John Chapters 7 and 8 Study

Jesus is relentless in His focus.
Over and over and over and over again, He hammers home two truths:
  1. He knows who He is and where His focus lies:
  • Of the Father
  • Light
  • All about doing God’s will
  • Judges rightly
  • Healer
  • In relationship with God
  • Living Water
  • From Above
  • Not of this world
  • Focused on the Father’s will

2. He knows who we are and where our focus lies.

     In speaking to the Jews who believed,
He says about them:

    They are:
  • in darkness
  • following their own will
  • judging by appearances
  • not in a relationship with God
  • from below
  • of this world
  • dead in their sins
  • slaves
  • not of God
  • of the devil
In chapter 7, He is at what is analogous to a huge modern day revival or spiritual conference.  All the Jews are gathering together to celebrate the Feast of Booths. In chapter 8, verse 37, it says that Jesus is specifically addressing the Jews who believed in Him!
The bulleted words above are directed to those people who believed in Him. Can we imagine listening to the preacher saying these same things that Jesus says?  I am reminded about the words of Revelation that are directed specifically to the churches.

There He says, “I am about to spit you out!”

If someone comes into our lives, be it from the pulpit, or one-on-one, how do we

react if we are spoken to like this?  How do we expect them to speak to us?
Jesus:
  •  never tries to make His words palatable
  • never gets sidetracked 
  • never changes His message.  
  • doesn’t slow down even when people don’t get it.
  •  is not concerned with popularity
  • boldly speaks about what is real and true
  •  doesn’t come up with some kind of nifty slogan or appealing outreach program in order to attract and keep followers.
Yet again, I ask myself,  is this how I am? 
 
Are there“believers” among us today that need to hear these same words? Obviously, believing is not enough.  Even the demons believe.  Jesus clearly says in 8:22 “whoever follows me will not walk in darkness.”  In 8:31, He says,  “if you hold to my teachings, you are truly my disciples.”   Do I walk as Jesus walked?  Do I talk as Jesus talked?  Am I bold?  Am I relentless in my focus?  Am I willing to speak truth because my goal is to point people to the Father?  Or do I fear losing popularity?  Do I fear offending others?  Am I willing to love others enough to speak the truth?
 
On the other hand, when I hear or read the words of God, am I open to correction?  If someone were to speak with me this way, would I listen or would I find a way to “kill the messenger?”  There are many ways to tune out a messenger, but I think the biggest way we tend to do it, is to say that because they are not Jesus, they have no right to tell us or show us what we personally need to repent of.  We somehow think that if Jesus were the one talking to us, we would hear it and accept it.  But that wasn’t the case with these folks.  They had Jesus in the flesh and yet they were looking for ways to kill Him because they didn’t like what He was saying.   

Wow, I hope we aren’t like this.  I hope that if we find ourselves turning off or tuning out or getting angry at someone’s words, we would make an extra effort to hear the truth of the message and let it pierce our hearts and change our lives.
 
I pray that we will all be relentless in our focus and relentless in rooting out sin; in ourselves, in others, in our congregations.  The world teaches political correctness.  Jesus doesn’t.

About andreamoormans

I was raised to be an independent, strong-willed woman. My earthly father prepared me for life by sending me to the best schools. I attended Wellesley College, the same school Hillary Clinton and a host of prominent women attended. Gloria Steinem spoke at my graduation. I was a Fulbright Scholar. I went to Harvard Graduate School. My father meant well, but his plans stemmed from worldly wisdom. "Church" was an event I put into my schedule, not the fabric of who I was. Amidst many successes that left me feeling empty, I began searching for meaning. My life was turned upside down when I realized how wrong I had been about God and the Church. I had accepted a diluted, unrecognizable version of both. Earnestly studying my Bible and realizing my need for repentance, I committed myself to a relationship with Christ, following his plan for salvation. That was the easy part. Then began the process of peeling away layer upon layer of religiosity. Now 23 years later, He is still stripping away layers of erroneous thinking and revealing to me how to bring greater glory and honor to Him through my thoughts, my actions, my speech, my life. Though I have been blessed in many ways and have a wonderful family, the desire to obey the Lord's commands has led me to a very different path in life than I would have ever imagined. Following Him has not been easy. In fact, it is harder than any of my studies at the best name schools, ever was. Jesus never promises a life of ease. In fact, He calls me to walk counter to the teachings of this society. But in trading in worldly wisdom for His, I have gained full confidence that Jesus Christ is truly the only treasure worth chasing.
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