Few things turn people’s stomachs more than the abuse of power by religious leaders. Such people ought to be examples of godly, servant leadership—so when we see them clutching power and using it to serve themselves, we naturally feel angry and disgusted. Caiaphas certainly turned more than a few stomachs in his day, because it seems he was willing to do anything to retain his power.
Caiaphas was high priest and a member of the Jewish ruling council called the Sanhedrin. As Jesus grew in popularity and His miracles became well known, the religious leaders began to fear that the Romans would become involved. Caiaphas offered a simple solution: Kill Jesus so the rest of the nation—and no doubt his own power over it—wasn’t destroyed. Caiaphas’s solution eventually culminated in the crucifixion of Jesus (Matthew 26:3–4, 57; John 11:47–53).
Later, when Peter and John healed a crippled man at the temple, the religious leaders, including Caiaphas, became involved again. Peter boldly told the leaders that he and John had performed the miracle by the authority of Jesus Christ, whom the leaders had put to death. Even though the leaders recognized that their miracle was impossible to deny, they threatened Peter and John to keep them from talking about Jesus (Acts 3–4)!
In 1990 twelve ossuaries—bone boxes—of the family tomb of a “Caiaphas” were discovered two miles south of Jerusalem. It is possible that this was the same Caiaphas as the one who plotted Jesus’ death.