Right Beside Us: John 7:1-9

Focus Passage: John 7:1-9 (NASB)

As I read the gospels, sometimes I get the feeling as though Jesus and His disciples were together 24/7, and there was only an occasional break, such as when He sends 72 followers out to the neighboring villages, or when He sends the disciples alone across the lake while He goes up onto the mountain to pray.

However, in my mind, I see these breaks as the exception rather than the rule. Which is why when I read this journal entry’s passage, I have to ask myself the question: “Where were Jesus’ disciples?”

After Jesus is baptized and He begins His public ministry, we really don’t see much interaction between Him and His earthly family. This passage is really one of only a few places where interaction is recorded.

Perhaps one reason Jesus limited His interactions with His family is because of the pressure they put on Him to reveal Himself as the promised Messiah, or maybe it is an entirely different reason.

What we do know from the context and surrounding chapters is that just prior to this family dialog, Jesus had just finished pushing most of His popular crowd away, and He had left the area to return “home” with only the core group of 12 disciples.

Looking at the progression of events, Jesus’ brothers must have wondered why He would have done this. After all, in their minds, a Messiah who was going to overthrow the Romans needed lots of people rallied together to fight. Getting such a crowd, then pushing them all away for not being committed enough seems like a very counterproductive move.

But then what about our own lives? Are there ever any times that we feel closer to Jesus than others? Are there times where we are in a spiritual high point that contrasts sharply from the spiritual lows we all face?

Perhaps when we don’t see the disciples in this passage, or when we don’t see Jesus’ brothers included in most of the gospel story, we can conclude that there are times when Jesus will be/feel closer, and times when He feels farther away. This doesn’t mean He cares any more or less about us, but it may mean that we have moved closer to or further away from Him.

There may be times we don’t feel close to Jesus, but this doesn’t mean Jesus isn’t still right beside us.

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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