on John 11 :50
Nor consider - Ye talk more at random than according to reason, and the exigencies of the case. There is a various reading here in some MSS. that should be noticed. Instead of ουδε διαλογιζεσθε, which we translate, ye do not consider, and which properly conveys the idea of conferring, or talking together, ουδε λογιζεσθε, neither do ye reason or consider rightly, is the reading of ABDL, three others, and some of the primitive fathers. Griesbach, by placing it in his inner margin, shows that he thinks it bids fair to be the true reading. Dr. White thinks that this reading is equal, and probably preferable, to that in the text: Lectio aequalis, forsitan praeferenda receptae.
That one man should die for the people - In saying these remarkable words, Caiaphas had no other intention than merely to state that it was better to put Jesus to death than to expose the whole nation to ruin on his account. His maxim was, it is better to sacrifice one man than a whole nation. In politics nothing could be more just than this; but there are two words to be spoken to it:
First, The religion of God says, we must not do evil that good may come: Romans 3:8.
Secondly, It is not certain that Christ will be acknowledged as king by all the people; nor that he will make any insurrection against the Romans; nor that the Romans will, on his account, ruin the temple, the city, and the nation. This Caiaphas should have considered. A person should be always sure of his premises before he attempts to draw any conclusion from them. See Calmet. This saying was proverbial among the Jews: see several instances of it in Schoettgen.
on John 11 :50
It is expedient for us - It is better for us. Literally, "It is profitable for us."
That one man should die - Jesus they regarded as promoting sedition, and as exposing the nation, if he was successful, to the vengeance of the Romans, John 11:48. If he was put to death they supposed the people would be safe. This is all, doubtless, that he meant by his dying for the people. He did not himself intend to speak of his dying as an atonement or a sacrifice; but his words might also express that, and, though he was unconscious of it, he was expressing a real truth. In the sense in which he intended it there was no truth in the observation, nor occasion for it, but in the sense which the words might convey there was real and most important truth. It was expedient, it was infinitely desirable, that Jesus should die for that people, and for all others, to save them from perishing.
on John 11 :50
11:50 It is expedient that one man should die for the people - So God overruled his tongue, for he spake not of himself, by his own spirit only, but by the spirit of prophecy. And thus he gave unawares as clear a testimony to the priestly, as Pilate did to the kingly office of Christ.