How Am I Like the “Bad Guys?”

Reading Time: 4 Minutes

Our “all I want to have” world view can lead to a confused mind.

John 7.40-44When they heard these words, some in the crowd said, “This is really the prophet.” 41 Others said, “This is the Messiah.” But some asked, “Surely the Messiah does not come from Galilee, does he? 42 Has not the scripture said that the Messiah is descended from David and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?” 43 So there was a division in the crowd because of him. 44 Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him.

The very presence of Jesus created confusion for the crowd. They simply didn’t know what to do with him. He did not fit their idea of who the Messiah would be.

If you are like me, confused and concerned about what is currently going on in the world, it may be that you are (like me) attempting to fit Jesus into your “all I want to have” view of the world.

In my “all I want to have” world, I want people to be healthy, working at their jobs, going to church and meetings, and able to go on with life before the corona virus came to America.

Here is a question I have to ask myself. Am I so focused on my “all I want to have” world that I don’t experience Jesus’ presence in the crowd? This was the problem of the people in John 7.

If I don’t want to be like the “bad guys” in passage, I need to start looking for Jesus in this situation rather than focusing on my “all I want to have” thinking about the world.

The “bad guys” refuse to see.

John 7.45-49Then the temple police went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, “Why did you not arrest him?” 46 The police answered, “Never has anyone spoken like this!” 47 Then the Pharisees replied, “Surely you have not been deceived too, have you? 48 Has any one of the authorities or of the Pharisees believed in him? 49 But this crowd, which does not know the law—they are accursed.”

Jesus was sentenced to death by the religious authorities and the Roman government. The Romans never tolerated anyone who claimed to be the Messiah. The cross was reserved for such people.

The religious authorities charged him with deceiving the people (verse 47). The law that the religious authorities used was stated in Deuteronomy.

Deuteronomy 13.1-3, 5 “If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, 2 and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them,’ 3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. 5 But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has counseled rebellion against the Lord your God. . .”

If we are not going to be like the “bad guys,” we need to always be open to the activity of God, even if it is inconvenient or difficult to understand.

A “good guy” in the midst of the “bad guys.”

John 7.50-52Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus before, and who was one of them, asked, 51 “Our law does not judge people without first giving them a hearing to find out what they are doing, does it?” 52 They replied, “Surely you are not also from Galilee, are you? Search and you will see that no prophet is to arise from Galilee.”

Nicodemus’ first words to Jesus were, “Teacher, we know” (John 3.16). That was the problem of the religious leaders who wanted Jesus arrested and killed. Praise God that an encounter with Jesus changed Nicodemus’ mind about him and he was open to see Jesus at work.

Your Turn

To me the biggest lesson in this passage is to seek an encounter with Jesus.

Confusion will take place with people who attempt to force Jesus to give them their “all I want to have” world.

If our mind is closed and we must have a God who fits what we think we know about him, we may actually end up opposing him.

Let’s make every effort to experience Jesus and to be open to his work in the midst of difficult times.

Today’s Prayer

Dear Jesus, I know what I want – health, economic security, fun and fellowship. Please help me to want to see you in the midst of all that is going on more than I want my own stuff. Thank you for your grace.

7 Comments

  1. My blog today was similar – I’ve struggled coming to terms with decisions to close church. I have spent much time yesterday and today praying and reading the Bible to understand. I am open to becoming closer to Jesus – to serving Him – to helping those who need it. God is not closed – our Bible’s are not locked up. May we all take the time to find Jesus where He is working and where we’ve been placed. Thanks, Bob – this is good stuff. “All I want to have” — it’s not about me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Im guilty of that phrase”all i want to have”. I thought i was the only one. Im praying for God to show me what to do next instead of thinking “all i want to have”.
    Thank you Bob for being transparent and truthful.
    Jason Panuco

    Liked by 1 person

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