Read John 6:65 - 7:1-31
After several controversial statements from Jesus, many people turned away from following him. Once alone with the twelve, He asked them if they too wanted to turn away. Peter answered with a strong profession of belief that Jesus was/is the only way to eternal life. Every person will have the same opportunity as the Jews did that day. Where do you find yourself today?
In this portion of Scripture we read of the disbelief of Jesus' brothers and for the first time, Jesus spoke of his betrayal and his "time".
If you have been following this study, you remember the lesson regarding Jesus' brothers. If you are just joining us, you can read that lesson and discussion questions here.
We read a hint of sarcasm in his brothers voices when they challenge him to go to the Feast of Tabernacles, one of the Jewish celebrations. On a human level, I suspect jealously may have played a part in their refusal to believe, despite his miracles, and teaching up to this point. I wonder if there was a part of them that wanted to see what he would do if he was taken captive at the feast. It would seem people are not much different today. His brothers represent all of us who at one time or another have mocked Jesus or made challenges for Jesus to prove himself to us before we believe. I can remember when I was jealous of the joy the Christians around me had. Surely they must be faking it, no one can be that happy if things were really bad, I would think.
Jesus went on to tell his brothers that he will not be going with them because his time had not yet come - he says this twice. It would seem he was reminding them that everything he had done, and would do was a direct result of His Father's will and timing. It makes sense this statement would follow his recent teaching about belief in Him, and it also paves the way for complete understanding for his coming teaching on his death and resurrection. It would certainly add clarity to his discourse in chapter six about eating and drinking his blood.
Jesus followed sometime after his brothers, but kept himself hidden. During the feast many of the Jews looked for him and the division between those who had been listening to him was evident. Some said he was good, others called him a deceiver, still others were unsure, but certainly impressed at his apparent knowledge, (though never studied with the scholars) while he taught in the Temple.
He continued to confront the issues and complaints raised against him for healing on the Sabbath. Those among the crowd were forced to consider their consciences about their self-righteous religion, and were challenged to consider true faith and caring for people over their rules and regulations. As always, his words went straight to the heart - their intended target. Again, we today, are forced to consider the same issues. Does religion over-ride relationship? Are we hiding behind a set of rules and clinging to our goodness to earn us a spot in heaven? What will we do with the words of Jesus?
Though this portion of Scripture is not filled with "doctrine", it is packed with application and individual choice. We know at least two brothers eventually believed and answered the call of God. Have you - will you?
Please join us for the discussion questions to follow shortly. In the meantime, please share your thoughts or questions.
Blessings to you!
(C) Teresa Ortiz Book of John Study 2011 - All rights reserved
» left by Marijo Phelps from United States (1 year 264 days ago.)We appreciate your comments!
Are you working on another Bible study to publish? I want to get back to the ephesians one now that company is mostly gone! THANKS for your hard work and challenging ideas - appreciate you Sister!Respond to this comment
» left by Teresa(1,351) (1 year 264 days ago.)
Good question. I'm not sure what the Lord is going to do with regarding a more in -depth study of the John Study. For now, I just have the four. Did you know I have three others beside Ephesians? I have 1st John. Topical of on Salvation by Grace. and indepth study called "A Walk through the Psalms" The first seven Psalms.
Keep praying. Thanks for your continual support.
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