“If we leave him alone, all will believe in him.”

Skipping over the raising of Lazarus at the beginning of chapter eleven, we move today to the end of that chapter (Jn 11:45-56).  We read of the plot of the chief priests and Pharisees to have Jesus killed.  Caiaphas, the high priest, prophesies that Jesus must die so that the Jewish nation can survive.  The evangelist adds that Jesus will not only die for the Jews “but also to gather into one the dispersed children of God” (v. 52).  Knowing their plans, Jesus does not walk around freely among his antagonists but stays away with His disciples.  This causes the people of Jerusalem to speculate about whether or not Jesus will return there for Passover.  The big concern of the Jewish leaders is highlighted in the headline of this post.  If all Jews turn to Jesus, they believe that Rome will feel threatened and thus persecute the entire nation (or maybe their more concerned about losing their own power).  There is a connection here for us today.  It seems today that Jesus is not left alone by those who have no use for His teachings.  Rather they denounce and persecute Him by attacking and demeaning His Church (cf. Acts 9:4).  Clearly, the devil and secular forces are threatened by the challenge of doctrine and moral teaching promulgated by Christian believers.  If all believe in Him, what becomes of the morally depraved industries (e.g., pornography, gambling, abortion) that so rely on sinful behavior?  We must work to counter this onslaught by praying much, living righteously, and being a shining light for the Truth.

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