John 7:1-24, The Delima of Jesus
The Dilemma of Jesus What do we do with Jesus? Who was Jesus and why does it matter? Big idea - For me to hang on to Jesus in faith, I must be convinced of who He is.
Transition - Jumping right into our passage, the first thing we see today is...
1.Doubt of Jesus Identity...vs. 1-9 Intro
One of the first things we see is ...
Jesus own brothers do not believe that Jesus is the Son of God. They “Doubted Jesus Identity”.
Mark 6:3, Jesus had 4 brothers and 2 sisters. BUT, Let’s have a little compassion on Jesus’ brothers. Most of us grew up with a sibling.
There were times drama took place with your brother or sister. You just didn’t get along.
Imagine being Jesus’ brothers ...
You grow up with an older brother who - always had the correct answer, was always wiser than everyone else. Who could very literally “Do no wrong.” Jesus made the normal little brother look exceptionally bad. -What would it be like to hear your mom and dad say, “Why can’t you be more like your older brother Jesus?” -You talk about being jealous of your parents favorite child. -(sarcastic) Mary going on about how special Jesus is. -His bed is always made. His grades are always good. He is always polite. He always shares. He never got a spanking. -Jesus would just make you look bad. -In my sanctified imagination, Jesus’ little brothers (and sisters) probably grew up with some kind of resentment. -Then, After He grows up Jesus becomes some weirdo that never gets married, around age 30 people start to follow Him, and they want to make Him a king.
Jesus brothers weren’t having it. -Now He is asking them to believe He is God’s Son? Transition - In today’s passage - they don’t believe He is God’s Son. They don’t believe His identity. If you were to turn to Acts you would LATER see that 1 of the brother changes his mind - the one closest to Jesus in age - James.
We also believe that James not only believed that Jesus was the son of God, but that James went on to write the book of James. Just like you, Jesus brothers had to answer the question about Jesus - Was Jesus God’s Son or just a man?
How do we know Jesus was God’s Son? Besides having blind faith, is there evidence of Jesus being God? - Jesus Miracles gives evidence of His Divinity. -All over the Gospels we see these miracles .
When John the Baptist was in prison and struggled with doubt. This is what Jesus said to Him.
Luke 7:22 “...Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them.”
-Jesus is saying to John the Baptist, The miracles that I have done are clear evidence that I have power over Satan, Disease, the elements of the earth, and death. I am Messiah God. Do you know the greatest miracles that we see are still happening today?
It is when Jesus changes someone’s life. You can try to explain it in psychological terms. Psychology falls short. Why?
Because there is nothing that compares to how Jesus changes you.
When Jesus has you - He changes all of you.
-What you think is important.
-Your entertainment you consume.
-How you feel
-Your love for others No one transforms a life like Jesus. As a Christ Follower your life is the greatest witness of the miraculous power of Jesus.
REPEAT Transition - We not only believe in Jesus identity as God because of His miracles, but we believe He is God because He raised Himself from the dead.
Evidence of His resurrection. How do we know that Jesus was raised from the dead? -The scripture makes it clear to us. There have always been doubters and there will always be doubters.
Some people say that Jesus just past out on the cross or went into a comma,
-but when the soldier placed the spear in Jesus side (his diaphragm), both blood and water came out of his chest. -What do we call it when water gathers around the heart and lungs? Congestive heart failure. -He lost so much blood, was tortured so brutally his kidneys shut down, water gathered around his heart and Jesus basically drowned on the inside.
-A doubter in the resurrection may respond, Yes, Jesus did die. Someone stole the body to fake His resurrection.
-Problem, There were Romans guards guarding Jesus tomb to keep his body from being stollen. They were refreshed on 4 hour shifts. Some would argue, well, the guards fell asleep. If a Roman soldier was found asleep at the post he would be executed.
Plus there was a stone in front of the grave weighing anywhere from a few hundred pounds to over a thousand pounds. You don’t move a stone like that quietly.
My friend - Ever since the day Jesus raised himself from the dead people have been making excuses for why He was not God.
