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The Pursuit of God's Will

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Picking up now in chapter 7 of John...
We see Jesus making His way to Judea - where the Jews were celebrating the Feast of Booths (Tabernacles)...
A quick background on this Feast:

One of the three great festivals of Israel, celebrating the completion of the agricultural year. The Jews built booths (temporary shelters) to commemorate their deliverance from Egypt by the hand of God

And so - some main points of this Feast include that:
It lasted for 8 days, with the last day being called “that great day of the feast”
And every male was required to appear
The feast itself was a JOYFUL celebration - so it really was a big party (tailgate)
And so - we’ll get more into this Festival the next 2 weeks, but this is what was going on during the time of our text today...
We’re going to be covering a lot of verses today, BECAUSE - doing so will keep our points today in context...
If we remember the MAIN THEME of this entire gospel - it’s this - WHO IS JESUS CHRIST!?
*We send unbelievers to this gospel to find out WHO JESUS IS...
With that said - today in our text we’re going to see THIS TENSION - between Jesus Himself…and those who DIDN’T KNOW who He was...
And there’s going to be some main points that jump out to us along the way that we’ll walk thru together...
So let’s read through the entire passage and circle back around...
John 7:1–24 ESV
1 After this Jesus went about in Galilee. He would not go about in Judea, because the Jews were seeking to kill him. 2 Now the Jews’ Feast of Booths was at hand. 3 So his brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, that your disciples also may see the works you are doing. 4 For no one works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.” 5 For not even his brothers believed in him. 6 Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always here. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify about it that its works are evil. 8 You go up to the feast. I am not going up to this feast, for my time has not yet fully come.” 9 After saying this, he remained in Galilee. 10 But after his brothers had gone up to the feast, then he also went up, not publicly but in private. 11 The Jews were looking for him at the feast, and saying, “Where is he?” 12 And there was much muttering about him among the people. While some said, “He is a good man,” others said, “No, he is leading the people astray.” 13 Yet for fear of the Jews no one spoke openly of him. 14 About the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and began teaching. 15 The Jews therefore marveled, saying, “How is it that this man has learning, when he has never studied?” 16 So Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. 17 If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority. 18 The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood. 19 Has not Moses given you the law? Yet none of you keeps the law. Why do you seek to kill me?” 20 The crowd answered, “You have a demon! Who is seeking to kill you?” 21 Jesus answered them, “I did one work, and you all marvel at it. 22 Moses gave you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath. 23 If on the Sabbath a man receives circumcision, so that the law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with me because on the Sabbath I made a man’s whole body well? 24 Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”
So every week, as I prepare for a particular sermon, I’m always trying to figure out - What the passage is trying to teach us...
The main point (subject) of the passage...
SO THAT we get out of the text what the AUTHOR wants us to get out of the text
And so having just read thru this passage...
we see a MAIN theme that HOVERS over all of it…and it’s found in what Jesus says about midway through…the text
John 7:17 ESV
17 If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority.
Remember! - EVERYONE in this story so far…OUTSIDE of Jesus Christ - is confused about who Jesus really is!
And look at what Jesus does here!!
He connects God’s Will - with God’s Glory
And we’ll go to v18 to see this...
John 7:17–18 ESV
17 If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority. 18 The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood.
Jesus says - SPEAKING on your own authority EQUATES to - SEEKING YOUR OWN GLORY
BUT - that...
SEEKING THE GLORY of GOD EQUATES TO - Speaking the Truth of God (v17)
And this is HUGE for us - - We’re going to see ...
SLIDE: The Glorification of God: In Seeking the Truth of God

The Glorification of God

God’s WILL is that GOD be glorified!
And God is GLORIFIED in our PURSUIT of His truth!
THEREFORE - It’s God’s WILL - that you pursue His truth!
AND ALL throughout our text today - we FIND men who do not know God’s truth!
And it starts with those CLOSEST to Jesus!!
John 7:1–5 ESV
1 After this Jesus went about in Galilee. He would not go about in Judea, because the Jews were seeking to kill him. 2 Now the Jews’ Feast of Booths was at hand. 3 So his brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, that your disciples also may see the works you are doing. 4 For no one works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.” 5 For not even his brothers believed in him.
Not EVEN His brothers - believed in Him...
What does this tell us...
SLIDE: Authentic Faith in Jesus: Is Irrespective of Proximity to Jesus

