1.28.18~John 7:25-36, “They Just Don’t Get It: Part One”
John 7:25-36, “They Just Don’t Get It: Part One”
If you will recall, last week we found Jesus in a confrontation with the Jews. He
warned them (v. 24) not to judge according to how things look or, the way things seem to be; but instead, we are to judge according to the way God says things are, according to the truth, aligning with the will and the way of God.
Read John 7:25-27... Remember, this takes place during the Feast of Booths, the population of Jerusalem has swelled with travelers from all over Israel and from outside of Israel, from Gentile regions.
The crowd (v. 20) that had alleged that Jesus was demon possessed for having said the Jews were trying to kill Him; now we read that some of the locals (vv. 25-26) are asking, “Isn’t this the man they were trying to kill? Here He is, speaking publicly, and they are not saying a word to Him. Have the authorities really concluded that He is the Christ?”
It seems the crowd is wondering, what do the religious leaders know. Maybe they aren’t sure whether Jesus is speaking the truth or speaking lies; perhaps they aren’t sure if He is or is not the Messiah.
Notice the “we” here (v. 27) this refers back to verse 25, “some of the people of Jerusalem,” seem to know that Jesus is from Nazareth in Galilee, where He had grown up; but apparently, they don’t know that He was born in Bethlehem, for then they say, “when the Christ comes, no one will know where He is from.”
So, some of the local Jews are saying they know where Jesus comes from, but it won’t be that way when the Messiah comes; He will just show up out of nowhere.
Micah 5:2 tells them, and us, that the Messiah will come out of Bethlehem. Why are they confused about this? Well, it could be because there was a widespread misguided belief among the people that the Messiah would just one day show up at the temple, and no one would know where He had come from.
Malachi 3:1, “‘Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to His temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,’ says the LORD Almighty.”
Tradition had it that the Messiah wouldn’t be known or recognized until He showed up at the temple, without warning, unexpectedly, for the purpose of redeeming Israel, i.e., bringing salvation to Israel.
Remember, this is October in Jerusalem, the Feast of Booths is being celebrated; Jesus will return to Jerusalem in about six months, when He will ride into town on a donkey’s colt, pour His heart out to the people for several days, after which, He will offer up Himself as God’s Sacrificial Lamb (see John 12:1, 12-15).
Back to John 7:28-29... Jesus raises His voice [lit. yells] to get the people’s attention, and then it seems He uses a little sarcasm, basically saying, “sure, you know Me and where I come from, sure you do."
Think about it, Jesus is fully God and fully man, He is from heaven, where He was with God the Father before entering the womb of Mary, to be born in Bethlehem.
Honestly, the Jews don’t have a clue as to who Jesus is or where He came from (John 8:19), “Then they asked Him, ‘Where is your father?' ‘You do not know Me or My Father," Jesus replied. "If you knew Me, you would know My Father also."
And yet, as Christians, we do know who He is and where He came from (see John 1:1-4, 14, 18, 29, 34); Jesus came to serve His Father by making the Father known to us, so that all who believe [love and obey] the Son, will be saved!
Read John 7:30-31... It would seem that some of the Jews didn’t care for His irony and so they attempt to grab Him, but to no avail; perhaps those who thought Jesus to be a good man (verse 12) were protecting Him from being apprehended by those who thought Him to be a deceiver (verse 13).
Notice (verse 31) that many of those in the crowd believed in Him, expressing their affirmation that Christ Himself wouldn’t do more miracles than Jesus has already done (water into wine, an invalid of 38 years now walking, thousands fed from one boy’s lunch, walking on water, calming the wind and the waves, teleporting the boat with the 12 disciples in it to Capernaum).
So, what would the devout Jews of that day have known about the coming of God’s Servant, God’s Son, the Messiah Savior (see Isaiah 29:18-19; 42:6-9; 61:1-2)?
Read John 7:32-36... The religious leaders hear some of the crowd making the case for Jesus being the Messiah, this makes them angry, so they send for some of the temple guards to come and arrest Jesus. And what does Jesus do? Run and hide? Not hardly...
Jesus continued to proclaim God’s truth, in fact, these dull minded Jews weren’t even aware that Jesus is telling them of His future arrest (at Passover), followed by His crucifixion, burial, resurrection and ascension back into heaven to be with the Father.
Clearly, Jesus is saying that they will not be able to find Him or go where He is going, i.e., all those who reject Him as God’s Son, the Savior, will never enter into heaven where He will be.
These Jews are so unwilling to believe in and come to God’s Son; instead, they mock Him saying (verse 35), “where does this man intend to go that we cannot find Him? Will He go to the Greeks [Gentiles]?”
The very thought of the Messiah going out among the Greeks was an abomination. The NIV renders verse 36 as, “where our people live scattered,” whereas the NASB translates it as “the Dispersion” [lit Diaspora] which refers to the Jews who are living outside of the Nation of Israel, living among Gentiles.
This mocking questions by the Jews in verse 35 is more like a statement revealing a self-fulfilling prophecy; the Nation of Israel will reject Jesus as the Messiah, and the Gospel will then be preached to the Gentiles [Greeks].
Romans 1:16-17, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written (Habakkuk 2:4): ‘The righteous will live by faith.’”
You know, it was always God’s plan for Salvation to be offered to everyone, not just the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (See Galatians 3:22-29).
Isaiah 49:6 says it was always God’s plan for salvation to come to the Gentiles through Israel’s Redeemer, God’s Son, the Messiah, and this salvation would go out to the ends of the earth.
Reread John 7:35-36... These Jews really don’t get it, for they are pious hypocrites, devout and orthodox they would never have contact with Gentiles, whom they consider to be unclean.
So, if Jesus went out among the Greeks, these self-righteous Jews would never go there, so, in their deluded minds, they couldn’t go look for Him there and so, He would not be found by them.
But that is not what Jesus is saying, instead, as Isaiah divinely proclaimed (Isaiah 55:6), “Seek the LORD while He may be found; call on Him while He is near.” And as Paul writes (2Corinthians 6:2b), “I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation.
Turn to John 13:33, 36; 14:3-6... Do you see? The reason the Jews wouldn’t be able to find Jesus or go to Him is because they didn’t believe in Him and they wouldn’t come to Him for forgiveness and eternal life; instead, the Jews as a nation rejected Him, as we will see next week in Part Two:“They Just Don’t Get It!”
John 1:11 tells us that Jesus came to His own, the Jews, the people of His family, culture and ancestry, but they rejected Him.
John 1:12-13 tells us, “to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God - children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God,” born from above, born of God’s Spirit into an eternal relationship with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
Pastor Mike <‘(((><