How Truth Brings Forth Life

Preached @ Harambee Church by Pastor
Michael Gunn on February 25th, 2007

“He (Jesus) wants to give life; they (The authorities) want to kill. This is what happens, and will always happen, when an attempt is made to capture the revelation of God and make it a possession of men.”
Leslie Newbigin

John has been making a case for the person of Jesus Christ. Who is He really? This is by far the most important question for humanity to figure out. There has been much written and done in His name that hardly can be called biblical. He’s been a wise man, a good teacher, a revolutionary, a hippy and even a developer of business leadership principles. In our passage today, Jesus decides to go on up to the feast in Jerusalem after all (On his terms of course), and gets in to it with the religious leaders. Jesus debates them on theology, His authority, the reason they are trying to kill Him and finally calls all men to Himself, so that they could experience the “Rivers of living water” in their lives. He’s a bit more than a hippie. Our passage ends with people trying to figure out who this Jesus is. Sound familiar?

From the Head…
John 7:10-11 God’s Timing
God’s timing is impeccable and strange to us. Jesus acts on His timing (see John 2:1-11; 4: 46-54), but in His grace He still acts in spite of the fact that He is putting Himself at risk.

John 7:12-13 Man’s Grumbling is a Sign of Unbelief
Both sides of men see Christ in a false way. He is neither a “good” man, nor one that deceives the people.

John 7:14-24 Jesus’ Authority and Man’s Hardness
Jesus’ authority did not come from human rational sources. It came from the word of God (It is interesting to note that Christ gained wisdom from growing in His knowledge of His Father’s word Luke 2:52). This is the authority in which we speak also (Acts 4:13), and in which we can in no way “Prove” it to the world with their culturally concocted standards of proof. It is known in faith. In John mind “His will” is synonymous with believing (John 6:29; 40, 69). Here we have Jesus again emphasizing that truth comes from studying and believing in the word of God. For them, that was the Old Testament that they had used to justify murder because they co-opted the truth for their own power, and did not realize that God’s word is meant to produce life, and not death. They were still upset that Jesus healed on the Sabbath, and that He was acting like He was God (John 5:18), and were not concerned at all for the person. They continued to judge people on appearances and not in accordance with righteousness (The justice with which the law was concerned for).

John 7:25-31 The Result of Unbelief is Confusion
Here we see Jesus the revealer of God (John 1:1, 14; Hebrews 1:1-3), which has created confusion in the minds of those that only see Christ as a man that doesn’t add up to their expectations.

John 7:32-36 There is a Divine Time Table to “Know” God
God is not to be found by our own devices (John 6:44, 65). There is a time when He gives us over to our own devices and passions (Romans 1:26). He is gracious and patient, but when Christ goes “To the one who sent Him,” He is going back to the Father after the cross, which will open the mission to the gentiles, and the Jewish leaders will be excluded from the mission of God while they think they are on the forefront of it. It will be other Jews like Paul, Peter, and John etc. who will take His message to the world.

John 7:37-39 Jesus is the Fulfillment of the Symbol of Hope
On the last day of the Feast of Booths (Tabernacles) the people would carry water up to the temple and pour it out as a symbol of God’s future outpouring of His Spirit on the world in fulfillment of prophecies from Ezekiel (see Ezekiel 47: 1-12). This is the hope we have in Christ, but the very thing we deny when we create our own broken cisterns that can hold no water (Jeremiah 2:13-14). Jesus promises nourishment in a parched desert. Paul reminds us of this in 1 Corinthians 10 when he says that, “They all ate from the same spiritual food and drank from the same spiritual drink, for they drank from spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.” Moses, we are told, got that water when he struck the rock with his staff. It is interesting that he was reprimanded severely by God when he struck it twice. Moses didn’t realize that God was giving Israel a picture of a future rock that would give them spiritual water (The Spirit) when He was going to be struck down once, not twice. For God so loved the world…

John 7:40-52
Jesus as He still is today is both controversial and confusing to those that don’t know Him, but a gracious salvation for those that have put their trust in Him. They struggled once again with their own ideas about when and where the Christ would come, and they failed to judge Him on the facts, but decided to judge Him on their presuppositions. Hmm? Some things never seem to change.

…to the Heart
Who’s your Jesus? Is He the prize or the prize giver? Is your life flowing with the river of life, or are still in the business of building cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water? In the midst of unbelief and the desire to kill Him, Jesus offers His enemies grace and a promise, which should remind us of our need to do the same. Jesus gained His sustenance from His Father’s word, and so should we.


2 comments so far

  1. Nate Cejka on

    “Jesus’ authority did not come from human rational sources. It came from the word of God. This is the authority in which we speak also (Acts 4:13), and in which we can in no way “Prove” it to the world with their culturally concocted standards of proof. It is known in faith.”

    I like how Jesus didn’t seem to be burdened with proving himself, he just stated the truth about himself. He and His Father’s witness was enough. So I wonder how this applies to our witness of Jesus. We are certainly to give the reason for the hope that we have, but we believers at times feel we need to prove it to the nth degree.

  2. sermonrant on

    Yeah the Spirit of God in this is huge! We see because He opens our eyes!

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