Sunday Morning Bible Study
December 10, 1995
It's been starting to get dangerous for Jesus and His ministry.
At the time of the Feast of the Tabernacles, He didn't go up to Jerusalem with the rest of the people, but went up later in secret.
When the time was right, He began to teach in the temple.
And He again started to draw flack from the Jewish establishment, especially for His healing of people on the Sabbath.
He in turn rebukes them for making incorrect judgments about Him and says,
»John 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
:25-31 More controversy over Jesus
:25 Is not this he, whom they seek to kill?
Again, isn't it interesting that the Jewish leaders were denying to Jesus that they were trying to kill him (vs.20), yet the people themselves know what the truth was.
:26 they say nothing unto him ...
Because the rulers of the Jews had not publicly confronted Jesus as of yet, part the people were wondering if perhaps the rulers thought that Jesus was the Messiah.
We can learn from the Pharisees negative example:
Silence or inaction can be misunderstood
or ... Communicate!
Sometimes silence isn't so golden
There is certainly a time to be silent:
»Proverbs 17:28 Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.
But sometimes, when you don't respond at all, you can be misunderstood.
The rulers here are being understood by some to think that they might actually be in favor of Jesus.
Genesis 34 - Jacob and his sons:
Jacob had moved his family back into Canaan, and set up camp near the city of Shechem (Gen.34).
His one daughter, Dinah, ended up being raped by the prince of the city, whose name was Shechem.
»Genesis 34:5 And Jacob heard that he had defiled Dinah his daughter: now his sons were with his cattle in the field: and Jacob held his peace until they were come.
He not only kept silent until his boys came home, but he never says anything, or takes any action.
The vacuum created by his lack of action is filled with his sons.
They hatch a plot and end up killing all the men of the city.
Jacob's response to this:
»Genesis 34:30 Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, "You have brought trouble on me by making me a stench to the Canaanites and Perizzites, the people living in this land. We are few in number, and if they join forces against me and attack me, I and my household will be destroyed."
There are times when we very clearly need to communicate our ideas and intentions.
For some reason, I get to thinking that my wife must obviously be reading my mind, so I don't have to tell her what I'm thinking.
But as close as we are, she can't read my mind.
She doesn't know my code, that when I turn my fork upside down next to my plate, that I'm telling her that I'm ready for dessert.
But we have these little things we do and we expect for the other person to understand perfectly what we're trying to say.
When I stamp my foot in a huff, she doesn't know that it's because I don't want to drive to the post office for her.
As far as she knows, I'm stepping on an ant.
We need to speak up!
»Ephesians 4:15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ,
Kids need to know clearly where you stand.
If you don't say anything, then your kids won't know their limits.
This is exactly the situation that Jacob was in.
The Bible says,
»Proverbs 29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.
Discipline requires two things:
1. Enforcement (like the "rod")
It might be a time out.
It might be turning off the TV.
It might be a paddle.
2. Communication (like "reproof")
You have to make it clear to your children what you're expecting.
While we may never know the truth behind the accusations that flew back and forth between Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas during his nomination proceedings, at least one person was confident of his innocence: His mother.
Leola Williams expressed both her trust in her son and her attitude toward sin in her statement: "If my child had done something like that I would have jumped up in that Senate chamber and boxed him in the mouth."
Communicating well with your kids will even improve their grades!
Children with authoritarian or permissive parents tend to earn lower grades.
However, parents who encourage their children and are communicative enable their children to get higher grades. These findings are the result of a 1986 Stanford University study of 7,836 high school students and 3,500 parents in the San Francisco area.
Relationships in general
Whether they are friendships, work relationships, etc.
If you don't speak up, how are they going to know what you're thinking?
:27 we know this man whence he is
We know Jesus' background.
We know where He grew up.
We knew His parents.
:27 when Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence he is
Here's one of those misconceptions that the people are having.
Some of them are expressing that they feel that nobody can really know where the Messiah was to come from.
They feel that since they know Jesus' background, that this automatically eliminates Him from being the Messiah.
