John 7:1-24

day 16

“After this Jesus went about in Galilee”. The wording makes me laugh…sounds British 🙂 . Basically he stayed around where he was because he was keeping a low profile. I mean, really, why parade into enemy territory when you know they’re out to get you? Now his brothers didn’t believe who He was and so they were clueless about the reality of the threat. Instead they were trying to be his public relations team. “Look dude, this is the place to be…at the feast…where all the people are. If you’re serious about your “mission” then you have to get out and sell it…make a name for yourself!”

Jesus was all about timing…”my time has not yet fully come.” He openly told them the world hated him because of what he stood for. Remember back in John 5 when He tells about his connection to the Father…pretty much He only does what the Father says? I’m thinking maybe this is a time when He is waiting for the go ahead on how to proceed. This can be a big problem for me! I have some God idea and or impressive thought or valuable insight ; maybe I even know the people on the other end are not excited about hearing from me but I’m supposed to WAIT for the right timing. Really? Wait? It is killing me to tell or what if I chicken out?. And if I don’t wait?…my great thought usually a flops like a stinky, dead fish on the carpet. Clean up needed on aisle 9!

When the time is right He goes – in private, quietly, no fanfare – stealth. It was still a dangerous mission. They were looking for him and there was a lot of debating about him among the crowds. “He’s a good man” some said. “He’s leading the people astray” was the other view. Everyone was keeping the discussion on the down low because they were afraid the Jews would drag them in for questioning or something. It was clear even talking about Jesus could get you in trouble. Wow! Isn’t that where we live? Some places in the world you have to speak about Him hidden away, in fear for your life. Even in the land of the free, home of the brave, we speak with caution: what will people think? Am I violating some school rule? Am I politically correct? So maybe I can learn something here from how Jesus proceeded.

He waits till the middle of the feast and then goes to the temple to teach. Now if I remember how this goes, the Jewish men gather in the temple and different ones read from the scrolls and maybe then expand on what it says – or teach. I my mind anyone can do it or maybe they invite someone they see there. (I could be in left field on the particulars but I think this is the general idea.) Lesson 1: Jesus bides his time and then begins to speak where the audience is prepared to listen.

The Jews marveled (I love this word) at his teaching. Obviously they thought he was “right on” – how did he know this stuff if he had not been formally taught? Jesus does not lie, he does not coddle – He is just honest. “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me.” (There you go, the connection between him and God – yikes!) “If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority.” (okay guys, the “whose will are YOU after” challenge.) “The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true.” (They did have a tendency to seek their own glory – and I could so be right there with them.) Then he goes on about how they have the law but don’t keep the law and basically don’t even get the real meaning of the law. “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” (Right judgment – evaluate your motives, see who you want to get the glory, yield to righteousness over selfishness.) “Bazinga!” as Sheldon would say.

Lesson 2: tell the truth even when it is hard and may not go smoothly but know your motives are pure. To tell the hard truth for any gain other than God’s glory – “well, not good Granny, not good.”

Lesson 3: give the listener the “way out”. Jesus gave the truth but he also gave them a path for change and restoration – “judge with right judgment”. This is an act of love and a sure way to “detect” my motives.

About God?
He is the script writer, the producer and the director of the most amazing story ever told.

About Me?
Pay attention to the details when following Jesus. Love at every opportunity.

About the World?
People who don’t know Jesus are not the enemy – they are the prize for which He gave His life.

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