Lesson 41


The Gospel of John

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

7:25 Some therefore of them of Jerusalem said, "Isn't this he whom they seek to kill? 7:26 Behold, he speaks openly, and they say nothing to him. Can it be that the rulers indeed know that this is truly the Christ? 7:27 However we know where this man comes from, but when the Christ comes, no one will know where he comes from."

7:28 Jesus therefore cried out in the temple, teaching and saying, "You both know me, and know where I am from. I have not come of myself, but he who sent me is true, whom you don't know. 7:29 I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me."


 Today's Lesson

The next several lessons will emphasize the question, where does Jesus come from? The time and setting is still the Feast of Booths (Tabernacles) in Jerusalem. Jesus has gone up to Jerusalem for this feast without His disciples. One of the answers as to why Jesus might have gone to this feast without His disciples might be found in the answer to the question that is asked in verses 25 and 26.

 

Jesus had begun to speak openly in the temple during the feast. It was common knowledge that the rulers did not wish Him to be there and that they had set it in their hearts to kill Him. But, why did they not arrest Him at this time?

 

The question might be answered in the political realities of the Roman occupation of Jerusalem. During the feast days, Jews would come from all over Palestine (and the world) to attend the feast in Jerusalem. Political tensions were high. The Romans usually brought in extra troops from the surrounding provinces to make sure that no disruptions got out of hand. Not only would the Romans crack down on social disturbances, but the Romans also scrutinized decisions made by the local political leaders during this time. So, as long as Jesus did not cause a social disruption He would be partially protected by the political tensions of the feast. What happens later that gives the Jewish leaders the pretext they need to have Him arrested is the social disturbance that occurs at His arrival into Jerusalem at the final Passover feast.

 

So, He spoke out at the temple at this feast by Himself. And, the people began to ask where does this man come from that he speaks so. Jesus' answer here and throughout the Gospel of John is that He does not speak of His own, but in the name of the One who sent Him, the Father in Heaven. The Gospel of John provides this challenge to those who would read it. Do you believe that Jesus of Nazareth was sent from God to speak to us? Is He, as this Gospel proclaims, the Word made flesh?

 

Our religious beliefs rest on this question. If Jesus is just a man who had spiritually evolved to be a good man, then what He claimed to be makes no sense. Jesus claimed to have special revelation from God. He claimed to be the Son of God. His followers continued to claim this for Him after His death. Our faith rests on this central tenet. If Jesus is the Son of God, then we must acknowledge His authority and revere His words. If He is not, then He can and should be dismissed.

 

We know where we are from. Most of us know our direct parents and those who do not know that they were born on this earth and are growing older every day toward death. Our lives are confined to this existence from origin to end. If you want to go to a new place, you have to have access to someone who has been there before. They draw a map or point the way.

 

Jesus says that He has been to this better place. He claims to come from there. The Father is calling us to a better existence. And, so that we can find the way, He sent His Son to show us the way. Are you prepared for the journey? Are you ready to hear the directions from the Son?

 

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