I was amazed when I read the verses quoted below. God spoke through an ‘enemy’ to a group of His ‘enemies’ in order to tell them what He was doing. My mind reels with the possibilities, the ramifications.
49 Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, “You know nothing at all! 50 You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.” 51 He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, 52 and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one. 53 So from that day on they plotted to take his life. (John 11.49-53)
Here are some of the questions that it raised for me this morning.
- Why would God share His plan with those who were clearly against Him and were not accepting of His message nor of His miracles? Jesus called them liars and sons of the devil. Why send a prophecy through them and to them?
- How could God do that?
- Did it violate the person giving the prophecy?
- Did this prophecy come through a completely unwilling person? He was against God’s plan but was devoted to the things of God.
- Would he have prophesied if he knew it was a prophecy?
- They were God’s words coming through an individual but what was the individual’s interpretation of those words as they came to him? He wanted to say those words but did not know what they meant.
- What does this mean for verbal plenary inspiration?
- What is the relationship between divine inspiration and the person inspired?
- What is God’s view of the value of religious position regardless of personal conviction or volition?
- How does God view those who are against Him? I called these leaders ‘enemies’ but did God see them that way?
- Was Caiaphas ever aware that he prophesied? I assume that one of the people in that group that day became a follower of Jesus and told John what had happened.
- Is this behavior of God’s limited to the religious leaders of His chosen people or does He do this through religious leaders anywhere to any audience?
- Would God send a prophecy through a any religious leader regardless of the religion to the followers of that religion in order to turn them all to Himself?
I only have partial answers to some of these questions. The acts of God make me wonder about Him, who He is, what He is like and why He does what He clearly does..