Monday March 14- Caiaphas: The Most Powerful Man in Israel
Spend five minutes focusing on a couple of things you appreciate and thank God for them.
They took Jesus to the high priest’s home where the leading priests, the elders, and the teachers of religious law had gathered. Meanwhile, Peter followed him at a distance and went right into the high priest’s courtyard. There he sat with the guards, warming himself by the fire.
Caiaphas. Just what did the high priest do in Israel at this time? More than we can imagine. Here is a brief primer.
We start with Aaron, the brother of Moses. Aaron is the first priest. The priests of Israel come out of Aaron’s line. They first started designating high priests when they built the first Temple. The high priest and all the chief priests are descendants of Zadok, the first high priest of the first Temple. We get the word “Sadducee” from,
Zadok was a descendent of Eleazar, the son of Aaron.
So, for practical purposes, the Sadducees are the rulers of Israel. How?
They are in charge of the Temple and all its operations. The Temple business is sacrificing animals, especially sheep. Animal sacrifice is big business. More sheep skins are sold out of Israel at this time than any other country in the world. The Temple business is Israel’s number one moneymaker. Israel, in turn, is Rome’s richest province. Rome gets more money out of Israel than any other conquered territory.
The High Priest didn’t just head of the Temple and control the funds that are generated.
The High Priest also:
•Administered the state domestically
•Regulated relations with the Romans
•Equipped and led the army
•Mediated domestic grievances
•Collected the taxes
So, the high priest is the Pope, President, Secretary of the State, Secretary of Defense, Chief Justice, IRS, and Bill Gates all wrapped up into one!
The high priest is not appointed by the King nor the chief priests. He is appointed by the Roman governor. High priests usually don’t last too long. But, Caiaphas ruled the longest. 18 years! He is appointed by the governor before Pilate.
He must have been a wheeler dealer of the top order to keep his job! Really knew how to kiss up to the governor.
So think about it. Jesus is now before the most powerful man in Israel. How do you think that’s going to go?
The Sadducees didn’t believe in an afterlife. Today, frequently stop and say to yourself, “This is one day in eternity.”