John 11:55-57 : Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand. Many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover, to purify themselves. Then they sought for Jesus and spoke one with another, as they stood in the temple, “What do you think—that he isn’t coming to the feast at all?” Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had commanded that if anyone knew where he was, he should report it, that they might seize him.
We read here that Jesus became the talk of the town. It was clear that Jesus had raised the dead and done many miracles, but the leaders made it clear to the people that they were to pay no attention and to turn Jesus in to them as soon as He could be found. These leaders had already told the people that if anyone believed in him they would be kicked out of the synagogue (John 9:22). It was common knowledge that they wanted to kill Jesus as well (John 7:25). This shows us what corrupt leadership is like.
Many of the people believed has we have read in various places, but they had to do it in defiance of the corrupt religious authorities. These same methods are still being used against true believers in Jesus today. In various places in the world, leaders have made it illegal to discuss these things you are reading about here. Some reading this right now may actually be breaking the law (not God’s law but man’s law).
It is clear that Jesus expected common people to reason with Him and choose to believe based on that reasoning. The leadership may have thought that they were “protecting” the nation from Jesus and His ideas. They were clearly using this as an excuse to keep themselves in power.
When seeking truth becomes illegal, it is clear that a government has become corrupt. True believers have no choice but to obey God rather than men. True preachers cannot help but speak about the truth (Acts 4:18,19). May God bless those who are following Jesus even though it is costing them trouble in this world. May God raise up governments that are not corrupt, that will allow God’s word to be learned and believed by people who have the freedom to choose.