Monday, January 29, 2018

John 6:59-7:53 #eebc2018

It's Monday morning, which is when we tend to think life is challenging. Yesterday was hopefully a great day gathered with the Body of Christ, and now is a day to put the rubber on the road, energized by the encouragement from the day.

As we start on that, what do we see in today's Scripture passage? The first portion is a challenging moment. Jesus has taught the truth, but the people are not willing to stick around and live it out.

The turn to John 7 gives us a peek into the extended dynamics of Jesus' family life. We see that His brothers did not believe Him at the time, though we know that at least two did later. (Read James and Jude...)

The CSB gives us an odd translation, especially if you're used to the more traditional 'Feast of Tabernacles' or 'Feast of Booths,' rendering the phrase as 'Festival of Shelters.' It harkens back to the time of the Exodus and the establishment of the nation of Israel (see Leviticus 23 for more information).

Going forward, the debate apparently continues in Jerusalem about whether or not Jesus is the Messiah. You should notice John 7:41-43 and see that the crowd is divided because they lack the fullness of the facts--some argue, rightly from Scripture, that the Messiah does not come from Galilee but from Bethlehem. They are just acting on incomplete information: Jesus is from Bethlehem. It's just not a well-known fact.

Then we see the chapter wrap up with Nicodemus moving toward public affirmation of Jesus. What do we do with all of this?

Read it and think through a couple of questions:

1. Is there anything that you could find in the Word of God that would drive you away? Not in man's interpretation, but in the Word of God?

2. A follow-up: have you added anything to God's Word that drives people away? We tend to do that--it builds up over time and then, suddenly, people don't want to hear from Christians because they associate all kinds of rules and lifestyles that *aren't* Christian.

3. How ready to extend grace are we? The church in its infancy was led partially by the brothers of Jesus--especially James--and yet here we seem them not believing. Are we willing to allow people to grow, mature, and then be involved?

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