite of seeing this miracle, there was a divided response.
2. This group ignored overwhelming evidence, and sought to betray Jesus.
3. Some people say that if they could see a miracle or have some kind of empirical evidence of God that they would believe in Jesus.
4. In essence, such people demand that God satisfy their curiosity, and they ignore the evidence that currently exists regarding the person of Jesus: Creation and conscience.
5. This passage demonstrates that people will not necessarily believe in spite of overwhelming evidence. (See Luke 16:19-31)
6. Believer’s Bible Commentary– The effect of a miracle on a person’s life depends on his moral condition. If one’s heart is evil, rebellious, and unbelieving, he will not believe even though he were to see one raised from the dead.
7. These “informers” were so near the kingdom, yet there is no evidence that they believed. If the heart will not yield to truth, then the grace of God cannot bring salvation.

II. Those That Rejected Jesus Vs. 47-52

A. Those That Reject Jesus, But Cannot Deny His Existence V. 47

1. There was no longer any way to deny the miracles of Jesus.
2. The council felt that Jesus needed to be stopped.
3. NOTE- Many times people cannot deny the reality of Jesus, but they still reject Him.

B. Those That Reject Jesus Because Of What They Imagine V. 48

1. They were fearful that Jesus would gain too large a following, and promote Himself as a civic or military leader
2. They believed that this would bring the wrath of Rome, and that the Romans would attack them, defeat them, and destroy their Temple. They would lose their positions of authority.
3. In order to save themselves from this supposed end, they rejected Jesus.
4. However, these very things took place in a.d. 70—not, however, because the Jews accepted the Lord, but rather because they rejected Him.
5. Luke 19:41-44 Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, 42 saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, 44 and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.

C. Those That Reject Jesus Are Sometimes Used By God Vs. 49-52

1. V. 49- Caiaphas- Usually the office of High Priest was a lifelong appointment.

a. The priests had to be from the lineage of Aaron, Moses’ brother.
b. In order the control the Jews, the Romans appointed their own choice.
c. Some say that Caiaphas was the highest bidder for the position.

2. Caiaphas talked down to the leaders, essentially calling them ignorant
3. V. 50- Caiaphas gave his pragmatic answer of how to solve the problem of Jesus.

a. He announced that it would be better if Jesus be killed in order to save the nation from the imagined threat.
b. He wasn’t speaking from a position of faith, but from a position of strategy and pragmatism. He was suggesting an assassination.

4. V. 51- The Apostle John tells us that Caiaphas was unknowingly prophesying about what the death of Jesus would actually accomplish.

a. Caiaphas spoke through the human lens, but he unknowingly prophesied.
b. God put His words in Caiaphas’ mouth; he held the biggest sway with the council.
c. V. 52- These are probably John’s additional words, explaining the far reaching effect of Jesus’ sacrificial death.
d. Isaiah 53:8b For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
e. This is a strange example of a selfish Christ rejecting man planning to kill Jesus to help Himself, but not realizing He was part of the eternal plan of God.
f. This is an example of man’s free will and God’s sovereign plan co-existing.

5. NOTE- Caiaphas didn’t know that God spoke through Him, but he was still guilty for his own choice of rejecting Jesus.
A Christ rejecting person may be used by God, but they are still guilty for rejecting God.
6. V. 53- Those who reject Jesus want Him out of their lives. They planned His death.

III. Man’s Plan Are Subject To God’s Will Vs. 54-57

A. Jesus Was Subject To The Father’s Will V. 54

1. V. 54– Jesus understood the urgency that His enemies had to kill Him.
2. Therefore, He withdrew from the conflict until the appointed time of His death.
3. This action by Jesus seems both humanly motivated and sovereignly planned.

a. At a glance, Jesus seems to respond with human wisdom: avoid your enemies.
b. From Heaven’s perspective, Jesus could not die until the Passover, which was about two months away.

4. Jesus withdrew to an obscure village approx. 15 miles north, in order to avoid the religious rulers, and to spend time with His disciples before His death.
5. He didn’t feel the need to challenge His opposition, prove who He was by doing more miracles, or shame them in public debate. He simply withdrew.

B. Man’s Expectations Do Not Affect Jesus’ Decisions Vs. 55-57

1. V. 55– The Passover was the greatest feast of the Jews, and the city doubled or tripled in size as pilgrims came to celebrate. The people came early to purify themselves.

a. It was a time to remember God’s deliverance from Egypt, and a time when people looked for a Messiah to rescue them from the Roman occupation.

2. Vs. 56, 57- The masses talked about Him and looked for Him, the religious leaders wanted Him dead, but Jesus would move only according to the timing of His Father.

Life Group Questions…

1. Have you known anyone that has believed Jesus was who He said He was, but refused to receive Him? How have you responded to such a person? What’s the best thing to do?
2. Have you known anyone that believed that if they accepted Jesus, things would get worse, but instead, things got worse because they didn’t accept Jesus? Have can we respond to such a one?
3. As we follow Jesus, what do we learn from Him about how we should live? What applications can we pull from this passage and apply to our own lives?