Summary: The Leaders of the Jews stumble when they viewed Jesus. The allowed their Pride, Physicality and Prejudices to stand in the way. We must guard not to do the same thing.
Obstacles to Christ
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John 7:31-36 31 And many of the people believed in Him, and said, “When the Christ comes, will He do more signs than these which this Man has done?” 32 The Pharisees heard the crowd murmuring these things concerning Him, and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take Him. 33 Then Jesus said to them, “I shall be with you a little while longer, and then I go to Him who sent Me. 34 “You will seek Me and not find Me, and where I am you cannot come.”
35 Then the Jews said among themselves, “Where does He intend to go that we shall not find Him? Does He intend to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks and teach the Greeks? 36 “What is this thing that He said, ‘You will seek Me and not find Me, and where I am you cannot come’?”
• There were three obstacles in the way of the Jewish leaders when it came to Jesus as Messiah.
I. They could not see beyond their Pride. (self-interest)
• When the Pharisees heard that some people were being convinced, red flags went up.
A. Concerned over the Drop in followers.
• The People were departing the teachings of the Pharisees.
• The leaders sought to arrest Jesus.
• Jesus said, “My time with you is limited. Let’s not waist it.
• “After that, Finding me will have an obstacle.”
• Yet they did not understand. They were thinking earthly. Jesus was speaking heavenly.
• The problem here existed when people began to reject the teachings of the Pharisees.
• When the numbers began to start going down, they thought something drastic must take place.
• Falling numbers threatened their validity, brought into question the accuracy of their teachings.
• They felt challenged and they didn’t like it.
• They were blinded by pride.
B. Concern over the Doubt of Faith.
• When someone challenges you or your beliefs, do the gloves come off?
• Do you set aside your Christian robe and become filled with anger and rage?
• These leaders set out to arrest Jesus. How dare Him challenge their belief system?
• News Flash: Jesus said we would have challengers.
• He tells us that false teachers would come.
• II Peter 2:1 - But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.
• Matthew 7:15 - “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.
• He told us that there would be a falling away.
• 2 Thessalonians’ 2:13 - Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first.
• That’s what these people thought was happening.
• However, you can find the true way by how we respond to adversity and challenge.
• In the true way, we move away from the philosophy that, if you challenge me, I will squash you.
• We learn to leave it in the hands of God, who will show mercy to whom He will and vengeance to whom He will. (Romans 9:15)
• One phrase from the past is certainly true. “Father knows best.”
• That is why He says, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, thus saith the Lord.” Romans 9:13.
• When we move beyond our pride and self-interest, we can show love even under attack.
II. They could not see beyond their Physicality.
• All the Jews longed for the Messiah, but when He was there, they missed Him.
• That’s because, they were confused.
A. First, Jesus’ profile didn’t match their physical expectations.
• They sought a physical kingdom, a physical ruler and Lord of the earth.
• That is why they began rejecting Him.
• Interesting, the more expert the person was in “kingdom affairs” the harder it was for that person to believe.
B. Second, They questioned whether Jesus was going to another place on earth.
• Jesus told them many times that He was returning to His Father.
• Their response was, “Wherever you go on this earth, we will find you.”
• But they could not see beyond the earthly. They couldn’t hear the spiritual message.
C. Third, They required all their laws to be broken down into physically accomplishable tasks.
• People always prefer a “do’s and don’t’s” theology.
• However, the “do and don’t” list of the first covenant failed to bring men into relationship with God.
• People prefer measures in their lives that can be seen to the passion, commitment and longing for the presence of Christ that Jesus called for.