I think one of life’s biggest frustrations—and perhaps hurts—is being misunderstood. Trying to communicate your heart or intentions to someone who doesn’t understand can be very frustrating. Seeing how people operate in different cultures will often create confusion over their actions: Why do Ugandans move their eyebrows up and down when you talk with them? How about when Indians seemingly nod and shake their head at the same time? Why do people in Vienna wear pig hats on New Year’s Eve? Sometimes actions, even with the purest of intentions, can be misunderstood and misconstrued.
- Take a moment to imagine how the holy, perfect Jesus might have felt when he was trying to communicate with sinful, broken humanity while he was here.
READ THE WORD: JOHN 7:32-36 (ESV)
32 The Pharisees heard the crowd muttering these things about him, and the chief priests and Pharisees sent officers to arrest him. 33 Jesus then said, “I will be with you a little longer, and then I am going to him who sent me. 34 You will seek me and you will not find me. Where I am you cannot come.” 35 The Jews said to one another, “Where does this man intend to go that we will not find him? Does he intend to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks and teach the Greeks? 36 What does he mean by saying, ‘You will seek me and you will not find me,’ and, ‘Where I am you cannot come’?”
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- Why were the authorities sending officers to arrest Jesus?
- Where was Jesus going (vs. 33)? Why did they focus on “the Dispersion among the Greeks” as Jesus’ destination?
- Why were those around Jesus confused at what he said? What caused them to misunderstand?
- Is there any area in your life that keeps you from seeing Jesus’ character and ways definitively?
RESPOND TO GOD
Our personal sin and pain gets in the way of seeing things clearly. In our own lives we see everything, to some degree, through our own sin and brokenness. The Jews were doing the right thing in looking for the Messiah. But their brokenness kept them from seeing not only that Jesus was the Messiah, but also what he was doing while with them. Jesus’ message was getting more to the point (declaring himself to be the Son of God) and difficult to understand. The Jews were so frustrated at Jesus’ message that they were ready to kill him. They were blinded by their sin. Even though Jesus was right there in front of them, they still didn’t understand.
- John 16:7-13 tells us that while Jesus may not be physically here with us any longer, he has left us the Holy Spirit to help reveal our sin and discern truth.
- Take a moment now to thank the Lord for giving you his Spirit to lead you.