Authentic Faith in Jesus

Even His brothers DID NOT believe...
They lived with Him...
Grew Up with Him...
Shared a house with Him...
Shared a bathroom with Him...
They played with Him...
They spoke with Him...
They touched Him....
They ate with Him...
Did they have REAL relationships with Him? YES!
But… When it came to Belief - Faith....did it equate?
NO
All of these things… (list above)
Even ALL of these things combined - DID NOT EQUATE to - Faith in Jesus!
**Apply it to today - (your parents have faith - doesn’t mean you do) (you come to church, you hang out with Christians, you work with Christians, you eat with Christians)
Jesus’ own brothers didn’t believe in Him! - and yet THEY were around Him all the time!
This is just a WARNING for us...
And so they tell Jesus to go to the Feast…so that His disciples can also see the works He was doing...
John 7:4 ESV
4 For no one works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.”
See - They didn’t believe in Him...
“PROVE iT” - they said
And so Jesus responds - and He ELEVATES the reality that they (the brothers) DO NOT SEEK the TRUTH of God… by saying this...
John 7:6 ESV
6 Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always here.
Jesus is saying - You don’t know TRUTH...
MY TIME HAS NOT YET COME.... I have a plan here...
You don’t know what that plan is - because you don’t KNOW ME!
My time to DIE is not yet HERE - but YOUR TIME brothers - is always here!
In your unbelief - you are WALKING DEAD men...
Your time is always here...
I AM life - and therefore my time to DIE is not yet here...
In your unbelief - you are DEAD…your time of death is always here...
And THAT’S WHY...
John 7:7 ESV
7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify about it that its works are evil.
And so here we go - Jesus highlights for us an ASPECT of Glorifying God...
Remember we just walked thru this -
God’s WILL is that God be glorified...
And God is glorified - in the PURSUIT and PROCLAMATION of His Truth!!
Jesus GLORIFIED the Father - in - testifying that the World’s works are - EVIL!
Question:
SLIDE:
Have you ever glorified God in this way?
(soft)
I think often times we - NEGLECT half of the gospel
Often times - we elevate the GOOD NEWS…but forget the BAD...
*If I told you that my cousin is raising 6 kids in a Christian home…you’d say - Oh ok…good
But if I then told you - that that cousin of mine - his parents died in a fire when he was about 12 years old…and that when he was 12, he was NOT a Christian...
you might say - OH WOW! (think of the path he could have taken!)
Do you see how that BAD part of the story puts a different perspective on the message?
Here’s what our message often is to the world-
God LOVES you!
God has a plan for your life!
God will give you a PURPOSE!
Turn to Jesus and you can have ETERNAL LIFE!
These are ALL TRUE....but what’s missing!
The BAD NEWS!
The NEED to repent!
The reality of SIN!
And Jesus says here - that the FATHER is GLORIFIED in the PROCLAMATION of the reality of SIN IN THE WORLD...
in the proclamation that the world’s works are EVIL!
In v7 Jesus tells us what He testifies...
John 7:7 ESV
7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify about it that its works are evil.
And then in v16 Jesus says...
John 7:16 ESV
16 So Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me.
This must be a part of our PROCLAMATION if we are to Glorify God...
We must tell the world that it’s works are EVIL...
That OF COURSE - rape, murder, adultery…is evil...
BUT ALSO that - self-righteousness is EVIL!
That ANYTHING done apart from FAITH in Jesus is - EVIL!
And so THINK of all the opportunities we have in a given day - to address this with friends…family
We DO things all day long...
We’re around people EVERY DAY that DO THINGS…that do GOOD things...
We could say to them - “Hey, did you know in God’s eyes, even when people do things like this (__), He sees it as evil?” WHAT? No way - why?
Well let me tell you - Because anything done apart from Faith in Jesus - is evil! It’s SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS!
Anyone who doesn’t HAVE JESUS - will in the end - point to all of their works and say to God - Yeah, but I did this and that!
It’s INEVITABLE that every UNbeliever - who stands before the Lord when they die…WILL point to their WORKS and try to OFFER them to God as their salvation!
God HATES self-righteousness - it’s evil!
This message of Jesus - must become our message!
Most professing Christians DO NOT have a Christian message for the world...
Most do not mingle their Christianity with their “Outside of Church life”
But that’s not all we see here...
Jesus’ brothers tell Him to go to the feast...
But Jesus WAITS...
The feast lasted for 8 days…so Jesus waited till about day 3 or 4, before He went up there in secret...
John 7:10–14 ESV
10 But after his brothers had gone up to the feast, then he also went up, not publicly but in private. 11 The Jews were looking for him at the feast, and saying, “Where is he?” 12 And there was much muttering about him among the people. While some said, “He is a good man,” others said, “No, he is leading the people astray.” 13 Yet for fear of the Jews no one spoke openly of him. 14 About the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and began teaching.
So around day 3 or 4 of the feast - Jesus goes to the temple to begin teaching!
John 7:15–18 ESV
15 The Jews therefore marveled, saying, “How is it that this man has learning, when he has never studied?” 16 So Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. 17 If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority. 18 The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood.
We see here - many people who DID NOT know who Jesus was...
And they questioned His teaching...
His authority!
And Jesus responds by saying - I seek to DO THE WILL OF THE FATHER!!
The message I proclaim - is HIS MESSAGE!
John 7:16 ESV
16 So Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me.
WOW - what a call to us today!!
Know this - Each of us - will spend EVERY second of every day - PROCLAIMING SOMETHING!
The language we use - PROCLAIMS something to the world - (teaches the world)
How we handle life - PROCLAIMS something to the world
What we watch on tv - proclaims something to the world
We’re ALWAYS proclaiming something!
And Jesus says - “I woke up every day, with the message of the Father as priority!”
“My life - my actions, my words - proclaimed the message of the Father”
Question:
SLIDE:
What message am I proclaiming in my life?
Some people proclaim that:
church is not important (mostly through actions)
God is not important
doing good deeds will earn you heaven
Christianity is IRRELEVANT
Their IDEAS about God are more real than what God says about Himself
the Bible is not RELEVANT today
Jesus is the only way to heaven
Money is the best God
Their opinion is more important than God’s opinion
What is the message that you are proclaiming…?
[IF] we’re pursuing the Glorification of God - then we will PURSUE His opinion...
Where do we find His opinion?
Here (Bible)
And IF we keep reading in our passage…we find this....we’ll close with this...
John 7:19–23 ESV
19 Has not Moses given you the law? Yet none of you keeps the law. Why do you seek to kill me?” 20 The crowd answered, “You have a demon! Who is seeking to kill you?” 21 Jesus answered them, “I did one work, and you all marvel at it. 22 Moses gave you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath. 23 If on the Sabbath a man receives circumcision, so that the law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with me because on the Sabbath I made a man’s whole body well?
Jesus here is trying to PEAL back the layers of their thinking…!
Jesus is in the temple teaching...
And so He’s speaking to the Jews...
And says - “I know you’re seeking to KILL ME because of how I handled the Sabbath”...
Remember:
John 5:16 ESV
16 And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath.
Jesus HEALED a man on the Sabbath…and BECAUSE He did - the Jews wanted to kill him...
So Jesus confronts them on THEIR DESIRE to KILL HIM due to His apparent abuse of the LAW...
And He says - Ok, you’re trying to PROTECT the LAW...
YET - you don’t KEEP the Law!
Part of the Covenant that God made with Abraham involved - that on the 8th day, a male child would be Circumcised...
EVEN if the 8th day fell on - the Sabbath
John 7:22–23 ESV
22 Moses gave you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath. 23 If on the Sabbath a man receives circumcision, so that the law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with me because on the Sabbath I made a man’s whole body well?
Jesus here - attacks their thinking and is really saying - LISTEN…you’re anger at me has EVERYTHING to do with me PROCLAIMING that your works are EVIL...
That you NEED TO REPENT…!
You LUST...
You HATE!....
You DON’T KEEP the LAW!
Why are you trying to Kill Me?
Jesus is ELEVATING the fact that the people HAVE NO framework to JUDGE this situation…and that they’re JUDGING it INCORRECTLY...
Because they can’t DISCERN Spiritual things!
1 Corinthians 2:14 ESV
14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
These people here didn’t have God as their LORD - but instead bowed down to the Traditions of Men
SLIDE: Authentic Faith in Jesus: Bows to Jesus, Not the Traditions of Men

