A Journey Through John | Polarization | John 11.45-48 | Movementministriesblog.com

by | Apr 29, 2019

“Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. 46 But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin. “What are we accomplishing?” they asked. “Here is this man performing many signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation.” John 11.45-48

It’s hard to believe Jesus’ actions create such a polarity among people.

Let’s remember our context. Jesus just healed Lazarus. He didn’t simply heal him, he brought him back to life. Jesus performed his greatest miracle to date and as a result, many were amazed.

However, people still doubted which I find fascinatingly sad. I understand modern people having to have faith, but I would think that those during his time would believe without question because of the physical evidence and the witnesses of his miracles.

Nevertheless, whenever Jesus performed a miracle, there were always those who remained in opposition to his cause. Case in point — Jesus raises Lazarus and the Pharisees, chief priest and Sanhedrin plot to take his life. They even admit that he is “performing many signs,” but they fear that everyone will begin to believe in him and then the Romans will take away their Temple and their nation (which happens anyway in AD 70 after Jesus’ passion) .

The religious leaders in this passage don’t necessarily deny his works but they are afraid the people will believe and they will loose control of their way of doing things. Ironically, haven’t they already lost most of this because of the Roman occupation?

The truth is, when Jesus is on the scene, polarization happens. We see the physical effects of his works (some people believe, and some doubt) but this is just a representation of what is happening on the spiritual level — a battle between God and Satan, angels and demons, for the hearts and souls of humanity. It reminds me of what Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4.16-18, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

We see this expressed today in America over hot-button issues of morality like biblical marriage vs. same-sex marriage, abortion vs. pro-life, homosexuality vs. monogamous relationships. On the surface, in culture and churches, we are having a battle for these issues but in truth, the battle is spiritual in nature. I comes down on traditional biblical interpretation but still love those on the other side. These are polarizing issues that can be understood and interpreted in the teachings of Jesus.

What am I saying? Jesus’ teachings divide us as much as they unite us. Even first century observers couldn’t agree upon what to do with this man — do we worship him or kill him? Again, what we see is temporary, but what we do not see is eternal. The battle for the souls of people is being fought every minute of the day.

Whose side will you take?

“O Lord, thank you for loving us and for being patient with us! Thank you for reminding us that our battle is not against flesh and blood. Ephesians 6 tells us of the battle that rages on. We look on with eyes that see the earthly-physical realm but forget the underlying and eternal realm of the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness. Come now, Holy Spirit, send your angels to fight for your truth! Inspire us to be your people and to walk faithfully with you every step of the way. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen