“However, no one spoke openly of Him for fear of the Jews.”
2000 years have passed and this still remains a problem; we withhold the message of Christ out of fear. What are we afraid of? It seems to me Jesus has always been misunderstood. Popular opinion is often based on these misunderstandings. During His life, some were afraid to associate with Him because He was thought to have been a “wine bibber,” a glutton, and even one who condoned sin by hanging out with sinners. Many respectable people were afraid to associate with Christ because of their reputations.
Things have really not changed all that much. Today, many make their decision about Christ based upon popular opinion. They determine who Jesus is, or what Christians are, based upon what they see on television or the big screen. As a result, they think of Jesus as a far right-wing, narrow-minded, conservative politician; a money hungry evangelist; or an extreme legalist. It is not hard to understand why many reject Christ, if that is the only Jesus they have ever known.
Years ago, when I was a young Christian in college, one of my professors made the statement that all Christians had their hand on the button (a figurative devise that would send nukes to the Soviet Union). He said Christians, were anxious to bring on the end of the world. This statement was based on the Christ and Christianity that had been displayed before him. I remember my heart pounding through my chest as I raised my hand and stated, “Mr. Neil, you know me, you know that I am a Christian, and you know that I do not think that way.” He quickly amended his statement.
I believe we can live our lives in such a way as to reveal the real Christ and true Christianity. I believe we can undo the misunderstandings about Christ that have been seared into the minds of those around us. I believe we can do this as we seek to live lives committed to Jesus Christ. We never know what road block stands in someone’s way, keeping them from faith in Christ; or what fears they may have of committing to Jesus. Let’s determine that we will be those who represent true Biblical Christianity.
Take time today to get to know Jesus in His Word.
Questions for John 7
- According to verse 7, why do people hate Jesus?
- Jesus’ brothers attempted to get Him to go to the feast in Jerusalem, but Jesus told them in verses 6 and 8 that it was not His time to do so. Later in verse 30 we read that the Jews sought to lay hands on Him, but we read that it was not their hour to do so. Was Jesus operating according to other’s timetables? Which timetable was he on?
- Jesus was a major subject of interest at the Feast of Tabernacles. What were some of the attitudes and reactions toward Him? (verses 10-15)
- According to verse 17, how will a person know if what Jesus is teaching is true?
- Jesus spoke of living water in chapter 4 of John with the Samaritan woman at the well. Read verses 37-39 of chapter 7. When He speaks of “living water”, what does He actually mean?
- Jesus said that rivers of living water would flow from the heart of the person who comes to Jesus to drink. What are some of the qualities of rivers? What does that mean for your life? Where do you think God might cause these rivers to flow to?
- Why did the officers sent by the Pharisees not arrest Jesus? (verse 46)
- In verse 49, the Pharisees disdain the crowd saying they have no knowledge and calling them accursed. How does their attitude toward the crowds of people compare with Jesus? Read Matt 9:36.
- The Pharisees said that Jesus could not be the Messiah, because He was a Galilean, and the Messiah must come from Bethlehem according to the prophecies concerning Him. Read Luke 2:1-7. Although Jesus grew up in Galilee, where was He actually born, and why was He born there?
- We saw Jesus speaking with Nicodemus back in chapter 3. There he came to Jesus secretly by night, probably for fear of the other Pharisees. Look at verse 50 and 51. How has his relationship with Jesus progressed since then?