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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Jesus and the Feast of Tabernacles – John 7 -- Part 2

       Last week, we saw that Jesus attended the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem but didn’t reveal Himself publicly until 3 ½ days had passed. He had to wait for the Father’s timing. The hostility toward Jesus is increasing. The Jews want to know where Jesus got His wisdom of the scriptures since He had not been taught by the master rabbis as required by Jewish custom. The Jewish religious leaders present are impressed with Jesus’ spiritual knowledge.
        Jesus responded to their curiosity, “My teaching is not My own. It comes from Him who sent Me. If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether My teaching comes from God or whether I speak on My own. He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself, but he who works for the honor of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him. Has not Moses given you the Law? Yet not one of you keeps the Law. Why are you trying to kill Me?” John 7:10-19
          Jesus, the Father and the Holy Spirit have one voice, one mind, and one heart. Jesus tells those questioning His spiritual knowledge that He only speaks what He has learned from His heavenly Father. His words are righteous and truth. There is no deceit in Him in spite of the fact that some had accused Him of being a “deceiver.”
Notice in the above scripture that Jesus said if anyone “chooses to do God’s will.” It is a choice made willingly by every individual. It is not just speaking truth, but also doing it. Those who are willingly committed to God’s will will be taught and guided by Him especially in speaking truth. Jesus was in the midst of those who were hostile toward Him but He boldly spoke Truth. The Spirit of God will also prompt us to willingly obey God from our hearts of love and speak the Truth. Those who willingly do God’s will embrace Truth because they believe in Jesus and know that His Word is truth.


       Jesus also wants those present to understand that those who speak on their own do so to gain honor for themselves. Followers of Christ are to always give all of the glory and honor to Him, not to ourselves. Jesus came to earth to bring glory and honor to the One who sent Him – the Father. Since those of us who believe in Jesus are also “sent” out into the world at His instruction, we are to only speak the Truth and bring glory and honor to Jesus through our actions, words and deeds just as Jesus did for the Father. We give God honor and glory when we “do” His Word not just hear it. God said in 1 Samuel 2:30, “those who honor Me, I will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed.” God honors those who honor Him.
        When Solomon had called all of the leaders of Israel together and had offered 1,000 burnt offerings for atonement to God, God said to Solomon, “Ask for whatever you want Me to give you.” 2 Chronicles 1:7 Solomon asked for wisdom and knowledge so he could lead God’s people. Solomon saw how enormous this task that God had given him was and understood that He needed God’s wisdom to carry it out. God said to Solomon, “Since this is your heart’s desire and you have not asked for wealth, riches or honor, nor for the death of your enemies, and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern My people over whom I have made you king, therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, riches and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have.” 2 Chronicles 10-12 God blessed and honored Solomon because he honored God and His people. God blessed Solomon even more than He did his father David and all other kinds before and after Solomon.
      Proverbs 15:33: The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom, and before honor is humility.
        Proverbs 21:21: He who follows righteousness and mercy finds life, righteousness and honor.
       Proverbs 22:4: By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honor and life.

Moses’ Law

          Jesus reminded the crowd of Jews present that “not one of you keeps the Law. Why are you trying to kill Me?” Jesus knew their hearts. He reminds them that even though they believed in the Law and sought to obey it, He also knew that they were trying to kill Him. The 6th commandment God had given Moses said, “You shall not murder” and yet these Jews wanted to murder Jesus in direct disobedience to this commandment. They wanted to put Jesus to death as a Law-breaker when they were breaking the Law themselves! The crowd responded, “You are demon-possessed. Who is trying to kill you.” Jesus' accusers wanted to hide their heart attitude so they falsely accused Jesus of being wrong about them. The works of darkness likes to hide but Jesus brings it to the light and exposes it. This no doubt angered the crowd even more.


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