THE “FOOLISH” CROWD VS. THE RELIGIOUS ELITE

John 7 16John – God Speaks!
 
Jesus came to earth to seek and to save lost people. But not all people knew they were terribly and unthinkably lost. It somehow surprises us that the most learned ones who studied The Law, knew it backwards and forwards, knew how to debate anyone who opposed what The Law said and ended up being the most lost. It would be safe to say, that these religious elite put all their energy into knowing The Law, adding detailed descriptions of how to behave in order for the people to adhere to it by their interpretations of The Law. Those who did not know were deemed foolish by those “in the know”.
 
Jesus turns the tables on the religious who have lost their relationship with God the Father, whom they say they worship. What they really worshiped was The Law alone. What they clung to was the self proclaimed power over the people they received from enforcing The Law.
 
“ANYONE who is thirsty, come to Me!”, shouts Jesus above the clamor of the religious debates. Jesus calls God’s people to come back to Him, believe in Him, follow Him and have a real, forever relationship with God again. Yes, Jesus was sent to fulfill the very Law that the learned religious elite had distorted for centuries. Jesus, God’s Son, came to save the lost. He is Messiah whom God’s people have been waiting, the Savior whom they have been expecting to come. He is here now.
 
Who’s foolish now?
john-7-living-water.jpg
john-7-jesus-controvesy.jpgJohn 7, New Living Translation
Jesus Promises Living Water
 
37 On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! 38 Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’” 39 (When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.)
 
Division and Unbelief
40 When the crowds heard him say this, some of them declared, “Surely this man is the Prophet we’ve been expecting.” 41 Others said, “He is the Messiah.” Still others said, “But he can’t be! Will the Messiah come from Galilee? 42 For the Scriptures clearly state that the Messiah will be born of the royal line of David, in Bethlehem, the village where King David was born.” 43 So the crowd was divided about him. 44 Some even wanted him arrested, but no one laid a hand on him.
 
45 When the Temple guards returned without having arrested Jesus, the leading priests and Pharisees demanded, “Why didn’t you bring him in?”
 
46 “We have never heard anyone speak like this!” the guards responded.
 
47 “Have you been led astray, too?” the Pharisees mocked. 48 “Is there a single one of us rulers or Pharisees who believes in him? 49 This foolish crowd follows him, but they are ignorant of the law. God’s curse is on them!”
 
50 Then Nicodemus, the leader who had met with Jesus earlier, spoke up. 51 “Is it legal to convict a man before he is given a hearing?” he asked.
 
52 They replied, “Are you from Galilee, too? Search the Scriptures and see for yourself—no prophet ever comes from Galilee!”
 
53 Then the meeting broke up, and everybody went home.
 
WHAT DO WE LEARN?
 
A relationship with God begins with accepting Jesus as the Son of God, our Savior, the One who came and died and rose again for our sins.
 
John 7 flowOur relationship becomes more intimate as we come to God through Jesus to commune (talk and listen) with Him. We tell him all that is in our hearts He himself created. We listen to all He has to say to us. We follow His best for our lives. He helps us wade through the troubles of this world with wisdom asked for and received. The more we talk, listen and obey the more intimate our relationship becomes. We find also that the closer we abide with him the closer and more intimate our relationships becomes with others.
 
Again we ask, “Who’s foolish”?
 
Who is the fool?
 
“A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.” Proverbs 18:2
 
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7
 
“And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.” Matthew 7:26
 
“But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong…”
1 Corinthians 1:27
 
John 7 crowd follows47 “Have you been led astray, too?” the Pharisees mocked. 48 “Is there a single one of us rulers or Pharisees who believes in him? 49 This foolish crowd follows him, but they are ignorant of the law. God’s curse is on them!”
 
Um, I don’t think so….part of the “foolish crowd” had it right, “Surely this man is the Prophet we’ve been expecting.” 41 Others said, “He is the Messiah.” But then the crowd was divided over what they did not know about His lineage. The true foolish couldn’t get past their small thinking.
 
HOLY PAUSE
 
What do you think?
 
John 7 lead meYou cannot help but feel sorry for the people described in this chapter, people who responded to Jesus in the wrong ways. His half-brothers responded with disbelief, various people responded with debate, and the result was division. Had they willingly received the truth, and had they acted with sincere obedience, they would have ended up at the feet of Jesus, confessing Him as Messiah and Son of God.
 
But people today commit the same blunder and permit their prejudices and superficial evaluations to blind them to the truth. Don’t let it happen to you!
 
Dear Heavenly Father, Lord and Savior,
Thank you for coming to set us free from the bondage of sin self imposed and imposed by the world. Thank you for teaching us what to believe and how to behave with Your Spirit of Truth in us. Thank you for boldness to stand firm in our faith. There is no one like You. There is no other way but You. Teach me. Transform me. Send me.
In Jesus Name, Amen

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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