Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man does many miracles.…
Man cannot come into the presence of truth and purity without shame and confusion. The Chief Priests and Pharisees felt this in the presence of Jesus. The subject suggested is — The perplexity Jesus occasions His enemies.
I. ONE SOURCE OF THEIR PERPLEXITY WAS FOUND IN HIS POSSESSION AND EXERCISE OF MIRACULOUS POWER. "This man doeth many miracles." What should have been to them the strongest proof of the dignity of His character, and validity of His mission, only excited their jealousy and increased their fears. Unbelievers fear the power of Christianity, while they despise its teaching, and reject its author.
II. THEIR PERPLEXITY WAS INCREASED BY THE FAME AND SUCCESS OF HIS MISSION. "If we let Him thus alone all men will believe on Him." The resurrection of Lazarus, added to the fame of Jesus, which had been increasing as He swept along in His career. His success recorded in verse 45. Nothing troubles infidels more than the tenacious life of Christianity, and its irrepressible extension.
III. THEIR PERPLEXITY REACHED ITS CLIMAX WHEN THEY DECIDED TO PUT HIM TO DEATH (ver. 53). Murder has ever been the miserable subterfuge of the tyrant — the ghastly policy of the weak and despotic. But what a condition of heart does this reveal — bewilderment, cowardice, cruelty. The man least disturbed was their victim. Calm and unmoved, Jesus pressed forward to finish His work.
IV. THE DEED BY WHICH THEY SOUGHT TO END THEIR PERPLEXITY ONLY INCREASED IT. To die was the object of Christ's coming into the world. By His death atonement was made for sin. The cruelty of the wicked defeats its purpose.
V. HOW VASTLY WAS THEIR PERPLEXITY INCREASED WHEN JESUS ROSE FROM THE DEAD! Learn —
1. How vain and fatal a thing it is to fight against God.
2. That believing in Jesus is the readiest and only way of ending all perplexity concerning Him.
Parallel VersesKJV: Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles.