John 11:54 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 11:54, NIV: "Therefore Jesus no longer moved about publicly among the people of Judea. Instead he withdrew to a region near the wilderness, to a village called Ephraim, where he stayed with his disciples."

John 11:54, ESV: "Jesus therefore no longer walked openly among the Jews, but went from there to the region near the wilderness, to a town called Ephraim, and there he stayed with the disciples."

John 11:54, KJV: "Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, and there continued with his disciples."

John 11:54, NASB: "Therefore Jesus no longer continued to walk publicly among the Jews, but went away from there to the region near the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim; and there He stayed with the disciples."

John 11:54, NLT: "As a result, Jesus stopped his public ministry among the people and left Jerusalem. He went to a place near the wilderness, to the village of Ephraim, and stayed there with his disciples."

John 11:54, CSB: "Jesus therefore no longer walked openly among the Jews but departed from there to the countryside near the wilderness, to a town called Ephraim, and he stayed there with the disciples."

What does John 11:54 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Here, as usual, the gospel of John uses the term "the Jews" in reference to Jerusalem's religious leaders, and those who loyally follow them. After Jesus' spectacular miracle of raising Lazarus (John 11:39–44), those leaders have responded by seeking His death (John 11:48–53). Earlier attempts to capture or kill Jesus were unofficial, and mostly uncoordinated (John 7:44–46; 10:39). Now, having met and decided as a Council, the religious leaders have imposed an "official" death sentence on Jesus, and will bring all their power to bear seeking to capture and kill Him. This, of course, still must happen privately, since riots and unrest are exactly what these men seek to avoid (Mark 12:12; Matthew 21:46).

This is not the first time Jesus has moved outside the influence of Jerusalem's religious leaders. After His prior argument, Jesus had also moved some distance away (John 10:39–40). That was why He was not present when Lazarus first became ill (John 11:1–3).

The situation described here makes upcoming events even more dramatic. Critics wonder if Jesus will come to Jerusalem for the upcoming Passover, on account of the danger (John 11:56). Jesus, for His part, is always moving and acting according to a divine timeline (John 7:6–8; Mark 14:41). That is one reason He has downplayed any grand announcement of His role as Messiah (Matthew 16:20; Mark 7:36). In what seems like a stunning reversal, Jesus will openly accept that title and praise as He enters Jerusalem in fulfillment of prophecy (John 12:12–19). Of course, this is not a change at all, but only the long-awaited arrival of that moment in time.