Tuesday

14 July 2020

John 7:25-36

Jesus then said, ‘I will be with you a little while longer, and then I am going to him who sent me. You will search for me, but you will not find me; and where I am, you cannot come.' (vs. 33-34)

Psalm: Psalm 74:18-23

Background

Evidently some of the people know of the intention to kill Jesus; we might assume these are locals whereas the crowd in verse 20 who were not aware of the death threat were pilgrims come from afar for the festival. Since Jesus has not been arrested despite his public teaching, they wonder if the authorities are re-evaluating their assessment and supposing he might be the Messiah after all. But it was common belief, based on apocryphal writings, that the Messiah would publicly appear having no known previous background; yet it is known that Jesus is from Galilee.

Ironically though, Jesus argues that they don’t recognise his true origin as being from God. The striking claim (in verse 28) is that by not accepting him they show that they do not in fact know God. This angered some to the extent that they sought to arrest him there and then. We are only told the theological reason why they did not succeed, namely that it was not yet the right time (“his hour had not yet come”), but evidently there were others who were sympathetic to Jesus as Messiah on account of his many signs.

A more official attempt to arrest Jesus is referred to in verse 32 although its outcome is not mentioned until verse 45. The alliance of chief priests and Pharisees, who differed on many things, is rare outside of John’s Gospel, found only in Matthew 21:45 and 27:62.

Jesus next stresses the brevity of his remaining time for ministry in the verses printed above this note. The theme will be developed in the farewell discourse to the disciples later in this Gospel, and they too will misunderstand what he means by 'going away' just as people do here.

 

To Ponder:

  • Many people took Jesus seriously because of his signs (verse 31), something previously noted in John 2:23-25 where Jesus did not trust people who believed in him only on such evidence. What kind of signs, if any, create genuine belief?
  • Why do people you know find it hard to believe Jesus was and is the one person who can enable them to truly know God?

Bible notes author

The Revd Dr Stephen Mosedale

Stephen Mosedale is a retired Methodist minister living near Exeter, enjoying walking, gardening, and membership of a vegetable-growing co-op. He fulfils responsibilities for ministerial candidates, local preachers and worship leaders, and as a school governor. He has a particular interest in the natural world and its significance to faith, especially in the context of climate crisis. A former New Testament tutor at Cliff College, he has a passion for helping others use the Bible as our main way of knowing what God has to say to us in the world of today.

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