Authentic Faith in Jesus

The Jews sought to KILL Jesus - because they believed that Mankind was made FOR THE SABBATH...
Meaning - they believed the RULES to be Black & White, to be followed, according to the LETTER of the LAW...
Jesus said this about the sabbath...
Mark 2:27 ESV
27 And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.
Jesus was saying - the Sabbath was meant to HELP people, not HINDER them.
That it was never meant to be - A ROAD BLOCK to healing
…a ROAD BLOCK to helping
Jesus HEALED a man on the Sabbath -
The Jews said - NOPE, you shouldn’t HEAL on the Sabbath, because the RULE states...
Jesus says - That mindset is one that is WORSHIPPING the Sabbath (Law), not the Law Giver!
This person BOWS down to the Law, not Jesus!
And so Jesus exposes them here - as people who’s LIVES are proclaiming:
PRIDE
SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS
RELIGION
This is what these people’s lives are proclaiming!
They’re proclaiming the PHYSICAL…and can’t get deep enough to the Spiritual!
And SO THINK thru what ends up happening here...
The Proclamation of Christ, that the worlds works are evil, comes to fruition as Christ is nailed to the cross!
And this could ONLY be true...
The proclamation that the worlds works are EVIL, can ONLY be TRUE and VERIFIED, if TRUTH itself, HOLINESS itself…was nailed to a cross to die, by the world.
The VALIDATION of the proclamation - is in the Execution of the Son of God.
And so AS the WORLD was NAILING Jesus to the cross....
Jesus Christ - God Himself, the man who raised the dead, healed the lame, gave sight to the blind...
As the World was nailing Jesus to the cross, it was yelling out - We’re NOT EVIL!!
As the world was nailing PURE GOODNESS to the cross...
PURE HOLINESS to the cross...
PURE LOVE…to the cross...
It was yelling out - We’re NOT evil!
THIS MUST BE OUR MESSAGE!
SUMMARY:
Authentic Faith:
Is Irrespective of Proximity to Jesus
Bows to Jesus, Not the Traditions of Men
Let’s Pray
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