They have doubted His identity. Pause
Did you know that 10 of the 12 disciples were martyred for their faith? They died believing and testifying that Jesus was the Son God and who raised himself from the dead.
-The 2 that were not martyred were Judas the betrayer and the Apostle John, who died in exile. How many ordinary people (like the disciples) would die for something they knew was a lie? Not many.
The disciples believed Jesus had risen from the dead, because they saw him, touched him, and ate with him after the resurrection - several times. Someone may say, it was just the disciples that saw Jesus after the resurrection - they made up the story. No, I Corinthians 15:6 tells us that there were 500 people that saw Jesus after He rose from the dead. 500 eye witnesses giving testimony that they saw the living Lord Jesus is convincing.
I Corinthians tells us that it was after the resurrection that James (Jesus brother) came face to face with Jesus deity and followed Jesus. What are we to conclude about Jesus identity when we consider his miracles, his resurrection, and how He has radically changed Billions of people’s lives? There is no other explanation, but that Jesus is God. He is not only God, but He is Lord & Master of your life. But what was the response of most of the people (especially the religious leaders) to Jesus? Read verse 7
The unsaved hate Jesus. Why? because Jesus calls them out on their sin. Our current culture hates Jesus.
Because of Jesus love for the world, Jesus calls out the sin of the world.
Through His word Jesus calls pornography sin.
He calls sex before marriage sin.
He calls homosexuality sin.
What does our culture call those things? It calls them good. Our culture promotes, encourages, celebrates and calls good - what God calls evil. Our culture hates Jesus. Before you get too hyped up about how bad our culture is I want you to remember something. -If you and I did not have Jesus, and we grew up in this spiritually blind culture - we would celebrate evil as well. And be damned for it. Celebrate that Jesus has resurrected your dead heart to life.
Celebrate that Jesus is God and that He is your Lord. Pause Transition - Not only do we see that Jesus own family doubted His identity. In our next section we see that the religious leaders debate Jesus Character.
2.Debate of Jesus Character, 10-13 Read verses 10-13 Be reminded that in John 7 , Jesus is now in a different season of ministry. Last week we saw that when he taught “Eat my flesh and drink my blood” & that everyone, but the 12 left Him. They thought He lost his mind.
-The religious leaders, which John calls “The Jews” want to kill him. Among the every day person, Some think Jesus is good. Others think he is a false teacher.
The question for every culture is, “Is Jesus good?” In Mark 10, The rich young ruler calls Jesus good. Jesus says, No one is good except God alone. John 10:14-15 Jesus is the good shepherd. He lays down his life for his sheep. Let me ask you a personal question. Do you believe that Jesus is God? Yes. Do you believe Jesus laid down His life for His sheep? Yes Do you believe that everything Jesus does or allows comes out of His goodness? YES
When you get laid off is Jesus still good?
When you lose a close friend, is Jesus still good? When you child falls off her bike, hits her head, and is in a comma at the hospital is Jesus still good?
-Is Jesus plan for your life still good, even when you are suffering and life is difficult?
Our unbelieving culture believes that Jesus is not morally good because He allows suffering.
It is a very complex subject we don’t have time for today.
-C.S. Lewis said, God whispers to us in our pleasures, but pain is His megaphone.
-It is in our pain that God drives us to Him.
Illustration/example - I read an article this week that gave a scary statistic. There have been more mass shootings in the U.S. this year then there has been days in the year.
A mass shooting defined by 4 or more people being shot and killed besides the shooter.
Today is the 149th day of the year. There have been more than 149 mass shootings in the United States.
The resent 3 shootings (one church and 2 schools) have really broken my heart.
-Was the shooter mentally ill? Yes - I’m sure. It is my opinion that these shooters were oppressed, influenced, or possessed by a demon.
There is no other answer for the evil of a young man to shoot his grandmother in the face and then gun down 19 children. Satan was involved in this in some way.
-One of the things that pain tells us is that we are deeply spiritually broken.
-The fact that there have been more mass shootings this year as there have been days in the year ought to send us to our knees.
Pain is not morally wrong - pain can remind us that WE are morally guilty and need a Savior.
Jesus did not come to lead people astray. Jesus came to bring eternal salvation.
