John 11:56 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 11:56, NIV: "They kept looking for Jesus, and as they stood in the temple courts they asked one another, 'What do you think? Isn't he coming to the festival at all?'"

John 11:56, ESV: "They were looking for Jesus and saying to one another as they stood in the temple, “What do you think? That he will not come to the feast at all?”"

John 11:56, KJV: "Then sought they for Jesus, and spake among themselves, as they stood in the temple, What think ye, that he will not come to the feast?"

John 11:56, NASB: "So they were looking for Jesus, and saying to one another as they stood in the temple area, 'What do you think; that He will not come to the feast at all?'"

John 11:56, NLT: "They kept looking for Jesus, but as they stood around in the Temple, they said to each other, 'What do you think? He won't come for Passover, will he?'"

John 11:56, CSB: "They were looking for Jesus and asking one another as they stood in the temple, "What do you think? He won't come to the festival, will he? ""

What does John 11:56 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Passover is near, and this brings many people into the city of Jerusalem. Jewish men were obligated to observe certain festivals (Deuteronomy 16:16). That meant a surge of population in the city during those feast days. In order to maintain order, it was common for local political leaders to visit the city for those holidays, even if they lived elsewhere. That, in fact, is why Pilate—who lived in his own palace—was in Jerusalem and will be available for an immediate audience with Jesus (Matthew 27:2).

The people probably don't know that the Jewish religious leaders have agreed to have Jesus killed (John 11:53). Since the death penalty was not officially theirs to enact (John 18:31), it's unlikely the Council would make that part public knowledge. Such news would also have proven that any "trials" Jesus endured were shams, since the verdict was already decided. And it would risk the wrath of the crowds (Mark 12:12; Matthew 21:46). However, the religious leaders are aggressively seeking information about where to find Jesus in a private setting, so they can have Him arrested (John 11:57). The people coming in and out of the city are certainly aware of that, and it makes them wonder if Jesus might avoid the city, instead of coming to observe Passover (John 11:55).