“What do you think of Jesus?”
This was the question of the day in John 7. It was time for the Feast of Tabernacles, and everyone expected Jesus to make an appearance in Jerusalem. Because of the miracles He had done and the very public, controversial encounters with the Pharisees, He was the “talk of the town.”
Jesus’ own brothers did not believe in Him (yet). They tried to goad Him into making another public appearance, but He was not moved by their mocking and told them to go without Him. He also did not defend Himself or try to convince them of who He was. Later, He went up to Jerusalem, quietly and without fanfare, but was quickly discovered by the people as He went into the temple to teach.
John describes the many different thoughts about Jesus that were circulating in the city. Some were skeptical. Some believed. Some were astonished. Some thought He was crazy. Some thought He was a good man. Some thought He was a deceiver. Some wanted to kill Him. What I find interesting is how people were making their decisions about Jesus and how they were influenced. Here are some of the things that were said:
“We know where this man is from; when the Messiah comes, no one will know where he is from.”
“How can the Messiah come from Galilee? Does not scripture say that the Messiah will come from David’s descendants and from Bethlehem?”
“Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee.”
The people were making wrong assumptions about Jesus (that He came from Galilee, that He did not come from Bethlehem) based on what they had heard or what they thought they knew to be fact. Many also believed He might be the Messiah, but because they feared the current cultural climate (the ruling Jews), they would not publicly admit it. They were influenced by those who proclaimed themselves to be “in the know” on these things.
How does Jesus respond to all the different opinions about Himself? Listen to these two statements.
“If anyone is willing to do [God’s] will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself.” (7:17)
“If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’ But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive…” (7:37b-38)
What do you think of Jesus?
If you truly want to know who He is, you can, but you must come to Him thirsty and willing to obey. Have you decided who Jesus is based on what you’ve heard others say about Him? Are you the skeptic that can’t be convinced? Are you assuming that you know the facts? Or have you truly examined Him for yourself, with an open heart willing to act on what you find? If you really want to know the truth, then come thirsty. Come with a willingness to know the truth and respond.
Jeremiah 29:13 – You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.