Struggles and Trust
Lord God, I pray today for my pastor and other Christian leaders to always stay close to You.
Read John 7:1-24
 After this, Jesus went around in Galilee. He did not want to go about in Judea because the Jewish leaders there were looking for a way to kill him.  But when the Jewish Festival of Tabernacles was near,  Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Leave Galilee and go to Judea, so that your disciples there may see the works you do.  No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.”  For even his own brothers did not believe in him.  Therefore Jesus told them, “My time is not yet here; for you any time will do.  The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil.  You go to the festival. I am not going up to this festival, because my time has not yet fully come.”  After he had said this, he stayed in Galilee.  However, after his brothers had left for the festival, he went also, not publicly, but in secret.  Now at the festival the Jewish leaders were watching for Jesus and asking, “Where is he?”  Among the crowds there was widespread whispering about him. Some said, “He is a good man.” Others replied, “No, he deceives the people.”  But no one would say anything publicly about him for fear of the leaders.  Not until halfway through the festival did Jesus go up to the temple courts and begin to teach.  The Jews there were amazed and asked, “How did this man get such learning without having been taught?”  Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me.  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.  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.  Has not Moses given you the law? Yet not one of you keeps the law. Why are you trying to kill me?”  “You are demon-possessed,” the crowd answered. “Who is trying to kill you?”  Jesus said to them, “I did one miracle, and you are all amazed.  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.  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?  Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.” Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhy does the world hate Jesus?
In today’s passage, Jesus’ brothers urge him to leave Galilee and go to the big city, where there is a festival taking place, in order to capitalize on his fame and success (3). But their advice is not based on any faith in him and his mission (5). God’s will and timing are essential parts of Jesus’ plans (6). Throughout all of the Gospels, Jesus does not want to be recognized before the right time. Yet, the crowds, the religious leaders, his disciples and the political leaders all create a veil of confusion and misunderstanding. It is not so different today. God hides himself. And we so often fail to understand the simplest things. Here, Jesus tells his hearers that they need to convert hearing his words into the hard currency of faith—putting into practice what he has told them and committing themselves to an act of trust (17). His hearers, nevertheless, are full of criticism. Jesus mentions the Law and his own behavior on the Sabbath (see ch. 5), but their judgment is hopelessly superficial. They cannot even understand or obey what has been made clear to them before.
Many times, we can only partially understand God (1 Cor. 13:12). In what ways do you need God’s help to better understand?
Lord Jesus, even when I don’t completely understand You and Your ways, I still want to obey You completely.
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