Thursday, May 15, 2014

Who I Am

John 7:1-10

After these things Jesus walked Galilee; for He did not want to walk in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill Him.

Now the Jews' Feast of Tabernacles was at hand. His brothers therefore said to Him, "Depart from here and go into Judea, that Your disciples also may see the works that You are doing. For no one does anything in secret while he himself seeks to be known openly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world." For even His brothers did not believe Him.

Then Jesus said to them, "My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready. The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil. You go up to this feast. I am not yet going up to this feast, for my time has not yet fully come."

When He had said these things to them, He remained in Galilee. But when His brothers had gone up, then He also went up to the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret.

Jesus had clearly offending the Jews. It appears He offended those closer to Him also. I looked up the word brothers in a concordance (in the King James Version it is brethren) because I wanted to see if there was a specific meaning in this context. A brother can mean a sibling, fellow or man, or of the same nationality. It comes from the Greek word adelphus which means from the womb.

I know there are some who believe Jesus had no other siblings and that this would reference just fellows, men, or followers. I believe scripture proves He had other siblings and this makes reference to that. All four Gospels say that He was not received as the Son of God by some of His own family. And it states outright here that even His own brothers did not believe Him.

It appears they were putting Him to task, to once again bring about miracles. Perhaps they, too, wanted more proof. Like He told His mother at the wedding in Cana, His time had not yet come, so He also told His brothers. He did only the will of His Father...and the time was not right. He would not allow anyone else to dictate what He was to do.

As an aside, isn't it part of human nature to want people to know the good we do for others? Look at all whose names are listed as donors to this or that. While there is absolutely nothing wrong in doing this, why do we often need to be recognized? For no one does anything in secret while he himself seeks to be known openly! But in Jesus' case it's different. What He had to offer was far greater than what any man had. He did this not for Himself but to glorify the Father, to show what great things He had to offer. And what we do should also glorify the Father. Not so sure every donation to all the worthy causes do that. I think they tend to make us feel better about ourselves...Jesus can do the a better jobs for us. We are actually told to not let the left hand know what the right is doing (Matthew 6:3).

Anyway, how skeptical His brothers seemed to have been. How skeptical we can be. Imagine a friend or family member who one day says they received Christ as their Savior. Maybe that person (male or female) used to swear, had anger issues, was into drugs, pornography or alcohol and they stopped. A change took place and they were not that same person, the one you would hang out with and now might find you cannot be with. I remember a coworker, after my confession of Christ, saying she couldn't understand why I needed to change. It's a change that Jesus begins to make in you. It comes with the territory. You want to let go of your old self.

Imagine also Jesus, the carpenter's son, a brother, who one day begins to proclaim He's the Son of God. And imagine a friend or family member who now claims they have received Christ, and says they are now a son (or daughter) of God, that the Spirit of God now dwells within, is a child of light and not dark, is raised up and made to sit in heavenly places, free from sin and made righteous? (John 1:12, 1Corinthians 3:16, 1Thessalonians 5:5, Ephesians 2:6, Romans 6:18) And there are more scriptural descriptions! Wouldn't there be similar thoughts of "who do they think they are"?

If Jesus proclaimed He was hated by the world for what He spoke, where does that put others who claim to know Him?

But here's the thing...Jesus offers those "who I ams" to all people. All. But we have to let go of our misconceptions, pride, want Him and choose Him to receive them. We must know Him to receive all His gifts.

1John 3:1 - Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.

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