Lesson 42

The Gospel of John

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

7:30 They sought therefore to take him. No one laid a hand on him, because his hour was not yet come. 7:31 But of the multitude, many believed in him. They said, "When the Christ comes, will he do more signs than those which this man has done?" 7:32 The Pharisees heard the multitude murmuring these things concerning him, and the chief priests and the Pharisees sent officers to take him.

7:33 Then Jesus said, "Yet a little while, am I with you, then I go to him who sent me. 7:34 You will seek me, and won't find me; and where I am, you can't come."

7:35 The Jews therefore said among themselves, "Where will this man go that we won't find him? Will he go to the Dispersion among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks? 7:36 What is this word that he said, 'You will seek me, and won't find me; and where I am, you can't come?'"

 Today's Lesson

 Jesus has been teaching that He came from the Father in Heaven. No one has seen the Father except the Son who He sent. Jesus' offer is that any that believe in the Son will be given eternal life. Those who believe are taken from the kingdom of darkness and led into the kingdom of light. As the Son that is sent from the Father, He will lead the way and bring us before the Father.


There are two responses to Jesus' teaching in this passage. Those who refused to believe His message sought to restrain Him. Some even responded violently to what He was teaching. Others examined His works and listened to what He was teaching and believed in His message. The tension between those who believe in His message and those who reject it will continue to escalate until the end.


Jesus is comfortable provoking this tension in people. He does not seek to bring peace between these two responses. Jesus is indeed the Prince of Peace and the Lamb of God that reconciles man to God. But, Jesus also said, "Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword." (Matt. 10:34) This is the sense that Jesus brings the sword. Jesus forces a decision on us. He forces us to join His side or to oppose Him. That is the result of His teaching in this passage. Some believed He was the Christ. Others sought to kill Him.


We, as His followers must become comfortable with this reaction that Jesus provokes in people. We become nervous when people do not understand when we talk about God. We want people to understand Jesus. But, Jesus provoked people. Many people were uncomfortable around Him. He upset their notions of religion and about God.


Now, I am not saying that what Jesus did and said gives Christians a license to be obnoxious. Jesus was never obnoxious, never cruel. To those who were simply ignorant, he could be the most patient man on earth. But, He was also willing to be the cause of great tension. He spoke the truth and allowed that truth to create stress. Without stress and discomfort people do not change. Jesus provoked people to change.


And He knew that some were not willing to take the journey. They were not willing to change. To these people He said, "Yet a little while, am I with you, then I go to him who sent me. You will seek me, and won't find me; and where I am, you can't come." I am leaving. When I go, you're not going to be able to follow. You refuse to be led to something better because you don't want to leave this limited existence that you have.


Being willing to change is a prerequisite for following Christ. He insists that He be in charge. You must be willing to leave behind the baggage. We shed everything we bring to Him until we stand naked before God, with only our lives left. Even then, God would take our lives from us too. And, when we willing give it up, we are given a new life. We are given the inheritance of the sons of God.


Are you willing to go where Jesus would take you? Are you willing to give everything to get there?


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