29 November 2016

BSF 2016-2017: John 7:1-53

In John chapter 7, we see that unbelief and hostility toward Jesus are increasing. (This passage is about six months away from Jesus’ crucifixion.) The Jewish leaders were angry that Jesus healed the lame man on the Sabbath, so they plotted to kill Him.

Jesus remained in Galilee to avoid the Jewish leaders. The Feast of Tabernacles was arriving, so Jesus’ brothers expected Him to go to Jerusalem for this festival. They encouraged Him to go to the feast and perform signs and miracles to make their family famous and to show Himself to the world.

But Jesus told them that His time had not come yet. It was not the time for Him to go public. He didn’t want to have a premature confrontation with the Jewish leaders. Jesus was on God’s timetable, not man’s.

After His brothers went to the festival, Jesus quietly and privately went to the festival. At the festival, the Jewish leaders were looking for Jesus and the crowd was murmuring. Some said Jesus was a good man, some said Jesus was a deceiver. No one confessed that Jesus was God.

Later during the festival, Jesus taught in the temple courts. The people were amazed at His knowledge even though He hadn’t studied under Jewish rabbis. Jesus said He came from the Father to teach the people and to give God glory.

Jesus pointed out that the Jewish leaders were hypocritical. They refused to let Jesus heal on the Sabbath, but they “worked” to circumcise a newborn on the Sabbath. The Jews were tied to the letter of the law and ignored the spirit of the law. Jesus’ healing of the man kept the spirit of the law and followed God’s will.

The people of Jerusalem struggled to believe that Jesus was the Messiah. Jesus again confirmed that He was sent by God. The leaders did not believe Jesus was God and the promised Messiah. The Jewish leaders tried to seize Jesus but failed because it wasn’t in God’s will. Many in the crowd believed in Jesus as the Messiah.

Jesus explained that He would return to the Father. And anyone who doesn’t believe in Him (including the Jewish leaders) would not be with Him and the Father in heaven.

Again the people are divided and confused. Some said Jesus was a prophet. Some said Jesus was the Messiah. But they didn’t think Jesus was the Messiah because He came from Galilee and the Messiah was supposed to come from Bethlehem. The people were judging Jesus based on appearances and on what they thought was true.

The people wanted to seize Jesus, but they failed because it was not His time.

Nicodemus defended Jesus by bringing up a Jewish law that stated that no one could be condemned without first speaking his case. The Jewish leaders were treating Jesus unfairly but failed to realize this.

Things to Think About
  • God has a divine timetable with a divine agenda.
  • Do you ask God to reveal His will for you each day so you ensure that you remain on His timetable?
  • Jesus faced worldly pressures from His brothers. He did not cave in to these pressures because He was in tune with God’s perfect plan and timetable.
  • Jesus knew who He was and where He was going. He remained confident no matter what the people said. We shouldn’t allow other people’s thoughts to prevent us from claiming our true identity in Christ.
  • Someone’s opinion of Jesus does not change the reality of who He is. Jesus is the Messiah.

This Week’s Memory Verse
Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them. John 7:37-38 NIV