Jesus Debates with Those Who Want a God of Their Own Choosing

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When Your Family Doesn’t Believe in You

John 7.1-5After this Jesus went about in Galilee. He did not wish to go about in Judea because the Jews were looking for an opportunity to kill him. 2 Now the Jewish festival of Booths was near. 3 So his brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea so that your disciples also may see the works you are doing; 4 for no one who wants to be widely known acts in secret. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.” 5 (For not even his brothers believed in him.)

Here’s a reminder about the phrase, “the Jews.” The people of Galilee were Jews as were Jesus’ followers. “The Jews” probably refers to Jewish authorities who were operating out of Jerusalem.

Is it possible that Jesus’ brothers were asking him to show off? That could have been the case. What’s wrong with that? Showing off demonstrates that our real belief is in the world’s praise. Of course, Jesus refused their request.

As a preacher for fifty years, every sermon is a temptation to show off. The applause of the crowd is seductive, especially to a people pleaser like me. I have battled my ego and still have to fight it today.

How about you? How do you handle the applause and approval of people?

Jesus lives by his Father’s clock.

John 7.6-9 Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always here. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify against it that its works are evil. 8 Go to the festival yourselves. I am not going to this festival, for my time has not yet fully come.” 9 After saying this, he remained in Galilee.

Everything in Jesus’ ministry had the mark of a man on a mission. He was sent from heaven to reveal God’s nature (John 1.18). Even the timing of events was subject to the Father’s direction and control.

Jesus’ ear was not tuned to either his brothers or the world. His audience was One, his Father in heaven and the mission he had been given.

There have been times in my life when the Holy Spirit interrupted my day. I felt directed to do something and discovered that it was exactly what was needed at the time.

Especially at this time in history, may all of us be sensitive and open to God’s direction.

Confusion in the crowd.

John 7.10-13But after his brothers had gone to the festival, then he also went, not publicly but as it were in secret. 11 The Jews were looking for him at the festival and saying, “Where is he?” 12 And there was considerable complaining about him among the crowds. While some were saying, “He is a good man,” others were saying, “No, he is deceiving the crowd.” 13 Yet no one would speak openly about him for fear of the Jews.

The crowd had their idea of what kind of Messiah would come among them. Their firmly held views about the Messiah (the Anointed One of God) caused confusion over who Jesus actually was.

If we are able to read the Gospel of John with an open mind and a praying heart, we will be better able to understand Jesus’ nature, his work, and his message.

Your Turn

A good question for us is to reflect on whether we are truly open to Jesus and his message. Do we have any expectations for Jesus that may keep us from understanding and following him?

Today’s Prayer

Dear God, please open the eyes of my heart to embrace what you have done for me through your Son, Jesus Christ. May I follow his direction for my life today.

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