John 18:14 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 18:14, NIV: Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jewish leaders that it would be good if one man died for the people.

John 18:14, ESV: It was Caiaphas who had advised the Jews that it would be expedient that one man should die for the people.

John 18:14, KJV: Now Caiaphas was he, which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.

John 18:14, NASB: Now Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it was in their best interest for one man to die in behalf of the people.

John 18:14, NLT: Caiaphas was the one who had told the other Jewish leaders, 'It's better that one man should die for the people.'

John 18:14, CSB: Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it would be better for one man to die for the people.

What does John 18:14 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Earlier in this Gospel, Jesus' enemies plotted to have Him killed (John 11:53). This group is sometimes referred to by John as "the Jews," but his meaning is the religious ruling class of Jerusalem. These men justified their hostility by fear that Jesus would trigger an uprising against Rome, resulting in catastrophic backlash (John 11:47–48). Eventually, they found a traitor among the disciples and were able to capture Jesus away from a supportive crowd (John 18:1–11).

John points out that the current high priest, Caiaphas, had described Jesus' fate through an accidental prophecy (John 11:51–52). In a display of cold-blooded arrogance, he sneered at his peers' indecision and suggested a death plot. His precise comment was "that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish" (John 11:49–50). In his mind, murdering one person was a small price to pay for maintaining the status quo.

Jesus' role as Messiah, however, was meant to accomplish something very similar. Rather than allow all of mankind to suffer eternally, God arranged for just One to experience death (Romans 5:6). While Caiaphas was indifferent to Jesus' innocence, that lack of sin (Hebrews 4:15) was key to His role as Savior (Hebrews 9:11–14). That single death allowed the salvation of the entire world (John 3:16), accomplished in those who turn to Christ in faith (John 3:36).