Thursday 11 August 2022

John 7:14-24

14 Not until halfway through the festival did Jesus go up to the temple courts and begin to teach. 15 The Jews there were amazed and asked, “How did this man get such learning without having been taught?” 16 Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me. 17 Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. 18 Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him. 19 Has not Moses given you the law? Yet not one of you keeps the law. Why are you trying to kill me?” 20 “You are demon-possessed,” the crowd answered. “Who is trying to kill you?” 21 Jesus said to them, “I did one miracle, and you are all amazed. 22 Yet, because Moses gave you circumcision (though actually it did not come from Moses, but from the patriarchs), you circumcise a boy on the Sabbath. 23 Now if a boy can be circumcised on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses may not be broken, why are you angry with me for healing a man’s whole body on the Sabbath? 24 Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.”

We read in this passage that when Jesus opened his mouth to teach, some people marvelled at Him, and some people wanted to kill Him.  Jesus had a polarising effect on people wherever He went, and we know that He still does so today.

In most social settings you can mention the name of any figure in history and have a friendly discussion, but if you mention the name of Jesus in a secular setting, the room is likely to go quiet. People seem to either love Him or hate Jesus and what He stands for.

In this passage, Jesus says to the people, “Not one of you keeps the law. Why do you seek to kill me?” Jesus reminds all of us that we are sinners in need of a Saviour. This offends those who do not want to hear that they are in any way morally deficient or need to submit their will to God.

Jesus has a claim upon our lives that demands an answer. To acknowledge this truth is to admit that we have a problem.  This is a difficult and yet ultimately freeing step, and one that we need to continually keep making throughout our lives. 

Jesus does not ask people to fix all their problems before they come to Him.  Quite the opposite – He invites us to admit our sins and our weaknesses and come to Him to be made forgiven and whole each and every day.

God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Lord, help us to come to you in humility this day.

Written by Shelley Witt

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