It would be an understatement to say that Jesus was a brave man. After all, He took the punishment for the sin of the whole world! However, as I look at this chapter, there are places where I see that Jesus had to be brave and "suck it up" at so many points in His life. There is no wonder they call Him the "Man of Sorrows,” and even though He had to be in constant emotional pain, He was able to keep it together to accomplish the Father's Will. WOW!
One of the first things I notice in John Chapter 7 is even Jesus’ brothers really didn't believe that Jesus was who He claimed to be. During the Feast of Booths, they wanted Him to go to Galilee with a dog and pony show to prove to those people He could perform miracles. You can almost hear an audible sigh when He sent them on their way, but Jesus did have a plan. It just didn't include his family.
Once the brothers were gone, Jesus went up to Galilee to hear what was being said and to teach in the synagogue. His idea was not to put on a show but rather to educate His people.
Knowing that the Pharisees were out to kill Him, He had to be careful. Whatever He said had to be accurate and to the heart. Jesus is so good at that, isn't He?
When He got there, He saw that the Jews were looking for Him. He heard various comments in the crowd about who people thought He was and what He was doing. There were people who were for Him and against Him, but He was certainly part of the gossip rag that day.
When He went to the temple, the people were amazed at His teaching; for they knew, He had no formal training. They probed Him for information about how He knew what He knew. That sure was the wrong thing to ask...there He goes again, saying what He says only comes from the Father. Who did He think He was? God? Yes, that is exactly what He was saying. In addition, He was challenging the big-guys on how they practiced their religion. He was reprimanding them on their Sabbath rules. The nerve of Him! What Chutzpah! Amazingly, the Pharisees did not challenge Him! They were in a pickle! What could they do to stop this man?
The astounding thing was that public opinion started to change. Not because of what Jesus was saying, but rather, because of what the Pharisees were not saying. Next week, we'll see what that was.
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Rev Dr. Cheryl A Durham, Biblical Counselor, Discipleship Coach, Above and Beyond Discipleship Ministries, provides services for individuals and groups online and via teleconference. www.abovenbeyonddiscipleship.com