Monday 17 July 2017

Bible Book:

“Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgement” (v. 24)

John 7:14-24 Monday 17 July 2017

Psalm: Psalm37:1-11


Today's passage comes from a tenseperiod in Jesus' ministry. He has come to Jerusalem to participatein the Festival of Booths, or Tabernacles. This was a lively andexciting seven-day feast, when many Jews would make the pilgrimageto the holy city and participate in the extensive rituals andcelebrations there. This was a dangerous place for Jesus to be,though, because many of his enemies were already "looking for anopportunity to kill him" (John 7:1). Nevertheless, he resolutelycame to Jerusalem halfway through the festival and even went to themost public place in the city, the temple, to teach (verse 14).

The crowd's reaction Jesus is marked byamazement at his learning and erudition. They literally ask, "Howdoes this man know his letters?" (v. 15) ('grammata' in Greek).They wonder how he can speak so well, when he has not apparentlyundergone formal training or study. Matthew records similaramazement in his Gospel (Matthew 7:29). Jesus' teaching is seeminglynoteworthy for them because he does not claim authority to teach byciting learned precedents but simply speaks with seemingly divineauthority.

In his response to the crowd, Jesusrefers to a miracle he had previously performed in Jerusalem,healing a man at the Pool of Beth-zatha (John5:1-18). This healing had taken place on the Sabbath (John5:9), which had angered many of Jesus' opponents. Here, though,Jesus defends himself by pointing out thatthe traditional Jewishrite of circumcision always took place on the eighth day after ababy boy had been born, regardless of whether it was the Sabbathday or not (verses 22-23; see also Leviticus 12:3). He notes that the Law did notcome entirely from Moses (verse 22; see Genesis 17:9-14) but also from the patriarchs.He also makes clear that they are not really seeking to follow thewill of God as revealed in the law of Moses because some of themare seeking to kill him, an innocent man, despite the strictinjunction of the Ten Commandments (Exodus20:13).

To Ponder

  • What does this passage tell you about who Jesus is?
  • Why do you think some people struggled to accept Jesus as onewho had been sent by God?
  • How do you judge people, especially those in authority? To whatextent is their appearance and style as a speaker more importantthan what they say?
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