But in actuality, some of them were aware of the truth, but only partially:
»John 7:41-42 Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee? 42 Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?
They knew the Scriptures, but they really didn't know Jesus.
They knew that Jesus grew up in the north, in Galilee, but they didn't know that He was actually born in Bethlehem, just as the Scriptures said.
Didn't anybody ever sing "O Little Town of Bethlehem"?
This is another good example of what we studied last week:
»John 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
:28 Then cried Jesus in the temple as he taught ...
cried - krazo - to croak; cry out aloud, speak with a loud voice
Jesus speaks a little louder so the people hear Him respond to their discussion.
:28 Ye both know me, and ye know whence I am ...
Apparently there is an element of irony in Jesus' words here.
Some versions even put this in the sense of a sarcastic question:
"You absolutely know me and where I come from?
:28 he that sent me is true, whom ye know not
Jesus is talking about God the Father here.
And He's saying that though the Jews feel like they know all about Jesus, they really don't know all that much.
For one thing, they don't the very One who sent Jesus, God.
:29 but I know him
Jesus is saying to the Jews that they don't know God.
But He does.
:30 Then they sought to take him
They didn't like Jesus telling them that they don't know God.
:30 no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come
Do you see the connection here?
What was the reason why they couldn't arrest Jesus?
Was it because Jesus had big, burly bodyguards?
It was because "His hour was not yet come".
The idea is that the time wasn't right.
It wasn't yet in God's plan for Jesus to be arrested.
There would be a time when it would be right for Jesus to be arrested.
That will happen about six months from this time period.
But it's not in the plan for right now.
There's safety in God's will
1. God has a plan for our lives
»Isaiah 46:9-10 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:
»Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
2. His plan is good, and it's based on love.
»Jeremiah 29:11 'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.
So, is He your God or not?
This is why the Scripture says:
»Isaiah 12:2 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.
Even the things that appear intended to harm you, God can turn around for the good.
»Genesis 50:20 (NIV) You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
»Romans 8:28-29 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
We need to find rest in it.
The problem is finding the rest when we don't really know specifically what His will is going to be.
Remember just how great God is.
Remember how much He loves you.
There was a story about a man who had to cross a wide river on the ice. He was afraid it might be too thin, so he began to crawl on his hand and knees in great terror. He thought he might fall through at any moment. Just as he neared the opposite shore, all exhausted, another man glided past him nonchalantly sitting on a sled loaded with pig iron. How like some Christians! Headed for Heaven, they tremble at every step lest the divine promises break under their feet. They need only to look at the context of Isaiah 12:2 to realize that God is their salvation and the Lord is their strength and song.
By resting completely upon Him and taking His promises at face value, we can drive out the paralyzing fear that hinders our effectiveness in serving Christ. The biblical antidote always works: "I will trust, and not be afraid."
:31 will he do more miracles than these?
miracles - semeion - a sign, mark, token
These weren't just things you'd see on "That's Incredible".
These were things that had meaning behind them.
They told people a greater message of just who Jesus was.
We've seen this word a few times already in the gospel of John.
This is one of John's themes throughout the book:
»John 20:30-31 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
John has recorded seven of these "signs" for the specific purpose that people would wake up and see just who Jesus is, and that they would believe in Him.
:31 many of the people believed on him
There were two basic responses to Jesus at this time,
Some were trying to get rid of Him by arresting Him.
But some came to believe in Him.
Are you believing in Him?
How do you take these words of Jesus that we've looked at over the past few weeks?
»John 6:28-29 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? 29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
»John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
»John 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
»John 7:17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.
Are you believing in Jesus?
It's either for Him or against Him.
There really isn't much middle ground here.
Do you know that you have eternal life?
Would you like to have the hope of heaven?
Are you willing to trust in Jesus to save you?
You can't say that you "don't trust nothin'"!
You're trusting in your chair to hold you up.
Will you trust in Jesus to pay for your sins and give you eternal life?