Division over who Jesus is

As Jesus teaches, word spreads and those in Jerusalem who were on the lookout for him are alerted. The mixed reaction by those attending might be here to give us comfort, some hear and get excited, others fear and anger, but the word lives on and will continue as God commands.
John 7:25-52

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One Reply to “Division over who Jesus is”

  1. “At that point,” so we begin today, they figured out where they had heard this teacher before, this is the guy they are trying to track down and kill. The authorities don’t seem to have much authority over him. I’m sure the crowd control police (i.e., the Temple Guard) was in full force during festival, probably drawing on the reserves to have enough men to manage the swelling crowds. They were unable to seize him here and the festival continues while the Pharisees’ frustration grows.

    The discussion quickly turns to one of lineage, where is Jesus from? The NIV translation leads us to read Jesus response as a statement, but it seems the ensuing words support the notion that is really was a question, “you think you know where I am from?” Jesus goes on to explain he is not here on his own authority, that he is from that authority, he’s only going to be here a short time then go to a place they can’t go.

    As they are scratching their heads trying to figure out the riddle Jesus continues to teach them in a loud voice:

    Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.

    Some people heard these words and received them, declaring he is the Prophet. Others said, “He is the Messiah.”  Remember this is festival time, those attending are coming from all over to honor God in the best way they know how. They know the stories of old and are living in hope for the Prophet to come. Could this be the one?

    The Pharisees send the temple guards to arrest him, but even they are moved by his teaching, “No one ever spoke the way this man does” is all they can say. The Pharisees start to get wound up when Nicodemus speaks, “Does our law condemn a man without first hearing him to find out what he has been doing?” Remember Nicodemus came to Jesus secretly and ultimately is likely to be one of the early significant converts to Christianity.

    John weaves in the story of Nicodemus quite intentionally. Here he defends Jesus carefully, one foot in and one foot out. After the crucifixion, he is there again to lend his support. His Pharisees cohorts are not impressed, “are you from Galilee too?” Essentially they say, “go study Nicodemus and you’ll figure it out!”

    He will indeed figure it out, as any will if they are willing to let go of selfish pride and ambition.

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