ATP Blog #47 Gospel of John
Have you ever stated a well documented fact, or at least something quite obvious, and had someone respond with, ‘I don’t believe you!’? That is, I am sure, how Jesus Christ felt in today’s passage. He has given much evidence to date as to who He is, and what He has come to do, but traditional teachings for the Messiah did not jive with what Jesus was presenting.
Doubtful Teaching (v25) ‘Is this not He whom they seek to kill?’ The crowd is referring to the religious leaders of Jerusalem, who sought to kill Jesus because His teaching did not line up with their interpretations of the Old Testament prophesies. So, why kill Him? The biggest reason was to cover up the compromise they had made with the Romans to achieve peace and freedom in the city. Big crowds were following Jesus, and believing in what He was teaching. In addition, Jesus was constantly challenging the religious teachers in what they were teaching regarding the Old Testament law and prophesies.
Doubtful Confidence (v26) ‘Look! He speaks boldly, and they say nothing to Him.’ The Scriptures tell us that Jesus did not stand out for His looks, but His voice, and the authority with which He spoke attracted attention. Jesus Christ had no doubt about what He was saying, fully confident that He was speaking the Words of God because of His reliance on the Holy Spirit. This put the religious leaders back on their heels! They spoke confidently, but were losing that confidence because of what Jesus was teaching, and challenging them on. There was no response, because what Jesus was saying made more sense than what they had been taught! The problem was, who to believe, and why?
Doubtful Origins (v27) ‘We know where this Man is from; but when the Christ comes, no one knows where He is from.’ Part of their understanding of the Messiah, was that no one would know where He came from. Again, Jesus challenged this … on two fronts. First, they thought they knew where Jesus came from (Nazareth, home of a carpenter, son of Mary), but really they did not know, since He came from the Father in Heaven (v28). Secondly, they understood that the Messiah would be an unknown mystery, who appears to save the people from their enemies. Jesus challenged them that the Messiah would be sent by God, to Mary, born in Bethlehem (according to the prophesies), and grow up in Galilee, in humility. He would then save them, not from Rome, but from the greater enemy: sin.
Casting out Doubt (v31) ‘Many of the people believed in Him …’ The evidence that convinced those who believed were the signs that Jesus presented. ‘When the Christ comes, will He do more signs than these which this Man has done?’ Jesus Christ knows who He is, and gives us all the evidence we need. Can you sort through the cloud of traditions, and skewed perspectives you grew up on? What Jesus has taught is truth, whether you like it or not. Will you doubt like the religious leaders of His day, or will you cast out doubt, and believe?