Able Church Message Series on John
Part 3 of John 7 “Jesus Speaks at the Festival”
By Pastor Tim Mandich
Today we are continuing to go deeper in John 7, and we left off last week discussing verse 27 …for we know where this man comes from. When the Messiah comes, he will simply appear; no one will know where he comes from. This was an example of when people hear something about Jesus from wherever and opinions are formed and now, they are forming judgements on whether Jesus is real or not as the Messiah.
Even worse, the religious leadership who should have recognized Jesus as the true Messiah was bad mouthing Jesus to others because they were angry at his healings done on the sabbath. These influential leaders spewing this misguided and even hostile intent toward Jesus only adds more confusion and division among those who were at the Festival. Verses 29-31 tell us Jesus’ heart to convince them that his presence is for good, but their hearts are hard as we read how they react.
John 7:29-31 (NLT) 29 But I know him because I come from him, and he sent me to you.” 30 Then the leaders tried to arrest him; but no one laid a hand on him, because his time had not yet come. 31 Many among the crowds at the Temple believed in him. “After all,” they said, “would you expect the Messiah to do more miraculous signs than this man has done?”
Have we ever pre-judged something to be one way and it turns out we were entirely wrong? Many of the people listening to Jesus’ talk during this time, pre-judged him and concluded he was not the Messiah because of where he came from (Nazareth) or from what the religious leadership was saying about him. And then the religious leadership rose up and became angry because Jesus makes the statement that his Father sent him to the very people he was talking to.
CS Lewis is credited to have said that Jesus was either a liar or a lunatic or the Lord. Only one of these three options cast a favorable light on Jesus. And we know as believers that Jesus is Lord and represents the truth. But for some people they aren’t as discerning of truth and they struggle to make sense out of what they read, hear and experience of Jesus. The people of Jesus’ day were definitely in that divided camp of trying to decide who he was.
Fortunately, not everyone at the festival was lost and without discernment. In John 7:31 (NLT) Many among the crowds at the Temple believed in him. “After all,” they said, “would you expect the Messiah to do more miraculous signs than this man has done?” I find this conclusion totally reasonable and a great place to form an opinion that is soundly in favor of believing and trusting in Jesus as Messiah. Up to this point in history (other than John the Baptist) for hundreds of years the Jews didn’t have a prophet or a man of God who could teach or even perform miracles of this magnitude. It should have compelled them to be much more open minded but then again, the religious leadership was already hardened against Jesus and that proved to be just another hindrance to the truth being believed.
But that was then, and this is now. Today we have a complete Bible of both Old and New Testament scriptures which are given to us by inspiration of the Holy Spirit for our understanding of how to recognize the Messiah when he came and then the telling of his life and ministry which includes his death and resurrection. Of anyone throughout history, who has more responsibility to get this right than us? We are without excuse and are fully responsible for every word that is spoken to us or in print concerning the gospel of Jesus. If you have never surrendered your life to Jesus, I encourage you do that today. Pray this simple prayer – Jesus I know I’m a sinner and I need your forgiveness. Please cleanse me of my sins and be my Lord and Savior. Help me to live for you every day going forward in Jesus’ name – Amen.