“Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” (1 Cor. 2:8)
When some people…who were friends and acquaintances of Lazarus, Martha, and Mary living in the small village-town of Bethany near to Jerusalem…went to report to the Pharisees and scribes after they witnessed Jesus raise the dead Lazarus back to life after being four days in a stone covered cave tomb (Jn. 11:1-46)…the worldview philosophy of the Pharisees and scribes of self-sovereignty was surprisingly so strong and overpowering…it completely overwhelmed and nullified the otherwise startling news that a well-known person…Lazarus…had been dead four days and brought back to life…by the mere calling-out of His clearly heard, loud voice toward Lazarus in the rock tomb to “come forth”…by the preacher and miracle-worker Jesus of Nazareth (Jn. 11:4).
If this incredibly earth-shattering news…of truly monumental and paramount importance above all other imaginable considerations…of the bringing back to life from the dead of a real person well-known in Jerusalem…that could not have been otherwise falsely staged or fabricated…if this one final event did not create some amount of inquisitive faith in Jesus…did not create an opening for the slightest measure of positive, inquisitive reevaluation about Jesus amongst the leading Pharisees, scribes, Sadducees, and lawyers of the law (Mt. 3:7-12)…then nothing would (Jn. 12:9-11).
If people can look straight at the evidence of the supernatural power to raise a person from the dead…an occurrence and a capacity commonly unknown and unseen in all of human history…fantastic in relation to everyday normalcy…and not recognize in Jesus a divine quality they had previously missed…then what would it take in the form of further evidence…to let go of their complete self-reliance…to re-think their lives (Mt. 9:12-13)…and become open to engaging honestly with Jesus Christ as to His true identity…and to transfer sole faith in themselves over to placing some measure of faith in Jesus Christ (Jn 3:1-21, 19:38-40)…as all beginning, newly born-again Christians do?
The stubbornly blind, knee-jerk adherence to their worldview philosophy of self-sovereignty…of being completely in-charge of their lives…of mistakenly thinking they could save themselves independently of God through the works of the law (Gal. 2:16, 3:5-14, 4:5, 5:4)…amazingly prevented these religious elites and political rulers in Jerusalem of being able to see the clearly divine capacity of Jesus in raising Lazarus from the dead…or at the very least acknowledging Jesus as a great prophet worthy of their serious consideration (Lk. 24:19).
A key, instructive question should be asked here, which is: Why didn’t the Pharisees and scribes ask Jesus at numerous opportunities during His ministry…about topics such as the journey-of-faith of Abraham…or the patience of Joseph remaining steadfast in his extraordinary MBA training program leading up to becoming governor of Egypt during a great famine…or about the “walking through the valley of the shadow of death” component in David’s 23rd Psalm?
The reason that they did not ask Jesus these types of questions is that this was not a part of their worldview.
They were not themselves engaged in biblical-quality journeys of faith that would generate these types of questions.
The dead-giveaway that these religious elites in Jerusalem were not following their ancient Jewish heritage of experiencing walks of faith following the leading of their God Jehovah…after the pattern of Abraham, Joseph, Moses, and David…to name a few…is that they specifically asked questions of Jesus that belied their worldview of self-salvation through the performance of the “works of the law.”
The Pharisees and scribes criticized Jesus for healing people on the Sabbath…as if this was doing prohibited “work” on the restricted day of rest (Mt. 12:10).
They criticized Jesus for His disciples not washing their hands before eating (Mt. 15:2).
They criticized Jesus for associating with publicans and sinners (Mt. 9:11).
The Pharisees and scribes questioned the propriety of the disciples of Jesus picking (gleaning) ears of corn on the Sabbath (Mt. 12:2).
The Pharisees asked Jesus for a sign from heaven to validate His claims (Mt. 12:38).
When Jesus made the statement that Abraham had seen His day and was glad…the Pharisees and scribes retorted with the question: “Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?” (Jn. 8:57).
In John 10:24 it is recorded that the Pharisees and scribes ask Jesus: “How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.”
Upon which Jesus reaffirms His position as the Son of God…the Good Shepherd…which again they reject.
The raising of the four-days-dead Lazarus should have moved them at least slightly towards the point of crediting the words and ministry of Jesus…yet this is not the case at all…culminating in the tragedy of the crucifixion of Jesus.