Day 23- John 7:10-24
18 Feb 2017
In the last reading we saw that the disciples wanted Jesus to go where the people were, to grow in popularity. But Jesus did not come to be a celebrity loved by everyone. He came to show up our sin and need of him.
He does just that when he heads into Jerusalem for the feast, a day after the disciples arrive. He arrives anonymously, and can hear the questions that are being asked about him. The crowds are not eagerly awaiting his arrival though. They are “muttering” (or “grumbling”). There is division brewing about who people think he is. This is why the disciples are being too simplistic when they asked Jesus just to show himself to the world (verse 4).
Jesus begins teaching in the temple, and shows up what’s going on in the hearts of those who are grumbling. If we are really committed to doing God’s will, we will recognise that Jesus is from God (verse 17). Jesus has come, speaking words from God, and seeking the glory of his father. Yet, those grumbling are hypocrites. They claim to know God, and claim to keep God’s law - but they don’t. The proof of this goes back to the events of chapter 5. These people were happy to circumcise someone on the Sabbath day. Yet because Jesus healed on the Sabbath (not just promising God’s blessing, but actually bringing it), they thought he was a sinner, and will ultimately seek to kill him.
Although these verses might seem like Jesus bringing a complex charge to a specific group of people, what he says challenges all of us. Jesus will reveal who we are at the deepest level. We can’t work out who he is - we don’t stand in judgement over him. We need him to tell us. That is because we are incapable and unwilling to love and trust him. Left to ourselves, our hearts are set against God. Yet if we listen to him, trust him and obey him - that is evidence of God’s change of us at the deepest level.