In the early years of Twitter, my daughter entertained herself by following tweets from a “heard around campus” sort of group. Invariably, there were “sighted-famous” tweets, after which ensued a volley of “was it really or was it not” responses that ranged from giddy excitement to complete outrage. Always curious, we amused ourselves with conversations of what could possibly be at the heart of the extreme responses.
- What seen or overheard events get your attention and engage you in the conversation?
READ THE WORD: JOHN 7:25-31 (ESV)
25 Some of the people of Jerusalem therefore said, “Is not this the man whom they seek to kill? 26 And here he is, speaking openly, and they say nothing to him! Can it be that the authorities really know that this is the Christ? 27 But we know where this man comes from, and when the Christ appears, no one will know where he comes from.” 28 So Jesus proclaimed, as he taught in the temple, “You know me, and you know where I come from. But I have not come of my own accord. He who sent me is true, and him you do not know. 29 I know him, for I come from him, and he sent me.”30 So they were seeking to arrest him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come. 31 Yet many of the people believed in him. They said, “When the Christ appears, will he do more signs than this man has done?”
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- Reword the questions and statements of “some… of Jerusalem” (vss. 25-27). What do you think was at the heart of their questions and assertions?
- What was Jesus’ response? How do you think they felt to hear a direct answer from Jesus to the questions they’d asked amongst themselves (vs. 28)?
- What was his clear claim (vs. 28-29)?
- Why was Jesus not arrested (vs. 30)? What do you think stopped them?
- This passage records two very different responses to Jesus’ claim. What do you think accounted for those differing responses? What’s your response when someone/something challenges your “accepted” belief system? Where do you look for confirmation of which understanding is true?
RESPOND TO GOD
In the same way the Law was given to expose sin, Jesus’ words exposed the proud and unrighteous hearts of the religious leaders. Their outrage revealed just how entrenched they were in the externals of religious practice, and it caused them to miss the life-giving truth of Jesus’ message. In contrast, the Jewish residents were beginning to see this dissonance that Jesus challenged in the religious elite. Their hearts were open to knowing Jesus and to learning more about how he really might be the prophesied Messiah.
- Ask God to expose in you any bent toward preferring religious practice that may be an obstacle to truly knowing him.
- Pray for deeper understanding of the intimate relationship Jesus as Messiah is offering you.