First off, I would like to thank Mikael for his comment on last night’s post. It has been said that to like what you do and know that it matters must be a source of great enjoyment. I simply love getting to speak about these matters and have people come and indicate to me that they get it. This is a most important topic also.
For those just joining us, we are going through the Bible and we’re in the New Testament now and the gospel of John. We are looking for understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity and looking at the way Jesus saw himself and the way those around him saw him. Tonight, we’re going to be in John 7:25-29. Let’s go to the text.
25At that point some of the people of Jerusalem began to ask, “Isn’t this the man they are trying to kill? 26Here he is, speaking publicly, and they are not saying a word to him. Have the authorities really concluded that he is the Christ? 27But we know where this man is from; when the Christ comes, no one will know where he is from.” 28Then Jesus, still teaching in the temple courts, cried out, “Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from. I am not here on my own, but he who sent me is true. You do not know him, 29but I know him because I am from him and he sent me.”
Already, there had been a plan set forth to kill Jesus. The leaders in power saw him as a threat and he could have been seen that way for a number of reasons. First off, there was the fear that people would want to make him a king and go off then and try to conquer Rome. While the Jews did not care for Rome, they also knew that they could not defeat it. But couldn’t Jesus do that if he was the Messiah? Why yes he could. But we saw back in John 5 that since Jesus healed a paralytic and told him to take up his mat and walk on the Sabbath, that since he instructed a man to “break the Sabbath”, then he could not be the Messiah.
The leaders would also want to protect themselves from the wrath of YHWH. Since this guy was such a lawbreaker, he would bring defilement to their land. YHWH had punished them in the past for following false prophets. They would not be punished again!
And of course, the usual reason of politics. They had their own power base to protect.
Yet the Jews in the audience have a struggle. They knew where he came from. When the Messiah comes, no one will know where he comes from. There are a number of points that need to be considered with this.
First, they saw Jesus as coming from Galilee, when he was really born in Bethlehem. Of course, the scribes of Herod in Matthew 2 knew the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. It could be that the Jews weren’t familiar with this passage, which I’m skeptical of, or they interpreted it differently, which is more likely, or even more so, they had the idea of when the Messiah comes AS Messiah, it wold be a sudden appearance by him.
Next, Jesus cries out and the word is quite emphatic to describe the action. This is an important point. Where Jesus is from is not just Bethlehem or even Galilee. It is from the Father. His identity is tied up with the Father and Jesus makes the remarkable claim that the Jews don’t know the Father.
Christ also says he was sent by the Father pointing to his pre-existence. He both comes from the Father and is sent by the Father. He comes from the Father who is true. Therefore, Christ is true in what he says.
Tomorrow, we shall look at more of this discourse.