A reading from the gospel according to John 11:45-56:
45 Many of the Jews who had come to Mary and seen what Jesus had done began to believe in him.
46 But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.
47 So the chief priests and the Pharisees convened the Sanhedrin and said, “What are we going to do? This man is performing many signs.
48 If we leave him alone, all will believe in him, and the Romans will come
and take away both our land and our nation.”
49 But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing,
50 nor do you consider that it is better for you that one man should die instead of the people, so that the whole nation may not perish.”
51 He did not say this on his own, but since he was high priest for that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation,
52 and not only for the nation, but also to gather into one the dispersed children of God.
53 So from that day on they planned to kill him.
54 So Jesus no longer walked about in public among the Jews, but he left for the region near the desert, to a town called Ephraim, and there he remained with his disciples.
55 Now the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before Passover to purify themselves.
56 They looked for Jesus and said to one another as they were in the temple area, “What do you think? That he will not come to the feast?”
Reflection: What are you afraid of?
The miracles of Jesus specifically the raising of Lazarus from death attracted a lot of people to believe in Him. Others perhaps got confused about the identity of Jesus so they reported the miraculous events to the religious establishment. The chief priests and the Pharisees were alarmed about chaos or revolution that might ensue. They were so anxious of their position or comfort being taken away from them. They were afraid of their own people overthrowing them. Instigated by Caiaphas the high priest, they decided that one man must die to save the nation.
Knowing that death was imminent, Jesus withdrew to Ephraim, a town near the desert. He withdrew not because He was afraid of anything or of anyone but to spend some more time with His close disciples in prayer and reflection. For sure He has already accepted what is about to happen.
Jesus was ready to die to save the nation but not in any way related to what the religious establishment had in mind. He was going to die not only to save Israel but to save the whole world. To be specific, He was going to die to save individuals like you and me. And so the evil plan of the religious people was carried out but it wasn’t for their own selfish purpose. It was to fulfill what God the Father has planned for the salvation of humankind.
Jesus was not afraid of anything. What about you? What is it, if there is any, that you are ready to die for? If you are afraid of something, bring it to Jesus because He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).