Lesson 40

The Gospel of John

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

7:10 But when his brothers had gone up to the feast, then he also went up, not publicly, but as it were in secret. 7:11 The Jews therefore sought him at the feast, and said, "Where is he?" 7:12 There was much murmuring among the multitudes concerning him. Some said, "He is a good man." Others said, "Not so, but he leads the multitude astray." 7:13 Yet no one spoke openly of him for fear of the Jews. 7:14 But when it was now the midst of the feast, Jesus went up into the temple and taught. 7:15 The Jews therefore marveled, saying, "How does this man know letters, having never been educated?"

7:16 Jesus therefore answered them, "My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. 7:17 If anyone desires to do his will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is from God, or if I speak from myself. 7:18 He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory, but he who seeks the glory of him who sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him. 7:19 Didn't Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keeps the law? Why do you seek to kill me?"

7:20 The multitude answered, "You have a demon! Who seeks to kill you?"

7:21 Jesus answered them, "I did one work, and you all marvel because of it. 7:22 Moses has given you circumcision (not that it is of Moses, but of the fathers), and on the Sabbath you circumcise a boy. 7:23 If a boy receives circumcision on the Sabbath, that the law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with me, because I made a man every bit whole on the Sabbath? 7:24 Don't judge according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment."

 Today's Lesson

Jesus does end up going to Jerusalem for the feast, but he went without His disciples in tow. Perhaps the reasons for leaving them behind for a time are found in the disappointments of the last chapter. In any case, when He arrives there's murmuring among the crowds attending the feast. Public opinion seems to have been split as to whether His teachings were for the good or not. People were afraid to speak openly about Him because they knew of the antagonism of the religious establishment because of Jesus healing the man on the Sabbath from His previous visit.


People marveled that an unlearned carpenter could speak so effectively on religious matters as Jesus was doing. His answer to this was that Jesus was doing the will of the Father in heaven that had sent Him. If people truly desired to do God's will then they would know that what Jesus was teaching came from God. As He had said before, God Himself would teach them. Jesus does not speak His own words, but the words that the Father has given Him to say. And, because He has done the works of the Father, the world hates Him and people will seek to kill Him.


The multitude denies trying to kill Him, of course. But, Jesus knew what was in their hearts. These are the same types of men who will call for Him to be crucified at another feast on another day. So, Jesus seeks to turn the issue back to His disagreement with the religious authorities. Is it right to heal on the Sabbath?


Jesus calls their attention to the laws regarding circumcision. A male child born into Judaism was to be circumcised the eighth day. If the eighth day fell on a Sabbath, the child was circumcised anyway. The covenant ritual of circumcision was of greater weight than the Sabbath restrictions. If a child might be circumcised and brought into the covenant on a Sabbath without the Sabbath regulations being violated, how much more may God heal a whole man without the spirit of the Sabbath being violated.


"Don't judge according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment." Appearances can deceive us. We jump to conclusions based on the assumptions we make of situations. The wise man will look deeper than appearances and judge based on what God has revealed to him throughout his life. He will examine the background and cause and then consider the results. A wise man knows that God is active in the world and searches for the clues to God's activity all around Him. He knows that beneath the veil of everyday life is a hidden, deeper life of the Spirit. Such a man searches for righteousness and seeks to judge rightly.


God is a mystery, but He is not unknowable. God desires to reveal Himself if we are willing to see. We must be willing to see beyond appearances and assumptions. And, we must be willing to except the consequences of an encounter with our Creator. A vision of God transforms our existence in a way that most people find disturbing.

The question is, is there any that truly desire to seek after God?


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