Conversation: Caiaphas

300px-Mattias_Stom,_Christ_before_CaiaphasJohn 11: 47-50, Matthew 26:57-68

We managed to get most of the Council to the emergency meeting.

NO! Let this be clear; be under no illusion



I had seen it coming for while.

The others were too full of excitement at the approach of the festival.

When you are in my position – you can’t get too drawn into all the singing

and celebration.

A high priest has to see to more than what’s going in the Temple.

Jesus was a dangerous man.

What Jesus could make happen was not going to happen on my watch,

As my father Annas had warned me:

Caiaphas, watch out for trouble from the north.

They have always troubled us Judeans. They will not accept the status quo.

You see, he knew what Galileans were like.


And what is more to the point – the Romans knew this too!

So we sat there in the middle of night – pushing back the power of sleep.

We were a strange lot.

We had to bring in the Pharisees – with gritted teeth.

What a pain they are!

Be holy! Be holy! Be holy!

Self-righteous prigs!

You’d think they’d never read what the scriptures says about the effectiveness of sacrifice.

They make us holy!

The people, for some inexplicable reason had more time for them and their love of purity

than we priests.

So we had to work with them.

God, how do you handle religious politics?

If all that Jesus had done was team-up with them; that would have been enough

for me to go after him.

But he had done far worse.


He was a Galilean. He was a Rabbi with more than a touch of the Pharisee in him.

But what made him even more dangerous – he was an innocent.


I don’t think he had political drop of blood in him.

Well at least not the sort of politics I know.

There is no doubt he was a good man.

There was no doubt he changed lives in the name of our God.

There is no doubt that he had a love for his people.


But … but…. but…. he could not go around stirring up the masses, stringing along the Pharisees and

ignoring the priests.

Who did he think he was?

What sort of pedigree did he have?

Birthplace? Nazareth! Nazareth! What good has ever come out of Nazareth?

Have you ever been there? Five sheds, two blinks of the eye and a sheep’s bleat and you’re out of there!

Family name? – not a priestly clue in any of it.

Rabbi training – none existent – said he was the rabbi of the Father; God’s rabbi.

That was delusion!

Saying that the Temple would fall was sacrilege!

Claiming the privilege of the glory of God was blasphemy!




There was nothing for it – he was an innocent self-delusional fool…….

Or ……. he was all that they wanted him to be…..

the Messiah, Son of the Living God.

That was the question that has to be answered

that is the question

that will be the question

till we get rid of him.


For me he was not the Messiah.

No Messiah would put his people in such danger or even hint at the destruction of the Temple.


The Romans had to be involved!

They could do what we could not.

They wanted peace and security.

We wanted to be left in peace.


It was obvious what needed to happen.

There was one thing we could do.

Offer him up!

Our gift to the Roman need for reassurance.

An act of expediency that would settle everything down.

A sacrifice to emperor-power.

They could take out their retribution on him;

For the sake of us all.


One man for the whole of the nation.

A gift of God’s people as an offering to Rome’s god.

Peace with Rome.

Peace with God!

Didn’t I do well?

Lord Jesus Christ – excommunicated by a priest – pour out your compassion on all

  • who follow the way of expediency
  • who make peace by denying their principles
  • who are left confused by you
  • who long to trust you as Christ but fear the consequences

Forgive the people who bear your name who continue the mistakes of Caiaphas

And by your compassion transform us all.

 Photo: Christ before Caiaphas by Matthias Stom

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