After Lazarus has been raised from the dead, many people begin to believe that Jesus may actually be the Messiah. But this does not sit well with the Jerusalem authorities who begin to fear how the Romans might respond to all this. So Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, argued that it would actually be better that one man should die for the people, rather than that the whole nation should perish. On this episode, the hosts will discuss the significance of this statement and its implications on both the dating of the fourth Gospel and the nature of prophecy itself.
Shane Rosenthal: “As people become more materially prosperous and wealthy, they long for having “your best life now.” I don’t know if you’ve talked to people from other countries who are poor. They say, “You guys in America hardly ever talk about heaven.” That is, material self-sufficiency often convinces us of spiritual self-sufficiency, which is the problem that the Sadducees had. They were extremely opulent and wealthy, and they also didn’t believe in heaven and the afterlife. Part of the curse of the fall, the thorns and thistles and poverty, helps us to long for the renewal of all things.”
Term to Learn
In the biblical sense of the word, a prophet is a person who speaks for God. The popular sense of the word “prophet,” in accordance with which it designates a man who predicts the future, does not do justice to the biblical sense. A prophet in the biblical sense of the word, may predict the future, but he may also speak of the present and of the past, and he may be just as truly a prophet when he issues commands as he is when he gives information. He is a prophet if he speaks as one who has been made, in a supernatural fashion, the mouthpiece of God, so that he can say when he comes forward, “Thus saith the Lord.”
(Adapted from J. Gresham Machen, “What is a Prophet?”, The Presbyterian Guardian 7 no. 9 [May 10, 1940]: 131.)