45 Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him, 46 but some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the Council and said, “What are we to do? For this man performs many signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” 49 But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all. 50 Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.” 51 He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, 52 and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. 53 So from that day on they made plans to put him to death.
What an interesting passage. A couple of items stand out to me:
1. Caiaphas' remark about "one man (dying) for the people". It seems to me that John is intending a double meaning here and that is just what the editors of the ESV Study Bible seem to think. "With a typical Johannine double meaning Caiaphas's pronouncement anticipates Jesus' substitutionary atonement."
2. A clear statement concerning God's intention to make a nation out of all the nations by bringing in Gentiles who would have faith in Jesus. It had not happened at this point, but John is anticipating it.