John 11:47 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 11:47, NIV: "Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin. 'What are we accomplishing?' they asked. 'Here is this man performing many signs."

John 11:47, ESV: "So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the council and said, “What are we to do? For this man performs many signs."

John 11:47, KJV: "Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles."

John 11:47, NASB: "Therefore the chief priests and the Pharisees convened a council meeting, and they were saying, 'What are we doing in regard to the fact that this man is performing many signs?"

John 11:47, NLT: "Then the leading priests and Pharisees called the high council together. 'What are we going to do?' they asked each other. 'This man certainly performs many miraculous signs."

John 11:47, CSB: "So the chief priests and the Pharisees convened the Sanhedrin and were saying, "What are we going to do since this man is doing many signs?"

What does John 11:47 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

A common claim among non-believers is that God has not provided enough evidence to warrant belief. Scripture counters this excuse, noting the evidence found in nature (Psalm 19:1) and human experience (Romans 1:18–20). The gospel of John debunks the "not enough evidence" mantra entirely. Jesus routinely points out the fact that it's stubbornness, not knowledge, that keeps certain critics from accepting His message (John 5:30–47). Those disbelievers are rejecting clear evidence (John 20:30–31), even when the miracles are beyond all rational doubt (John 11:39–44). The case of Lazarus is even something Jesus hinted at in previous arguments with those religious leaders (John 5:28).

The statement made in this verse starts out in the right direction: a gathering to discuss what has happened. It's clear that Jesus is performing "signs," which is exactly what Jesus intends His miracles to be. They are evidence of His power, divine approval, and godly nature. As the next verse shows, however, these men are not at all interested in following evidence (Mark 3:22–30). In short, they only meet to discuss "how do we counter this so we can keep our point of view?" This is not unique to the Scribes and Pharisees of Jesus' day: it's a response shared by many confronted with evidence or examples that challenge their worldview.

The agreed-upon solution, in this case, is violence. Jesus' critics are so sure He's wrong that they're willing to kill Him to stop what they see as a dangerous message from spreading (John 11:53). They're even willing to kill Lazarus (John 12:9–11). This proves the point made in one of Jesus' parables, that for some people, even a resurrection is not evidence enough (Luke 16:31).