Lesson 11 Lecture – John 7:1-52
2 Now the Jews’ Feast of Booths was at hand. 3 So his brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, that your disciples also may see the works you are doing. 4 For no one works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.”
Did his brothers even believe him? Either they are very slow in believing, or they did not realize that he was the Son of God.
Jesus tells them that his time is not here, but his brother’s time is always. He also said, “The world hates me, but the world does not hate you.” He knew he could not openly go because it was not his Father’s wish.
1 Those who pursue God pursue His will and His timing.
Questions to ask myself: How often do I rely on God’s timing, or do I only rely on my timing? The fact is, patience has never been a virtue, with me. I wish it had. As I grow older, especially after the Revelations study and this one, I finally understand what it means “His timing”. I try and make it a mandatory questions each morning, in prayer, to ask God, “What, Lord, do you want me to do today?” It is through His guiding light that I will shine His light.
Many were coming from Galilee, trying to find out who Jesus really was. Jesus goes to the most public place (the Temple) and begins teaching.
John 7:15 The Jews therefore marveled, saying, “How is it that this man has learning, when he has never studied?”
Jesus tells them “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me… He tells them that anyone speaking on their own does it for glory. (That is true for me, too: If I am struggling with any of Christ’s authority, I am likely struggling and going down the wrong path!)
I love this: John 7:24 Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” He goes on to compare his healing on the Sabbath, yet they can circumcise whenever they wish. God’s law had been lost on the Pharisees living by the letter of the law; instead of the spirit of the law.
John 7:33 Jesus then said, “I will be with you a little longer, and then I am going to him who sent me. 34 You will seek me and you will not find me. Where I am you cannot come.” Here Jesus is plainly telling us that if we reject him now, we will not go to Heaven. There is still opportunity for you to believe!
Every day, once a day, they had a water pouring ceremony. The High Priest would go to the Pool of Siloam, which was fed by a spring, taking the water back to the Temple. This symbolism marked the time of when the Israelites crossed the Jordan River; where there was an abundance of water.
Interestingly enough, the Pool of Siloam had just been found a year or two prior to my trip to Israel in March 2006. Much of the excavation had not been completed. How neat it would be to go back once again and see the progress. If you look at the Kidron Valley picture, The Pool of Siloam was across the main road and down between buildings from the Teaching Steps of the Temple. (As of 1/17/2017 I don’t have it marked on the picture correctly! I need to move it back behind a building. I am trying to use landmarks and colors to determine where it was.)
2 Those who pursue God pursue fullness of life in His Spirit.
The Question: If I know this living water, who am I praying for that God will draw them into a personal relationship with Him? (Yes, I do, and I have several people in mind. I encourage them to come to church; asking God to intervene and give them direction.)
The Temple Guards had never heard a man speak like this before, but they still could not see he was the Messiah.
The irony – Pharisees were blinded and could not see the truth. It was their misguided allegiance to the law that would draw the worst curse of all “Separation from God for Eternity”. It is so much easier to label than to listen to someone.
Still, it’s not so ironic when I really think about it. We have our many misguided non-Christians and even Christians who don’t know God, nor do they have any desire to really get to know him. Some of it is because we don’t know how. I know, I’ve been there! Much of it is surface knowledge (which is something I know a little about.) I thank God daily for giving me the grandparents who planted the seeds of Jesus’ love, the Holy Spirit to reinforce Him, the friends who have tilled and watered the seed so it took root, and those who have led me to BSF for the harvest!
3 Those who pursue God pursue His Son
Lesson 12 Lecture – John 8:1-59
Focusing on the relationship between God and me is a must if I wish to have a deep spiritual understanding and commitment to Christ. Reflect and remember that He came to earth for me, and by pulling close to His light I can reflect it out to others. It’s often a challenge, one that I must consciously work on.
Everyone goes home after the Feast of Tabernacles. John 8:1-2 1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them.
