When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples, “As you know, the Passover is two days away—and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.”
Then the chief priests and the elders of the people assembled in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, and they schemed to arrest Jesus secretly and kill him. “But not during the festival,” they said, “or there may be a riot among the people.”
This relatively short passage recounts the plot of the chief priests and elders to arrest and kill Jesus. It continues the events leading up to Jesus' crucifixion, which includes the prediction of his death and the last supper with his disciples.
One of the striking aspects of this passage is the contrast between the motives of the chief priests and elders and the actions of Jesus. While the religious leaders seek to end Jesus' ministry and teachings, Jesus continues to share his message of love, forgiveness, and salvation with his disciples.
This contrast highlights the fundamental difference between the kingdom of God and the kingdoms of this world. The kingdom of God is characterized by selflessness, humility, and love, while the kingdoms of this world are often driven by power, greed, and self-interest.
Another important aspect of this passage is the role of prophecy. Jesus predicts his own death, which is fulfilled later in the narrative. This serves as a reminder of the importance of listening to the voice of God and following his will, even when it may lead us down a difficult path. It is what Jesus did.
Finally, this passage also raises questions about the nature of justice and the role of religious leaders in society. The chief priests and elders are supposed to be the guardians of the law and the moral compass of the community, yet they are plotting to commit a grave injustice by putting an innocent man to death. This raises questions about the nature of power and authority and the importance of using these gifts to serve others rather than for personal gain.
May the Spirit be with you.