Sunday, May 30, 2010

Life of Christ Devotional - John 7:25-36

“At that point some of the people of Jerusalem began to ask, “Isn’t this the man they are trying to kill? Here he is, speaking publicly, and they are not saying a word to him. Have the authorities really concluded that he is the Christ? But we know where this man is from; when the Christ comes, no one will know where he is from.” Then Jesus, still teaching in the temple courts, cried out, “Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from. I am not here on my own, but he who sent me is true. You do not know him, but I know him because I am from him and he sent me.” At this they tried to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his time had not yet come. Still, many in the crowd put their faith in him. They said, “When the Christ comes, will he do more miraculous signs than this man?” The Pharisees heard the crowd whispering such things about him. Then the chief priests and the Pharisees sent temple guards to arrest him. Jesus said, “I am with you for only a short time, and then I go to the one who sent me. You will look for me, but you will not find me; and where I am, you cannot come.” The Jews said to one another, “Where does this man intend to go that we cannot find him? Will he go where our people live scattered among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks? What did he mean when he said, ‘You will look for me, but you will not find me,’ and ‘Where I am, you cannot come’?” ” (John 7:25–36, NIV)
Confusion had become the norm in the ministry of Jesus. Jesus was claiming to have been sent by God to fulfill His purpose on the earth. He was calling people to follow Him, and to do so, they would need to turn away from the religious tradition of their day. He was performing signs and miracles that validated His authority to make such claims.
And yet, the religious leaders were trying to kill Him instead of believing in Him. The average person looked to Jesus and said, “Isn’t He the one they are trying to kill? Well…here He is. Why aren’t they doing anything?”
“If He is truly sent from God as He claims, they should follow Him. If He is not, they should silence Him. But they are doing neither. Why is this so? I’m confused.”
Some might reason, “Perhaps the authorities are doing nothing because they believe that Jesus really is the Messiah.”
Others contend, “The Messiah? How can that be? He is a carpenter from Nazareth, not a Messiah!”
Still others suggest, “But the miracles!? Just think about the miracles He is performing. These are “God sized” miracles. Maybe He is the Messiah!”
You get the point. But here is the often overlooked reality: Jesus clearly stated His divine origin and His divine commission. Not only that, Jesus was born of a virgin (as prophesied), the angels announced His birth (as prophesied), the shepherds recognized Him as the Messiah, as did the wise men from the east along with Simeon and Anna when Jesus was brought to the temple. (Luke 2) The revelation of Jesus as Messiah was quite clear at this time. It was the opposition of the religious leaders that was the source of the confusion. The voice of tradition was very loud in the hearts of the people.
What about your heart? Is your faith based on what others have told you to believe or have you personally become convinced of the Truth that has been revealed?
What speaks louder in your life: the voice of tradition or the revelation of truth?

As Jesus has emphasized, your faith must become your own. Believe because you have become convinced of the truth. It is this kind of faith that stands strong in the face of opposition, trials and tribulation. It is the faith proclaimed in the hymn:
But “I know Whom I have believed,
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that day.”

Know the Truth and the Truth will set you free.

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