It was then the Pharisees brought an adulterer to Jesus. They wanted to trap him to see what Jesus would say about the woman caught in adultery. (Anyone caught in adultery were stoned.)
John 8:7 And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9 But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him.
It is here I have to pause and think back on a story I once heard. I was attending a conference years ago and heard a lady talk about life, things that happen for a reason, and how we should always be careful and not judge or take things at face value. She then told us a story. Her child was sick and she had to run to the store to pick up some medicine as quickly as possible. A neighbor came to watch the child while she drove the 7 miles into town to the pharmacy. It was 9:30 at night and she parked the car in front of the store, quickly running in to get the medicine. When she came out about 8 minutes later, there was a policeman and another man standing by her car. She inquired what was going on and the policeman told her he was writing her a ticket because she was parked in two parking spaces, one which was marked handicapped. He informed her that this bystander had noticed she had parked illegally and he called the police. Needless to say, she didn’t get a ticket. Never judge unless you know the facts. I always think about this whenever I “want” to make a judgmental statement, because you never know when you will stick your foot in your mouth.
His compassion was for the woman, as a person, and what she was going through. The Pharisees had only seen the sin. Here again we see Grace and Truth. We don’t know what he was doing when he wrote in the sand, but he did expose the hearts of the accusers. How nice if we could all be more tolerant of others, give lovingly, with dignity, and with a purpose, just as Jesus did. I am quickly learning that the closer I am to Him, the harder it is to condemn others.
1 Jesus frees us from our guilt through His forgiveness.
John 8:10 Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”
Jesus is giving this person another chance; a chance to turn that new leaf over and sin no more. Grace after Grace He gives us. Remember how He wants us to come and stay, but not remain the same? It is only through His Word and truly walking in His path, that I can change! If I am unsure, all I have to do is ask Him.
Yes, how easy it is to show gratitude through a transformed life! Jesus redeems us so we can live a new and Holy life. Isn’t that what we all want?
Jesus once again uses his “I Am” statement in John 8:12 Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
It was always a precursor before the water pouring ceremony that they had a Temple lighting ceremony. In the court of women were tall candelabras. Young men would climb ladders to light the candelabras. The candelabras would light up the entire town. John 8:20 tells us that this is where Jesus was teaching. This ceremony all pointed back to God’s guidance and His presence. It was the candelabras that depicted God’s Pillar of Fire at Night.
The Pharisees are telling Jesus he cannot give witness about himself, he needs two witnesses, but he said in John 8:18, “I am the one who bears witness about myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness about me.”
Food for Thought: Light has to bear witness to itself. The only one who cannot see light are those who have no sight. Wow! Doesn’t that statement make you sit up and take notice?
John 8:21 So he said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek me, and you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.” Sadly enough, I hear these words today, knowing there are those who cannot go where Jesus is. Jesus’ purpose is to save all!
Without Jesus there is no spiritual light, but only blindness. Even as he spoke, many believed.
2 Jesus frees us from our spiritual blindness through saving faith in Him.
John 8:31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Spiritual truth takes time to penetrate our naturally, sinful, dark heart. I will never give up on those who are spiritually blind! Jesus is the only one who can break that bondage of sin that rests in all of us. Just trust in Him. As our leader said in BSF: “To know Jesus is to know victory over sin, not defeat.” I know there is no “defeat” in my vocabulary when it comes to Jesus!
John 8:58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” 59 So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.
Here is another piece of scripture I’d not thought deeply enough, but the questions are, “Why didn’t Jesus get hit by the stones? How could he “hide” from those throwing stones?” It is obvious that the supernatural powers of God prevented him from being hit, allowing him to “hide” and leave. How awesome is our God!
3 Jesus frees us from spiritual bondage through His life-giving power.
Jesus offers all who come to him, freedom from guilt, lasting faith, etc. Embrace the light of the world. Shine it to others and be a pure reflection of His light. Show it in the way we trust Him — in our actions, in our word, and in our love.