45 Then many of the Jews who had come to Mary, and had seen the things Jesus did, believed in Him.
46 But some of them went away to the Pharisees and told them the things Jesus did.
47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said, “What shall we do? For this Man works many signs.
48 If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation.”
49 And one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all,
50 nor do you consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish.”
51 Now this he did not say on his own authority; but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation,
52 and not for that nation only, but also that He would gather together in one the children of God who were scattered abroad.
council (v. 47) — the Sanhedrin — the high priest and seventy members, most of them Sadducees.
The council admitted that Christ did many miracles (v. 47).
They feared (v. 48) that the Romans, if Christ were proclaimed king, woudl take away the temple and destroy Israel as a nation — all of which happened after they put Christ to death.
Caiaphas (v. 49) — son-in-law to Annas. Both were Sadducees and high priests — Acts 5:17; Luke 3:2. Caiaphas was high priest over an 18-year span, A.D. 18-36.
high priest that year (v. 49). It was supposed to be a position held for life, but the Romans sold it each year to the highest bidder.
Caiaphas told the Pharisees that they knew nothing (v. 49). He said Jesus should be killed for expediency's sake, the truth notwithstanding. The Sadducees and Pharisees were theological rivals, but they came together to withstand Jesus (Psalm 2:2).
Caiaphas spoke out of wickedness (v. 49-50), but God used him as a prophet to utter truth. He said the one Man should die that the nation might live (Isaiah 53).
Verse 52 was added by the Holy Spirit through John.
The kings of the earth took their stand, and the rulers were gathered together against the LORD and against His Christ.’ [quote from Psalm 2:2] “For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done (Acts 4:26-28).