Friday, December 23, 2011

John 7 1 to 10

1 After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him.
2 Now the Jew's feast of tabernacles was at hand.
3 His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest.
4 For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world.
5 For neither did his brethren believe in him.
6 Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is alway ready.
7 The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.
8 Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast: for my time is not yet full come.
9 When he had said these words unto them, he abode still in Galilee.
10 But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret.

Key Observation:
Josh McDowell connects the Feast of Tabernacles to Rest and Reunion with Christ.

I wonder why Jesus seems to often hid from His own disciples that which He is going to do. I am guessing it works with the deep plans of God. In yesterday’s devotion, I noted that I probably would be very uncomfortable with knowing the hearts of men, and what their ultimate fate was. For whatever reason, Jesus kept some of his comings and goings quiet. In this chapter I get quite a bit more information about Jesus’ comings and goings.

First of all, I would note that there were three main feasts, which I think were Passover, Pentecost, and the Feast of Trumpets. Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread occur at nearly the same time, and I understand those two feasts have to do with Jesus sacrificing Himself on the cross. Remember the Scripture says: “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again.” One of the things I learn in this chapter is that the Jewish leaders were already seeking the life of Jesus. As I would expect they were unable to put their hands on Him for His hour had not yet come.

1) (verse 13) “But no one would say anything publically about him for fear of the Jews.
2) (verse 25) “Isn’t this the man they are trying to kill?”
3) (verse 30) “At this, they tried to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his
time had not yet come.”
4) (verse 31) “Some wanted to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him.”
5) (verse 45) “Finally the temple guards went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who
asked them, “Why didn’t you bring him in?””
6) (verse 46) “No one ever spoke the way this man does,” the guards declared.

In summation, I find six instances where men sought to seize Jesus, just in this chapter, and never did a man lay a hand on him. Jesus was close to offering Himself up as a sacrifice, but His time was not yet. With scarcely a thought, our God come in the flesh, could have at any moment, completely overcome His enemies, but if He did, you and I would not have the gift of eternal life offered to us. He submitted, and no man took His life. He freely gave it, that I might have life with Him.

Now a continued word about the feasts. If I know the reason for the Passover, and I understand the reason for Pentecost was to remember the coming of the Holy Spirit to abide in us forever, then what must I understand the Feast of Trumpets to mean? Josh McDowell, among many others, places this feast to commemorate the return of Jesus to the earth. (p. 150, Evidence that Demands a Verdict) I agree wholeheartedly and have wondered if the time of Christ’s return is not going to occur at this time, in a yet unknown year. Many scholars have agreed that this is a strong possibility, but of course, no one knows that time of His return.

This much I do know. The Passover Lamb was sacrificed at the very moment my Lord died on the cross. God, in anticipation of the event, set up a commemoration of the event nearly two thousand years earlier, and it came to pass exactly as God had planned. His second coming is also preplanned and will come to pass exactly on the day that God has intended all along. At the very least, this fact should make me know that my God is completely sovereign. Surely He shall laugh at the world leaders and mock all their fruitless plans (Psalm 2). Our God Reigns! And no one shall undo that which God has foreordained.

Rock of Ages

1. Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy wounded side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure,
Save from wrath and make me pure.

2. Not the labors of my hands
Can fulfill Thy law's demands;
These for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and Thou alone:
In my hand no price I bring,
Simply to Thy cross I cling.

3. While I draw this fleeting breath,
When mine eyes shall close in death,
When I rise to worlds unknown,
And behold Thee on Thy throne,
Rock of ages cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee.

Lyrics: Augustus Montague Toplady

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