Before coming to faith in my late-20s, I lived a life centered on one thing: me. I believed there was a God. I even believed Jesus was the son of God. I would even talk about him with Christians, but I had no desire to be led by anyone but myself. I bought into almost every lie the world threw at me. I was chasing after the ego biscuits of life, trying to find my sustenance in something that ultimately did not fulfill.
- How is your story similar or different?
READ THE WORD: JOHN 7:10-18 (ESV)
10 But after his brothers had gone up to the feast, then he also went up, not publicly but in private. 11 The Jews were looking for him at the feast, and saying, “Where is he?” 12 And there was much muttering about him among the people. While some said, “He is a good man,” others said, “No, he is leading the people astray.” 13 Yet for fear of the Jews no one spoke openly of him.
14 About the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and began teaching. 15 The Jews therefore marveled, saying, “How is it that this man has learning, when he has never studied?” 16 So Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. 17 If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority. 18 The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
1. What were the responses to Jesus in verses 12 and 13? What was causing people to mutter?
2. As the story unfolds, what responses do we see in regard to Jesus (vss. 14-15)?
3. How is marveling different than wanting to humble ourselves to seek the will of God?
4. In what ways do you “marvel” at God, but not necessarily desire to be truly led by him?
RESPOND TO GOD
Pride blinds us to God’s goodness. It leads us to sit in judgment of God. Pride also leads us to all sorts of self-inflicted injury, stress, fear, anger, loneliness, and insecurity. Humility, on the other hand, leads to celebration of God’s undeserved goodness. It leads to gratitude rather than complaining. Humility brings joy in knowing and following him. Our natural temptation is to simply come to church and marvel (or to sit on the sidelines and mutter), but Jesus invites us to something so much better. He invites us to humble ourselves under his perfect leadership so that we may experience the abundant life that only comes through him.
- Jesus, give me the strength to move past muttering and marveling about you, to seeking and enjoying you in deeper and more meaningful ways. Give me the strength to humble myself under your leadership so that I can experience the life you have planned for me!