Trial of Jesus: Coming together of Sanhedrin

Gospel of John tells us that the chief priests and the Pharisees were gathered together. These were the two leading groups within Judaism at the time of Jesus, and on many points they were opposed to one another. But their common fear was this: “The Romans will come and destroy both our holy place and our nation” (Jn 11: 48). One is tempted to say the motive for acting against Jesus was a political concern shared by the priestly aristocracy and the Pharisees, though they arrived at it from different starting points. Yet this political interpretation of the figure of Jesus and his ministry caused them to miss completely what was most characteristic and new about him. Through the message that he proclaimed, Jesus had actually achieved a separation of the religious from the political, thereby changing the world. This is what truly marks the essence of his new path.

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