From the very beginning of Jesus’ ministry, he angered and frustrated the religious leaders. His disregard of their laws and traditions, his teachings and miracles, who he spent his time with, and who he claimed to be threatened everything they had worked so hard to build. He was going to change everything, they knew it, hated him for it, and they would kill him for it.
The priests of God and the people of God would rather kill God than sacrifice what they loved most: their kingdom, their power, their lives. They tried to save their way of life and lost it.
1. Caiaphas and the religious leaders were guilty of loving the things of God, the benefits that came with being a “person of God,” but didn’t love God. What were some of the benefits that they loved?
2. It’s easy for us to fall into the same trap. What are some of the things of God, or benefits that come with following God, that we tend to love more than God?
3. Have you ever done what you knew was wrong, broken the laws of God, to protect or gain what you wanted/loved most? What happened in the end?
4. Has there ever been a time where you held on to something that seemed good, that seemed like the right thing, to the point that you did something wrong? How can we keep the line between right and wrong clear? How can we keep from doing the wrong thing in pursuit of the right thing?
5. Power can be dangerous, in Caiaphas’ life his desire to hold onto his power caused him to make decisions that ultimately led to Jesus’ crucifixion. Have you ever had a hard time letting go of power or authority in an area of your life even though you knew Jesus was asking you to let it go?
6. Jesus said that if you try to save your life you would lose it, but if you would risk it all and follow him, you’d find your life. Rather than trust God and do what was good, Caiaphas trusted his own prowess and did what seemed best to him. Why is it that many times we respond to situations and decisions in our own life much like Caiaphas?