It is through a torturous death, the pain of a scourge on the back of Jesus. The pain of the nails in His hands and feet, that we have a beautiful salvation.
Do you know Him?
He is VERY GOOD.
Transition - Not only was Jesus’ character debated, but His doctrine was debated.
3.Debate of Jesus Doctrine, vs. 14-18 (VERY SHORT POINT)
Illustration - Do you remember writing your first research papers in high school? What a necessary evil. 2 things were difficult about them for me.
First, I wasn’t particularly great in English.
2nd the subjects you had to write on were so uninteresting.
Like, who cares about Robert Frost’s use of symbolism in poetry.
-No 16 year old boy wants to write on that.
Right when you thought your paper was done. Right when you thought the hard work was complete. You had the works cited or bibliography you had to do. You had to cite all your references with all kinds of correct punctuation and abbreviations.
Here is the importance of the works cited page.
It showed that your writing stood on the shoulders of experts.
-You incorporated expert opinion. You researched.
-All the ideas were not your own.
-When a Jewish Rabbi taught they were constantly citing other Rabbis. They had no authority on their own.
-When Jesus taught, He never cited other Rabbi’s. Jesus didn’t get his master’s and doctorate from the rabbinic schools.
-When Jesus spoke, He spoke on behalf of the Father. He spoke with the Father’s authority.
read verse 17
-The word’s of scripture are given to us, not from humankind, but are written on the authority of God.
-When you read your Bible in your daily quiet time, you are reading God’s Words to you.
Summary statement - Will you trust God’s Word as the final authority of your life?
So far we have seen:
Doubt of Jesus Identity
Debate of Jesus Character
Debate of Jesus Doctrine
Finally ... 4.Debate on Jesus Works, vs. 19-24
Jesus sees straight through those trying to kill him. This is a miracle. Heart and mind reading - and Jesus calls them out on it. -You cannot hide the intentions of your heart and mind from Jesus.
Read verse 19-20
No one mentioned killing Him.
He knew that in their hatred the religious leaders were murdering Him in their hearts.
Vs. 20, A demon? No. Jesus was not demonic - he was not not evil, but He was spiritual and supernatural yes.
They could not ignore that the miraculous came from this supernatural and spiritual man.
So, they discredited Him as demonic.
-What was their accusation? -Healing people on the Sabbath. Doing work on the Sabbath.
Illustration - Even today for Orthodox Jews the Sabbath is strictly observed. -If you go to Israel today, and stay in a hotel that Orthodox Jews are staying in … on Saturday (the Jewish Sabbath) one of the elevators in the hotel will be designated the Sabbath elevator. What makes this elevator different is that it is programmed to stop on every floor all the way up and down. Why would someone get on that? It would take you 15 minutes to get to your room.
Answer - You would get on that so you don’t have to break the Sabbath by doing the work of pushing the button.
When you believe that you earn or work your way to heaven, every little thing you do matters.
In rebuttal Jesus points out the Religious leaders work on the Sabbath.
-How on the 8th day all boy babies are circumcised (even on the Sabbath).
vs. 23, In the mosaic law circumcision was viewed as a way of perfecting the body. Making the body whole. Taking away that which is not needed.
-If the religious leaders can make a babies body whole on the Sabbath, why is it a big deal that Jesus heals a man who cannot walk on the Sabbath - and make Him whole? -Jesus does the work of not only making the body whole, but making the sinful soul whole.
-Through Faith in Jesus, He miraculously makes the soul whole. As a Christ Follower we don’t believe we work to earn our salvation. We fully trust that Jesus has done the work for us. The work that Jesus has done has been credited to our account.... Jesus has done the work for you.
Close So, Christ Follower - What will you do with Jesus?
His Identity? He is God’s Son
His Character? He 100% holy and good
His Teaching? Is the teaching of God with final authority.
His Works? Prove He is a God who can make you whole.
Christ Follower - If your grip on Jesus has loosened. Today, Will you ask God to help you tighten your love and faith for Him?
If you do not know Jesus as your Savior - Will you right now fully trust in Him today?
He will forgive your sins. He will make you whole.