“ Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.
And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad. Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death. “
“ Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. “
The Greek word “ sumpherei “ translated “ it is expedient “ means profitable, better for, be good, advantage.
Caiaphas continued his prophecy by telling the Jews that it is better for the nation that one man should die for the nation rather than the nation itself die.
I’m not sure if Caiaphas was being sarcastic but nevertheless it is interesting that he had the wisdom and knowledge to prophesy what was about to happen which is that a certain man would die, not only for Israel but for everyone, as we will learn as we go through these verses of Caiaphas’ prophecy.
John, the writer of the book of John said that Caiaphas referred to Jesus in his prophecy;
“ And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; “
Evidently God chose to use this ungodly high priest to prophesy about Jesus’ death, just as He used Balaam.
God even used Balaam‘s donkey.
Peter describes it this way;
“ Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;
But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet.
These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. “ 2 Peter 2:15-17
“ And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad. “
John’s summarization of Caiphas’ prophecy coincides with what John said in his later epistle;
“ My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. “ 1 John 2:1-2
Isaiah also prophesied that Jesus would die for everyone, not just Israel, and his prophecy coincides with Caiaphas‘ prophecy;
“ And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength.
And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.
Thus saith the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the LORD that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee. “ Isaiah 49:5-7
If you remember in my earlier study we learned that Jesus said;
“ And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. “ John 10:16
In accordance with Caiaphas’ prophecy Paul said;
“ Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. “ Ephesians 2:11-18
“ Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death. “
It is interesting that Caiaphas said God will bring together those who believe in Jesus whether they be Jew or Gentile.
It is quite obvious the Jews understood Caiaphas was referring to Jesus in his prophecy and this is why they now all agreed to put Jesus to death.
They were now in agreement and determined to fulfill Caiaphas’ prophecy.
I will continue with verse 54 in the next study.