Take the Blinders Off
Read John 7:25-31 (ESV)
Some of the people of Jerusalem therefore said, “Is not this the man whom they seek to kill? And here he is, speaking openly, and they say nothing to him! Can it be that the authorities really know that this is the Christ? But we know where this man comes from, and when the Christ appears, no one will know where he comes from.” So Jesus proclaimed, as he taught in the temple, “You know me, and you know where I come from. But I have not come of my own accord. He who sent me is true, and him you do not know. I know him, for I come from him, and he sent me.” So they were seeking to arrest him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come. Yet many of the people believed in him. They said, “When the Christ appears, will he do more signs than this man has done?”
Why do you think some people believed in Jesus and others didn’t even with all of the evidence and signs that they had seen? Why do some people still reject Jesus even if they know a lot about Him?
Do you have a family member or a friend who knows enough about Jesus that he or she should be able to see the truth about who Jesus is but for whatever reason will not place their faith in Christ? Sadly, I think we all know someone that fits that description. Why do you think they ignore all of the evidence right in front of them?
In today’s passage, Jesus was still responding to the crowd in the temple halfway through the Feast of Booths. In 6 months, Jesus was going to return to Jerusalem at Passover. The Jews wanted to arrest Him and kill Him right now but they weren’t able to because it wasn’t His time. At Passover, it would be His time and there would be no stopping them. God is sovereign over everything including the timing of His plan for Jesus’ once and for all sacrifice.
But it’s interesting. Not everyone wanted to seize Him and kill Him. Some of the crowd believed that He was the Messiah. They knew that the prophesied Messiah would perform miracles and they had seen Jesus perform many miracles. They didn’t think it was possible for someone to come after Him and do more than He already had. They had enough evidence to make an informed decision.
But the unbelievers? They had seen or heard about all of the same signs and wonders but they didn’t want to believe in Him. They wanted to kill Him. Some in the crowd knew that the authorities wanted Him dead so when Jesus was there and He taught with authority out in the open, they couldn’t understand why they didn’t question or seize Him right there. They started to wonder if many the Jewish rulers knew something about Jesus actually being the Messiah that they didn’t know. But then they thought, nah. He can’t be the Messiah because we know where Jesus comes from and no one is supposed to know where the Messiah comes from.
But that wasn’t entirely true. They didn’t know Jesus as well as they thought they did. Matthew 21:11 and John 1:45-46, show that it was common knowledge that Jesus was raised in Nazareth. But some of them must not have known He was actually born in Bethlehem. They could have looked up His birth records. The Jews kept meticulous genealogical records. Or, they must not have known that the Old Testament clearly predicted that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2).
But really, it seems to me that they simply didn’t want to believe. Jesus called them out on that. He declared that they did know who He was and where He came from but that their hardhearted rejection of Him proved that they didn’t know His Father who sent Him. Their rejection of Him proved that they didn’t truly know the God they claimed to worship. If they did, they would have accepted Him. Despite everything they knew, they were spiritually blind to the truth.
In Jesus’ day, people were conflicted and confused about His identity. Unfortunately, despite the overwhelming evidence that Jesus is God, many people are still conflicted and confused about Jesus. Some even choose to outright reject Him because sadly, they don’t want to believe. They are spiritually blind to the truth.
Lord, I pray for my unbelieving family and friends. I know that only You can take the spiritual blinders off. I pray that You would work in their hearts and lives, reveal Yourself to them in an undeniable way. Show them the truth and change their hearts so that they want to know You. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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