Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Disagreement Whether Jesus Is Messiah

John 7:28-53

“Then cried Jesus in the temple as he taught, saying, Ye both know me, and ye know whence I am: and I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true, whom ye know not.  But I know him: for I am from him, and he hath sent me.   Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come.” (John 7:28-30) 

The Jews from Jerusalem had decided Jesus could not be the Messiah because they knew his background and they had been taught no one would know where Jesus was from.   Jesus said they knew him and where he was from physically but that he had not come for his own purposes but for those of the one who sent him.  Unfortunately, despite all the teaching they had had about God, they didn’t know him, and thus were unable to determine whether Jesus was from him or not.  Since they didn’t know God themselves they were dependent on degreed from the different schools of interpretation or other people’s opinions.  Jesus was from God and knew him, having been sent as God’s representative.  There was a concerted effort to arrest Jesus, but God protected him because it was not yet time for his death. 

“And many of the people believed on him, and said, When Christ cometh, will he do more miracles than these which this man hath done?  The Pharisees heard that the people murmured such things concerning him; and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take him.” (John 7:31-32)

Many of the people thought about the miracles Jesus had done and concluded that no other Messiah could have given more evidence of his qualifications than Jesus. And believed in him.  When the Pharisees heard that people were believing what Jesus said, they got with the chief priests, formally charging him as a false teacher and arranging for officers to arrest him. 
“Then said Jesus unto them, Yet a little while am I with you, and then I go unto him that sent me.  Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come.
Then said the Jews among themselves, Whither will he go, that we shall not find him? will he go unto the dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles?  What manner of saying is this that he said, Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come?” (John 7:31-36)

In the meantime, Jesus announced that he was only going to be there for a short time, before he went back to the one who sent him, and that when he went they would no longer be able to find him.    He was referring to his death and subsequent ascension into heaven.    Not understanding the prophecies that the Messiah would be killed, the Jews could not figure out what he was talking about.  They concluded he must be talking about going to the Jewish settlements in other countries where other Jews were not welcome. 
“In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.  He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.  (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)” (John 7:37-39)

On the last day of the feast, Jesus used the same metaphor he had used in John 6, of eating his body and drinking his blood.  Like he had told the Samaritan woman, he said anyone who believed him would have a fountain of living water.  As John notes here that fountain of living water is the Holy Spirit,
At the time the Holy Spirit had not yet been given  because As John 16:7 tells us, he would not come as long as Christ was still here.  “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.”

“Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet.  Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee?  Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?  So there was a division among the people because of him.  And some of them would have taken him; but no man laid hands on him.” (John 7:40-44)

After hearing what Jesus said and realizing it was what the prophecies said, Many of the people concluded Jesus was another prophet, while others believed he was the Messiah.  A third group insisted that since the prophecies stated Messiah would be a descendant of David and come from Bethlehem, and Jesus was from Galilee. He could not be the Messiah.  As we learn from Matthew and Luke, both Mary and Joseph were descendants of David, and Christ was born in Bethlehem, Joseph’s home town.  They simply hadn’t bothered to check out the facts.  As a result there was a lot of disagreements, and while the officers had orders to arrest him, they were hesitant, fearing it might cause a riot. 

“Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him?

The officers answered, Never man spake like this man.

Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived?  Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him?  But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed.” (John 7:45-49)

When the officers returned without Jesus, the Pharisees and priests demanded to know why they hadn’ arrested him.  The officers essentially said after hearing what he said and seeing its effect on the crowd, they were afraid to.  The leaders asked how they could fall for it because none of the experts, the ones who had been to the schools of interpretation believed it.  The people who didn’t know the law like they did were cursed. 

Nicodemus saith unto them, (he that came to Jesus by night, being one of them,) Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth?

“They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet.  And every man went unto his own house. ” (John 7:50-53)

Nicodemus was one of the Leaders, and he asked how they could order a man’s arrest and execution without giving him a proper hearing and checking out what he said.  That really upset them because he was one of them.  They accused him of being one of those ignorant Galileans as well.  They told him he needed to check out the scriptures because God wouldn’t call a prophet from Galilee.  They had the same attitude that is common today, that only those who have their doctorates are capable of knowing what is right.  Anyone who doesn’t agree with them is dismissed as being ignorant.  Unfortunately, educated people often find it even more difficult than others to consider the possibility they are wrong.   

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