Summary: How often do we try to bargain with Jesus or become legalistic in our walk with Christ. We must learn that we cannot bargain with God and that love is the first and most important characteristic and function of the church.
Date Written: March 10, 2011
Date Preached: March 13, 2011
Where Preached: OPBC (AM)
Series Title: Falling in Love With Jesus
Sermon Title: Jesus – Human ‘Ifs’ & Reasoning
Sermon Text: John 7:1-53 [ESV] – emphasis on v.5-8
6Jesus said to them, "My time has not yet come, but your time is always here. 7The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify about it that its works are evil. 8You go up to the feast. I am not going up to this feast, for my time has not yet fully come."
Jesus had just finished teaching about how people must take Him into their lives to be saved. They did not understand what He meant by partake of my body and blood… He was referencing a future event that would affect the entire world, and they thought He meant that they would have to actually eat his body and drink his blood…
Jesus taught many spiritual truths thru the use of metaphor or WORD pictures. Jesus taught that his body (that would be broken) and his blood (that would be shed) were vital to their spiritual life… just as food is to our physical life, and we must intake this into our spiritual life to gain the eternal life it represents… we cannot survive spiritually without Christ!
This teaching angered many of the Jews, and they sought to kill Him for His teaching. Jesus leaves and goes to Galilee to minister, not because He was afraid, but because His is Histime had not come… his hour was not at hand.
While in Galilee, the festival of Booths was approaching. Now the Festival of Booths was a celebration of remembrance about the wanderings of the Children of Israel in the wilderness and God’s provision during that time… and their ultimate delivery into the Promised Land. For 7 days they would build tents or ‘booths’ in the streets and where ever they could find… and live in those booths as their ancestors had lived in the tents in the wilderness.
By Jesus’ day, an eighth day had been added as a celebration of Israel’s deliverance into the Promised Land, and this celebration had also been associated with the coming of the Messiah… it was believed that the Messiah would come during the Feast/Festival of Booths and would ‘deliver’ the nation of Israel again, as God had delivered them from the wilderness…
The ‘ifs’ of Human belief – v.3-5:
Here is where we pick up the story in v.3-5…
3So his brothers said to him, "Leave here and go to Judea, that your disciples also may see the works you are doing. 4For no one works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world." 5For not even his brothers believed in him.
Jesus’ brothers had been witness to what Jesus had been doing… they had watched the ministry of Jesus grown, and they had heard Jesus teach about the Kingdom of heaven. The Festival of Booths was at hand and this was THE time for the Messiah to be revealed, and they believed He would be accepted as the Messiah, even if they did not fully believe he was… but if Jesus was to do this, He could not stay where He was…
They did not believe Jesus could do any good in the country side… they wanted deliverance from the Romans and if Jesus was who He said He was… he needed to be in Jerusalem to make a difference… to lead the people to deliverance!
This verse also points us to the Catholic church’s teaching about Mary and her perpetual virginity after Christ was born. Their interpretation of this verse is that these ‘brothers’ were cousins… but the Greek word used here for brothers is NOT the generic word for male relatives, but it is a specific familial term describing the male members of the nuclear family.
There are others references to the term brothers that are more broad in explanation, but this verse is very directed in its purpose… it reveals that Jesus had actual blood brothers born of Mary.
With that being said, we can see that this reaction by Jesus’ brothers is a classic example of people trying to tell God what to do… Have you ever been part of that crowd… the crowd that thinks they are called to tell God what He’s doing wrong and tell Him how to… and the ironic thing about most people in this particular crowd… THEY do not fully believe in WHO He is…
His brothers wanted Messiah to come, and believed as did many Jews, that Messiah would come at the Festival of Booths… and deliver Israel. Jesus had given them REASON to believe that He was Messiah, but their focus was NOT on the things of God, but on the traditions of man.