Challenging Our Minds: John 7:25-36

Focus Passage: John 7:25-36 (NCV)

25 Then some of the people who lived in Jerusalem said, “This is the man they are trying to kill. 26 But he is teaching where everyone can see and hear him, and no one is trying to stop him. Maybe the leaders have decided he really is the Christ. 27 But we know where this man is from. Yet when the real Christ comes, no one will know where he comes from.”

28 Jesus, teaching in the Temple, cried out, “Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from. But I have not come by my own authority. I was sent by the One who is true, whom you don’t know. 29 But I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me.”

30 When Jesus said this, they tried to seize him. But no one was able to touch him, because it was not yet the right time. 31 But many of the people believed in Jesus. They said, “When the Christ comes, will he do more miracles than this man has done?”

32 The Pharisees heard the crowd whispering these things about Jesus. So the leading priests and the Pharisees sent some Temple guards to arrest him. 33 Jesus said, “I will be with you a little while longer. Then I will go back to the One who sent me. 34 You will look for me, but you will not find me. And you cannot come where I am.”

35 Some people said to each other, “Where will this man go so we cannot find him? Will he go to the Greek cities where our people live and teach the Greek people there? 36 What did he mean when he said, ‘You will look for me, but you will not find me,’ and ‘You cannot come where I am’?”

Read John 7:25-36 in context and/or in other translations on BibleGateway.com!

In Jesus’ ministry, it seems that He tried to minimize what He did in secret. The gospel of John draws our attention to this during one of the times Jesus was preaching in the temple during a major festival. While Jesus acted like He wasn’t going to go in order to arrive undetected, when He was ready to teach and preach, He made no secret moves.

In John’s gospel, we catch a glimpse of the crowd’s reaction. Some of the people living in Jerusalem who were in the temple when Jesus got up to preach wondered among themselves, “This is the man they are trying to kill. But he is teaching where everyone can see and hear him, and no one is trying to stop him. Maybe the leaders have decided he really is the Christ.” (v. 25-26)

“If the priests and leaders are not actively trying to stop Jesus from talking, might they believe that He is really the Messiah.” This is the essence of their question.

However, it doesn’t stop there. The people continue analyzing what they know: “But we know where this man is from. Yet when the real Christ comes, no one will know where he comes from.” (v. 27)

We can see a tension growing in the minds of those in the crowd. The tension is wondering if Jesus really could be the Messiah.

Jesus speaks into this tension by drawing out the dilemma the people are wrestling with. He says, “Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from. But I have not come by my own authority. I was sent by the One who is true, whom you don’t know. But I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me. . . I will be with you a little while longer. Then I will go back to the One who sent me. You will look for me, but you will not find me. And you cannot come where I am.” (v. 28-29, 33-34)

Jesus challenges the crowd’s assumption of His origin, and in doing so, He draws their attention to the truth that He came from God the Father. This heightens the tension because some believed this claim made Jesus worthy of death, while others concluded that this made Him even more worthy of their faith and trust.

What Jesus successfully does in this event is get everyone in the crowd of listeners to think about who He truly is. This tells me that Jesus wants us to rationally choose to follow Him. He doesn’t want blind followers simply looking for insurance from God’s Judgment. Jesus wants followers who are choosing Him because they want a relationship with Him and with God the Father who sent Him.

This thought was inspired by studying the Walking With Jesus "Reflective Bible Study" package. To discover insights like this in your own study time, click here and give Reflective Bible Study a try today!

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