Therefore the chief priests and the Pharisees convened a council, and were saying, “What are we doing? For this man is performing many signs.
(a) A council. In Matthew’s account it is the chief priests and the elders who plot to kill Jesus (Matt. 26:3). This plot involved the whole ruling council or Sanhedrin (see entry for Matt. 26:59), with only a few dissenters (Luke 23:50-51).
(b) Many signs. Jesus had performed miracles since the beginning of his ministry, but it was the raising of Lazarus that encouraged many to believe in him (John 11:45).
Therefore Jesus no longer continued to walk publicly among the Jews, but went away from there to the country near the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim; and there He stayed with the disciples.
Went away from there. Jesus had been in Bethany near Jerusalem (John 11:18). He did not leave because his enemies were plotting to kill him (see previous verse), but because the time for his crucifixion had not yet come. For maximum impact, Jesus had to die at Passover when the city was full of pilgrims.
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