Division, Confusion, and Jesus - john chapter seven

This post is part of a weekly share of gleanings from the book of John. Click here for more information, and read to the bottom to join the conversation! 


This chapter!
It's about the people who heard Jesus speak when He walked the earth.
It's about the people who hear about Jesus today.
It's relatable, it's today's personalities and today's realities.

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"There was a division among the people over Him..." (John 7:43)
...and is there not still a division among people over Him?

Some thought He was a good man (Jn 7:12), some thought He was a prophet (Jn 7:40), some thought He was the Christ (Jn 7:41), many were just confused (Jn 7:15, 27, 35-36), and others misunderstood His birth story, leading to a belief that He did not fulfill the prophecies of the coming Messiah (John 7:41-42). Others feared believing and following him, as the result of such belief would most definitely be rejection (read ahead --> Jn 9:33-34. also NICODEMUS, guys! Jn 3:1-21 & here in Jn 7:50-52), and a verbal flogging by angry hypocrites who called anyone they couldn't sway by peer pressure (Jn 7:48) "accursed (Jn 7:49)" and "deceived (Jn 7:47.)"

Y'ALL! This. Is. Today.
I mean, I could share so many real life stories of students and friends in my life who were fearful of the fallout with peers and sometimes even family if they openly confessed Jesus as their Savior... Yes, persecution still exists and is flourishing around the lives of Christians today, sometimes even to imprisonment and death. Guys, I could have written this whole post on Nicodemus and his fear. I love that guy, because I am so much like that guy! ...but I'll save that for another day. What really stood out as I read through this is how it speaks to the exact. same. world we live in today! Right?? Some folks think He was a good man, or a prophet, or a "great moral teacher"... SO many are just confused and, lacking any real desire to understand, can't bring themselves to believe what He says about Himself. Others misunderstand the prophecies and thus believe He cannot be who He says He is.

Let's keep in mind that Jesus is a historical human who walked the earth. His humanness is written about in multiple historical sources outside of the Bible, and His existence is even defended by A LOT of atheist scholars on the subject.
So who did this very real person, Jesus, say that He was?
He says He IS God. (John 8:56-58, John 10:30-33, John 12:44-46, John 14:6-9...)

And LET'S BE REAL for a sec... if Jesus wasn't who He said He was, then... well, I could never put it in better words than this guy did:

I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: “I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God.” That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.
— C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

He HAS to be who He says He is if we want to believe He is good or Godly in any way.

He has to be God.
And He is God.
And He cries out to this divided world today the same way He did at this feast all those years ago... to a confused, angry, hypocritical, prejudice group of sinners who would reject and persecute Him to His death:
Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” (John 7:37&38)

He invites the thirsty to never thirst again. He turns hearts toward Himself and changes eternity for His children.

These are the pieces of this story that stood out to me, and tonight I'm responding to the words in this ninth chapter of John in prayer... that in all of the growing division and confusion about who Jesus is, my children will always desire to learn and will never stop asking questions and seeking clarity when that confusion strikes. And I'm praying for a spark of curiosity to light up in others who have not understood the Gospel of Jesus. I'm praying that my own understand would grow in depth and discernment, and that the Spirit would bring and lead conversations and hearts. Ultimately, I'm thanking God that, despite any confusion, or lack of desire and curiosity, and despite my own many failures and mistakes in walking and talking the Gospel, HE is a God who turns the hearts of His children toward Himself, crying out for each of us by name, and filling our thirst eternally. 


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