“When all the people heard of Jesus’ arrival, they flocked to see him and also to see Lazarus, the man Jesus had raised from the dead. Then the leading priests decided to kill Lazarus, too, for it was because of him that many of the people had deserted them and believed in Jesus.”
John 12:9-11 NLT
As word spread that Jesus (who had apparently been out of the public’s veiw for several months) had returned, many people flocked to see Him. Remember, He had stopped, on His way to Jerusalem, in Bethany. He’d gone by His friends Lazurus, Mary and Martha’s house. (Lazurus was the guy Jesus had rose from the dead.) While in Bethany, Jesus was a guest at a dinner where Mary, Lazarus’ sister had washed Jesus’ feet, drying them with her hair, and anointed him with a very expensive perfumed oil.
So, when the people caught wind that Jesus was there, they flocked to see Him, as well as Lazarus, who was alive again, so the Pharisees and other religious leaders, plotted to arrest and kill Jesus, fearing His popularity. Because of Lazurus’ being raised from the dead and because of the people’s response to Jesus because of this, they decided to kill Lazurus as well.
However, John, as an old man, recording his account of the Gospel, now sees most of this in wise retrospect, so he writes, “for it was because of Him (Jesus) that many of the people had deserted them (the religious leaders) and believed in Jesus” (vs 11).
John states plainly that the religious leaders feared Jesus’ growing popularity and were clearly jealous of Him for this. This was why they hated Him and wanted Him executed!
The religious leaders were very devote, pios and srict in keeping the rules of their religion. They were important figures in the whelm of their religion. People respected them-people FEARED them! Now there was a clear threat to what they knew.
This religious system, with its rules, sacrifices, rites, pomp and circumstance, made people feel proud who could keep the rules and others cringe,
who could not! Their only REAL HOPE was in the Coming Messiah! So He, their Messiah actually shows up, giving people REAL Hope and REAL Life and REAL Light and they decide to execute Him!
In the bigger picture, the religious leaders and their religion, in the form in which they practiced it, posed NO threat to the kingdom of darkness. Jesus, however, the Life and Light and Hope Bearing Messiah posed a DEFINITE threat to the devil.
So, how threatening to the devil and his kingdom are you as a Jesus follower? Better said, are you a JESUS FOLLOWER or a RELIGION FOLLOWER?
Think about it!