The Conspiracy against Jesus!

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This is the fifth of our six part series on conspiracies in the Bible! This article delves into the secret plots and plans of Jewish religious leaders to murder Jesus Christ.

The seeds of conspiracy against Jesus started around Passover in 27 A.D., roughly six months after the Lord began his ministry. It was during this period that his teachings and zealousness for righteousness came to the attention of Jewish religious leaders.

While walking around the temple's outer court Jesus couldn't help but notice the many moneychangers, booths selling sacrificial animals, and so on that filled the area. Creating a scourge out of cords he drove out those making a dishonest gain (Luke 19:46) while stating, "Take these things out of here! Do not make My Father's house a house of merchandise" (John 2:16, HBFV throughout).

Jewish religious leaders, who witnessed what the Lord did, demand to know what right he had to override their authority regarding the temple. His enigmatic response (John 2:19) will, three years later, be initially used to justify their conspiracy to arrest and ultimately condemn him (Matthew 26:59 - 61)!


How does God communicate with us?
Why did Jesus' disciples leave him?
Timeline of the New Testament

Secret plotting

Jesus, on a Sabbath day shortly after Passover in 28 A.D., goes into a synagogue to teach. Within the crowd is a man who has a withered right hand. Pitying the man's struggle, he heals him (Luke 6:6 - 11, Mark 3:1 - 6). Watching him, however, are several religious leaders who vehemently believe such an act is a sin on the Sabbath.

The response of religious leaders to Jesus' Sabbath healing is the first Biblical reference to a conspiracy with the express purpose of bringing his demise.

Then the Pharisees left and immediately took counsel with the Herodians against Him as to how they might destroy Him (Mark 3:6, see also Luke 6:11).

Healing of Cripple at Bethesda Pool
Healing of Cripple at Bethesda Pool
Sebastiano Conca, 1731

The hatred grows

The next recorded mention of plans against Jesus occurs during the 28 A.D. Feast of Tabernacles. The Lord, witnessing a hopeless invalid of 38 years failing again to reach Bethesda's pool to be healed, mercifully makes him whole on the Sabbath (John 5:1 - 16).

The phenomonial miracle at the pool, coupled with the Lord's statement that God is his Father, only strengthens the resolve of his enemies to continue their conspiracies.

So then, on account of this saying, the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, not only because He had loosed the Sabbath, but also because He had called God His own Father, making Himself equal with God (John 5:18).


Out in the open

Religious leadership who hated Christ and conspired against him believed their intentions were a secret to all but themselves. This was certainly true of the average Jew who knew nothing of any plans to bring him down (John 7:19 - 20). Jesus, however, knew all along that folks like the Pharisees, Scribes, Elders, chief priests and others wanted him out of the way.

In 29 A.D., a short time before his transfiguration, the Lord began to openly reveal to his disciples that Jewish religious leaders were planning to arrest and murder him (Matthew 16:21, Mark 8:31). Several weeks later, at the end of the Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus makes it clear to the Pharisees that he is aware of their "secret" conspiracies.

I know that you are Abraham’s seed; but you are seeking to kill Me, because My words do not enter into your minds . . . But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has spoken the truth to you, which I have heard from God; Abraham did not do this (John 8:37, 40).

It is interesting to note that the Jews Jesus spoke to did not deny they wanted him dead!

The many conspiracies against Jesus soon reach a crescendo when an unexpected opportunity presents itself. A man named Judas Iscariot, on the day before Passover in 30 A.D., offers to betray man's Savior for money (Matthew 26:14 - 15)! His help will be instrumental in fulfilling the evil goals of those who are enemies of God.

Additional Study Materials
Miracles in the New Testament!
Where is Paul and Peter buried?
Why did Jesus teach using paradoxes?
What exactly is the Day of the Lord?

Conspiracies in the Bible!
Old Testament Conspiracies
King Saul's Imaginary Insurrections
King David's Prophecied Treasons
The Treachery of Israel's Kings
The Conspiracy against Jesus
Secret plots against Apostle Paul


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