Ezekiel 37:21-28 ● John 11:45-56
The high priests and Pharisees called a meeting of the Jewish ruling body. “What do we do now?” they asked. “This man keeps on doing things, creating God-signs. If we let him go on, pretty soon everyone will be believing in him and the Romans will come and remove what little power and privilege we still have.”
From that day on, they plotted to kill him. So Jesus no longer went out in public among the Jews. He withdrew into the country bordering the desert to a town called Ephraim and secluded himself there with his disciples.
The Jewish Passover was coming up. Crowds of people were making their way from the country up to Jerusalem to get themselves ready for the Feast. They were curious about Jesus. There was a lot of talk of him among those standing around in the Temple: “What do you think? Do you think he’ll show up at the Feast or not?”
Do you ever get the impression that the religious leaders in the gospels sound like little kids incessantly arguing and complaining? Jesus isn’t following their rules, and he definitely isn’t conforming to their assumptions of how God acts. They can’t abide by his non-conformity, so they have to eliminate him.
Jesus understands the danger so he withdraws to prepare himself for the confrontation that inevitably is to come.
Where can you withdraw to prepare yourself for a trial that is coming your way? With whom can you safely surround yourself?
Reprinted with permission. For more information about this booklet and Bible translation, please see TheMessageCatholic.com.