Summary: We are either for or against Jesus.
SUCH A FUSS
Th: Jesus as a cause of division
Pr: WE ARE EITHER FOR OR AGAINST JESUS.
?: How? How is it observed?
TS: We will find in our study of John 7:40-52 three stages that demonstrate how we can either be for or against Jesus.
The ____ stage is…
RMBC 25 August 02 AM
ILL Notebook: Judge (I’m the groom)
A small-town police officer was sitting in his car on a Saturday morning when a motorist sped past him down Main Street. He quickly pulls the car over.
“Officer,” the man began, “I can explain…”
“Quiet!” snapped the officer. “We don’t ‘tolerate’ reckless driving in this town! I’m going to let you cool your heels in jail until the chief gets back.”
“But, officer, you don’t under…”
“And I said to keep quiet!” he barked, reaching for his nightstick to convince the man he meant what he said. A few hours later the officer looked in on his prisoner and said, “Lucky for you that the chief’s at his daughter’s wedding. He’ll be in a good mood when he gets back.”
“Don’t count on it,” replied the fellow in the cell. “I’m the groom.”
1. Have you ever been quick to judge?
We probably all have been guilty of this from time to time.
We make a judgement before we have all the facts.
Well, this is an issue in the text we are studying this morning.
Today, we return to the gospel of John for the final time this year.
Since April, we have been studying chapters 5-7, and now we come to the end of chapter 7.
We will pick up John again sometime next year.
As a reminder, let us remember the context in which we find this passage.
The setting is the Feast of Tabernacles.
This feast was a grand camping festival surrounding Jerusalem.
All the people made shelters out of interwoven branches and leaves and slept in those same shelters for 7 nights.
They did this to remind themselves how their ancestors slept under the stars for 40 years in the desert.
One of the daily highlights was that each morning at the time of sacrifice, the priests would draw water in a golden vessel from the Pool of Siloam and carry it to the temple to be poured out.
This was done to mark God’s gift water when they were dying of thirst.
So, it was a very festive time each day, as people would wave palm branches, rejoicing and praising God.
It was to this backdrop, we find John recording this event:
John 7:37-38 (ESV)
On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.  Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”
2. Jesus challenged His listeners to judge with right judgment.
These were statements calling for a decision.
These were claims that are meant to prevent you from sitting on the fence.
You are either going to follow Him, or not.
The challenge for His listeners was to get beyond the mere appearances.
There was a challenge to look deeper, to consider the heart of the issue.
So, as we come to this passage, we find this…
3. Jesus’ claim results in argument and debate.
What is interesting to note is that the question of “Who is Jesus?” that began then, continues today.
It continues to be a valid question.
It is a valid question because you are here today.
This church meets together because of Jesus.
The cross behind me is not some mere decoration.
It is a reminder that it is through a cruel instrument of death our salvation came.
We have a tendency to “candy-coat” Jesus.
We like to make Him something sweet and easy to swallow.
But, when we come to the New Testament, more often than not, it is not that way.
For Jesus obviously did not read, “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”
He was not schooled in the fine arts of political correctness.
He did not have any of His disciples editing speeches to remove what might be offensive.
He just spoke the truth, like (Matthew 10:34-36 [ESV])…
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.”
He often just said what was hard to accept.
So we have decisions to make…