Judging the Miracle Worker: 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!

One interesting dilemma the crowds faced when looking at Jesus’ life was with the number of miracles that Jesus performed. Even though Jesus said some pretty hard to understand truths, it seemed that God was fully supporting Him because of the miracles and all the people Jesus was able to help.

In this passage in John, we see an interesting dividing line present among those who were listening to Jesus. On one hand, there was a number of people who wanted to arrest Jesus for saying things that implied He was making Himself equal with God.

On the other hand, there were people in the crowd who were stuck wondering what to make of all His miracles. None of the prophets performed as many miracles as Jesus did, and this prompts many of those present to ask the rhetorical question, “When the Christ comes, will he do more miracles than this man has done?” (v. 31)

The volume of miracles drew these people to believing in Jesus. While the people acknowledged Jesus said some challenging ideas, the question they ask is profound because it points us to think about whether God would be so supportive of someone if they were not the Messiah (i.e. the “Christ”).

In this way, the miracles Jesus performed prompted the people to take notice. For many, the miracles became the starting point for their faith in Him.

It can be the same with us today.

For many people, following Jesus began with some experience that drew us to Him. This could have been an experience tied to forgiveness, a selfless act, or a miracle Jesus performed in our lives. Whatever the case, many people can point to a point in time when Jesus helped them through a difficult or impossible challenge.

But while this is an okay place to start, making the foundation for our faith in Jesus only on the miracles He does for us makes a very unstable relationship with Him. It sets us up for a possible great deception. What would happen if someone came in the future who seemed to perform more miracles than Jesus? Could someone performing miracles lead you away from Jesus?

Miracles are given to draw attention to an individual, and then it is our job to determine if the miracle worker is from God based on what they teach and how they live. Jesus lived selflessly, and He focused on uplifting those who were pushed down in the culture of His day. That aligns perfectly with how the Bible describes God.

In contrast, any miracle worker who comes seeking their own glory then must not be coming from a place where God is supporting them. If someone is leading you away from focusing on Jesus, the their ministry is supported by another spiritual force.

When Jesus stepped onto the scene, He performs enough miracles that prompt those present to take notice. It was then up to the crowd to decide for themselves if Jesus was really from God or not – based on His life, character, and teaching.

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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