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Friday, July 11, 2014

John 7 - A Hidden Gem !

Tonight, I decided to read John 7.  I had been so blessed by John 6, I wanted to be inspired after a long day of work!  

I really like the writing of John, the "disciple whom Jesus loved"! 

Chapter 6 was full of the Gospel.  Jesus had great things to say.  I shared John 6 with the teens at my church Wednesday.  I was proud to say I study this book with my readers!

John is such a great book ! 

I have to say, I feel like I've read John 7 for the first time,  I do not recall reading all the details of this little "Hidden Gem"

I think this chapter reflects the humanity of Jesus. He was God, but He also allowed Himself to be a man, subject to human dynamics.

Jesus is with his earthly brothers in John 7.  I can see sibling conflict brewing!  

John 7: 1-5:

After this, Jesus went around in Galilee. He did not want to go about in Judea because the Jewish leaders there were looking for a way to kill him. But when the Jewish Festival of Tabernacles was near, Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Leave Galilee and go to Judea, so that your disciples there may see the works you do. No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.”  For even his own brothers did not believe in him.

Jesus' brothers are trying to give Him advice on how to become a "public figure"  -- ha ha!  

The brothers had a plan for glory, but God's plan was different!   Even Jesus brothers didn't believe in  Him!  

This can be so true in life. Family members can be the toughest to convince of the reality of our Savior.

I think the individuals interacting with Jesus  truly come to life in John 7.  The dialog is reported so clearly! Jesus tells His brothers: 

Therefore Jesus told them, “My time is not yet here; for you any time will do.  The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil."

Jesus words help me understand why people have such a hard time when I  talk about Jesus.  Folks can handle my mention of God...but Jesus is just too up-close and personal.  Jesus' light reveals our sin.  Most people can't handle the thought of being "found out".  

The reality is - Jesus already knows  what we do and say and think. He knows all about us (This can be awkward!) but He loves us just the same.

Jesus tells his brothers He is not going to Judea, but then He goes in secret.  

Suddenly, Jesus is in the temple and He steps forward to preach. The Jewish officials go ballistic!

Check out John 7: 16- 19:

 Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me. Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.  Has not Moses given you the law?  Yet not one of you keeps the law. Why are you trying to kill me?”

Busted!  This statement must have really shocked the men who truly WERE plotting to kill Jesus.  

Then comes a big exchange between the crowd and Christ.  I'm amazed at how John captures the exchange, word-for-word. - What a super reporter !    

 “You are demon-possessed,” the crowd answered. “Who is trying to kill you?”

Jesus said to them, “I did one miracle, and you are all amazed. Yet, because Moses gave you circumcision (though actually it did not come from Moses, but from the patriarchs), you circumcise a boy on the Sabbath. Now if a boy can be circumcised on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses may not be broken, why are you angry with me for healing a man’s whole body on the Sabbath?  Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.- John 7:20-24

Oh, my gosh !  Jesus makes a good point.  How hypocritical can we get ?  I'm cringing a bit here for the many times I have "judged by mere appearances."

I can just hear the crowd whispering.  Who does this guy think he is?  Hmmmm. This is a hometown boy.  What's up with him?  Just look at John 7:25-29:

At that point some of the people of Jerusalem began to ask, “Isn’t this the man they are trying to kill? Here he is, speaking publicly, and they are not saying a word to him. 

Have the authorities really concluded that he is the Messiah? 

But we know where this man is from; when the Messiah comes, no one will know where he is from.”

The crew is whispering, but Jesus hears every word.  Look how He responds in John 7:28 - 29:

Then Jesus, still teaching in the temple courts, cried out, “Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from. I am not here on my own authority, but he who sent me is true. You do not know him, but I know him because I am from him and he sent me."

WOE !  Jesus just claimed to be connected to God in a BIG way here.  This is dangerous stuff.  

In a sneak peek as to what is to come, the priests start plotting against Jesus.  

Who speaks up for him?  NICODEMUS!  We met him in John 3!  That same timid priest who came to see Jesus in the dark in Chapter 3 is NOW speaking in the light. 

 --Experiencing the presence of Jesus can give anyone strength to do great bold things!
Just look at John 7:50-51:

Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus earlier and who was one of their own number, asked, “Does our law condemn a man without first hearing him to find out what he has been doing?”

The priests do NOT like what Nick has to say !  Also, don't miss what the guards say and all the quibbling over where Jesus is from.  This is all fascinating stuff!

John 7 ends with the question to Nicodemus.  The chapter leaves us hanging -- but I LOVE the action-packed dialog and the human elements brought to play in all these exchanges!

Read John 8 this weekend!  

Now it's time to check on my patient and go to bed ! Now, it's time to check on my patient and go to bed ! be I can read John 8 for tomorrow! 
This is good reading!  I like the way John writes!

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