The Pharisees heard that the people murmured such things concerning him; and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take him.
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Cornelius a Lapide
The Pharisees heard, &c. As though He were exciting the people to sedition (Euthymius); but more truly from envy. The Greek adds "the chief Priests." The Pharisees belonged to the Council, and accused Jesus before the chief priests, and drew them over to their resolve to kill Jesus.
And the chief priests and the Pharisees sent officers to take Him.
Albeit the Law declared, The innocent and righteous thou shalt not slay, and every where clearly crieth aloud, Thou shalt not be with the multitude to do evil, the guardians of the Law desire to kill, overbearing in respect of esteeming Moses' Law holy, and accustomed to blame every one who did not live in the same way. But caring nothing for the Law in these matters, and so to say, spurning its most precious things, they are zealous to take in their meshes Him That had done no wrong at all, but rather is now by His very works accredited that He is indeed the Christ. And surely (some one will reasonably say) these ungodly rulers of the Jews ought, since they are learned in the Divine Oracles and skilled in the Divine Laws, rather to speak to the multitudes, to turn aside their clamour hereat by reasonable arguments, and to thrust aside all suspicions of envy, and turn them to think as they should do, if in ought they...
The chief priests and Pharisees heard the people murmuring these things concerning Him.
The multitude are with great reason indignant against their rulers. For they were making a great outcry respecting our Saviour Christ, not because He was a wondrous Wonder-worker and beyond expectation, nor yet because He came telling of things better than the legal worship; but because He was not yet accepted by the chief priests and Pharisees, albeit having glory answerable to what was spoken of Christ, and no whit inferior to what the common reports tell of Him, or the word of the holy Prophets fore-heralded. So then they justly accuse them of being overcome with envy rather than really caring for the salvation of the people. But the constant utterance of blame as to this does not escape the knowledge of the rulers, and the multitude (it seems) gave them offence, now reasonably astonished at the Lord, and thirsting exceedingly to believe on Him, and already ill enduring the yoke of the rulers'...
Do you see that the violation of the Sabbath was a mere pretense? And that what most stung them was this murmuring? For here, though they had no fault to find with Him for anything said or done, they desired to take Him because of the multitude. They dared not do it themselves, suspecting danger, but sent their hired servants. Alas! For their tyranny and their madness, or rather, I should say, for their folly. After having often attempted themselves, and not prevailed, they committed the matter to servants, simply satisfying their anger. Yet He had spoken much at the pool John 5, and they had done nothing of the kind; they sought indeed occasion, but they attempted not, while here they can endure it no longer, when the multitude is about to run to Him. What then says Christ?