Jesus cares for all of us. He even cared for the religious leaders who killed Him. The question is, do we trust Him for life?
“Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? 37 Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. 38 But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.” John 10:36-38
When Jesus cleared the temple, the religious leaders asked him where He got the authority to do such a thing. In their eyes, they were the ultimate authority. They were the ones who had the books of the law and who interpreted them. They also had the backing of Rome, so they could enforce nearly any ruling they made. Here’s the conversation:
23 Jesus entered the temple courts, and, while he was teaching, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him. “By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked. “And who gave you this authority?”
24 Jesus replied, “I will also ask you one question. If you answer me, I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. 25 John’s baptism—where did it come from? Was it from heaven, or of human origin?”
They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 26 But if we say, ‘Of human origin’—we are afraid of the people, for they all hold that John was a prophet.”
27 So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.”
Then he said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things. Matthew 21:23-27
Keep in mind that this confrontation was public. The religious leaders thought they had Jesus on the grounds that He had not sought their approval on any of His teachings or actions. They did not know with whom they were dealing (obviously). When Jesus “turned the tables” on them, they found that He had trapped them–publicly!
The other thing to notice is their admission that they had not believed John. That in itself was a condemnation. It’s no wonder that they wanted to kill Jesus. He was making them look bad and was bringing on a change that they didn’t want. Here’s what they said,
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.”
53 So from that day on they plotted to take his life. John 11:47-48, 53
It’s as if Jesus was goading them into crucifying Him. We know that He actually cared very much for them and wanted them to believe in Him (see His compassion for them in the John 10 passage above), but He also knew what needed to take place in His plan to get us back. Let’s thank Jesus today for going the distance for us. He died for us; we’ll live for Him.
Abba, there’s an old song that goes, “I don’t know why Jesus loved me, I don’t know why He cared; I don’t know why He sacrificed His life, Oh, but I’m glad, I’m glad He did!” Me, too, Abba. Thank You for all that You have done. I look forward to talking about the resurrection part soon. Amen.