Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Concerning the Doctrine

John 7:11-24

Then the Jews sought Him at the feast, and said, "Where is He?" And there was much complaining among the people concerning Him. Some said, "He is good"; others said, "No, on the contrary, He deceives the people." However, no one spoke openly of Him for fear of the Jews.

Now about the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and taught. And the Jews marveled, saying, "How does this Man know letters, having never studied?" Jesus answered them and said, "My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me. If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority." "He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him. Did not Moses give you the law, yet none of you keeps the law? Why do you seek to kill Me?"

The people answered and said, "You have a demon. Who is seeking to kill You?" Jesus answered  and said to them, "I did one work, and you all marvel. Moses therefore gave you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath. If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath, so that the law of Moses should not be broken, are you angry with Me because I made a man completely well on the Sabbath? Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment."

The Passover feast had begun. Jesus had slipped into town unannounced. People talked about Him. Who was this Man? Where was He? Was He for real? So many differing opinions. And the fear of speaking openly of Him... There are still controversies About Jesus. I would guess He has been the most controversial figure of all time. He still divides people.

Jesus sneaked into town. After a time He got up to preach. He only did the will of His Father. He had to have known that He would not yet be arrested although there were those who sought to kill Him. His time "had not yet come" for this. He had to have known He could continue to preach His Father's words to the people, to hopefully gather more people for the Father's Kingdom. What did He preach? Oh, to have been there.

The Jews, those who knew God's Word, marveled at how "this Man" could know so much. They had studied but He had not. And His answer to their question was as always that He preached only the words of His Father, the one who sent Him. Again He was openly saying He was the Son of God, the very thing the Jews called blasphemy.

I try to convey messages that Jesus and the Word of God that have already been established. I may not always be 100% accurate. But I am learning as I go. Hopefully I am encouraging others and maybe opening up hearts and minds to do the same, to seek Jesus and His Word to learn truth. My desire is that others grasp hold of what Jesus has to offer to all people, first of all the gift of His salvation.

Jesus said to the Jews that although they had the laws God gave to Moses, even they couldn't keep them all. Neither can we on our own. That is why Jesus came, to become the One who would bring forgiveness of sin if we believed on Him. But the laws, the commandments have to be in place and understood that we have some sort of foundation, that we see what sin is...and realize that we need Jesus.

He came not to abolish those laws but to fulfill them. There were many prophetic events about what was to be, about Him, about His coming, teaching, commanding, offering of Himself for our sins. Yet here He was before the Jews' very eyes and they didn't believe. And so it still is, people not believing.

Yet these words that the Jews knew have since shown us that Jesus came to fulfill them. We know that the Word of God is eternal. Jesus is eternal. In Him we have eternal life. Today we see Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and atheists coming to Christ, as it has been prophesied. The Word of God (both the written Word and Jesus the Word) will last forever. No matter what forces try to abolish it, it will remain. The truth remains...we need to know Jesus.

I see another theme here. Just as the Jews thought it was okay to do some things on the Sabbath, a holy day, but Jesus was condemned for what He did, the same happens today when Christian views and traditions are condemned, while others are allowed to exact their own. That old double standard. But praise God, we know these things must happen...and that God, Jesus and His followers will be victorious in the end.

If we want to be victorious we must let Jesus give us a heart to understand what truth is. We must be open to receive, not close-minded like the Jews. We must first allow Him remove our sin. He then opens the eyes of our understanding and begins transforming through the power of a mighty God. "If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority."  Some day we will all know whether we've done His will or not.

...at the name of Jesus every knee should bow...and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. ...I looked, and behold, a great multitude which not one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothes with white robes, with palm branches in their hands...  Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man. (Philippians 2:10-11, Revelation 7:9, Luke 21:36)

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