April 04, 2020 (Saturday) - 2+2=? - A Reflection on John 11:45-56

Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what he had done. So the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the council, and said, “What are we to do? This man is performing many signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and destroy both our holy place and our nation.” But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all! You do not understand that it is better for you to have one man die for the people than to have the whole nation destroyed.” He did not say this on his own, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus was about to die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but to gather into one the dispersed children of God. So from that day on they planned to put him to death. Jesus therefore no longer walked about openly among the Jews, but went from there to a town called Ephraim in the region near the wilderness; and he remained there with the disciples. Now the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover to purify themselves. They were looking for Jesus and were asking one another as they stood in the temple, “What do you think? Surely he will not come to the festival, will he?”

Okay, so all of us might not be able to solve quadratic equations but I am sure you can all solve this one. How much is 2+2? 4, yeah? Now, tell me. If there is a guy who has been dead and buried for four days, and another guy raises him up from the dead, making him as good as new, who can this other guy possibly be? God, right? Because only God can do something like this. It is as obvious as two plus two equaling four, but some people don’t get it.

Or maybe they do. Maybe they do know that he is God. But accepting that he is God means accepting a lot of change. First, they would have to admit they were wrong about a lot of things, and that is absolutely terrible. Then would have to relinquish all the power they had, because obviously with God around, they wouldn’t be the boss-men anymore. And that would be even more terrible. Then, of course they would have to change the way they thought and acted. You can’t get more terrible than that!

When they reasoned it all out, they realized they didn’t want anything to change. So, they were left with only one option. To kill him. Crazy, ya, but you know what? If we were in their place and didn’t want to accept the truth about someone, we’d do the same thing. We’d simply have no choice. It’s either us or it is him; it is either our way or it is his. But since we are not murderers, we’d have to find other ways of killing him.

We’d toss him out of our courtrooms. We’d toss him out of our schools. We’d toss him out of our homes. We’d toss him out of our lives. We’d turn his name into a swear word, acting like he is like less than nothing. We’d not listen to anything he said. On the contrary, we would go about doing whatever we wanted to do, unmindful of how ridiculous some of these things are, forget about being obscene.

And, of course, we’d never imagine there would be consequences, any more than the Jews imagined there would be. After all, we had succeeded in killing God. But I don’t know. I look around and I see everybody holed up in their homes, afraid to step out because they might die like thousands of others are dying, and I wonder what they are thinking now, all these guys who tried to kill God. Do they wonder if they made a mistake? That God cannot really be killed.

I don’t know. What do you think? What’s two plus two again?