Summary: This is the 22nd Sermon in a series we've been doing on John's Gospel. In this particular sermon we look at how Jesus' own brothers originally did not believe in Him, and how the world hates Christ and those who follow Him.
Jesus gives Hope for Families (John pt. 22)
Text: John 7:1-13
About a week and a half ago, one of Leslie’s friends from college called her… that’s not unusual… Leslie and Gabby have a lot of friends, and they’re always talking to them. What was unusual was that she wanted to talk to Leslie AND me. You see; it’s obvious that God has been working on her heart, and in her life… and she was wanting to know how she can witness to her unbelieving father. Her dad is not a Christian, and she wanted to know how she could witness to him, and share the Gospel with him.
It’s a great burden to us as Christians knowing that there are people we know and love, and care about who are not themselves Christians. There are Christian husbands with unbelieving wives, and Christian wives with unbelieving husbands. There are Christian parents whose children are not saved, and Christian children whose parents are lost. We all know someone who is far from God and who… if they were to die right now, would spend eternity in hell. And that is a troubling thought for all of us who are Christians.
Well the text that we’ll be looking at in John this morning speaks to this. Jesus Himself, had siblings, who were not believers, and He had to deal with their sarcasm and unbelief, just like you or I might have to, with our unbelieving relatives. And so what our text this morning can do, is give us hope that our lost family members… our lost friends… our lost co-workers… our lost neighbors, can be saved, and that their lives can be changed by the power of Christ. There’s always hope as long as the people we love are still breathing.
So let’s open up our Bible’s to John chapter 7, and follow along as I read verses 1 – 13 (READ).
So verse one starts out with the words “After this…” In other words, “After the mass desertion of all the multitudes of false disciples.” Jesus went about in Galilee. So… take this in. Jesus is now limiting Himself to the region of Galilee, because the Jews… literally the Judeans… now want Him dead. So it’s not just the Pharisees and Sadducees that want Him out of the picture… the people of Judah want Him gone too. After He told them that He was the Bread of Life… and After He explained to them what the cost of follow Him was going to be, people left Him by the thousands. Now imagine if you can, how that must’ve felt. To have literally thousands walk away from you… to just reject you and what you’re teaching. It’s hard enough when just one or two folks say they don’t want to be in fellowship with you any longer… but Jesus experienced the rejection of thousands. And so all of that would’ve been weighing on Him.
Now for Jesus… He knew that He didn’t do anything wrong. He knew He had spoken the truth. Those multitudes that left Him, left HIM. It wasn’t someone else in the Church that ticked them off… it wasn’t because they didn’t like the style of music. It wasn’t because Jesus didn’t offer programs for the youth… They rejected Him. They flat out rejected the truth. So keep that in mind… that’s what I mean when I say it had to be weighing on Him.
So the leaders were after Him because He had healed the man at the Pool of Bethesda on the Sabbath, and the Judean people rejected Him because they weren’t willing to face the possibility that they might be called to give up EVERYTHING in order to follow Jesus.
The point of it is that Jesus had to stay up in Galilee… and we know from Matthew 15, and Mark 8 that Jesus had spent about six months in Galilee after the multitudes had left Him. But now it’s that time of year, when the people celebrated the Feast of Booths. Now… for those of you who aren’t Ancient Hebrew Scholars… The Feast of Booths was a seven-day festival designed so that could celebrate and remember God’s provision while they were in the wilderness… so they commemorated that, and it coincided with the vine harvest. It basically was a holiday (slash) festival where they were to remember how God had provided for them, with food, water, and shelter while the people of Israel were wandering in the wilderness during the Exodus. So it’s kind of a big deal if you wanted to be a faithful Jew.
Ok… Let’s compile all of this, just to get our bearings… Jesus is in Galilee because the Jewish leaders want to kill Him. Five or six months prior, over 5000 of His followers turned their backs on Him, and walked away, the Feast of Booths is about to kick off, and now His own brothers come up to Him and basically chide Him. It’s verses 3 & 4 (READ).