Okay, so the passage I read today (John 7:14-44) really confuses me. There are several points I have trouble understanding.
First off, in several places elsewhere in the Bible, people repeatedly call Jesus “Rabbi”, which was the term for a Jewish religious teacher. He is seen at 12 years old in the Temple teaching the Rabbi’s. You would assume He would have been chosen to study as a teenager. In another part of the Bible, He quotes an older Rabbi, showing that He had been well educated. It’s assumed that Jesus completes all of His religious education, and is a traveling teacher, like many others in His day. If all of that is true, why do the people in Jerusalem question how He knows so much “without having studied”? And Jesus doesn’t even answer the question.
Then, when Jesus claims they are trying to kill Him in verse 19, the people act surprised and accuse Him of being crazy. They answer like “oh come on Jesus, who’s trying to kill you?” But then in verse 25 they act like they know all about it. So which is it? Is he paranoid in their eyes, or do they know that His life is in danger?
Neither of these are big points, they just remind me I have so much to learn, so much yet to understand about the Bible. I’ve discovered over the years when I hit places that don’t make sense like this, it’s just because I’m missing pieces to the puzzle. God is always trustworthy.
It’s like the Jews in the story. Jesus comes speaking truth, performing amazing miracles, and many people want to believe in Him as the Savior. But, their understanding is that the Messiah has to come from Bethlehem. They knew Jesus grew up in the little hick town of Galilee. They don’t realize Jesus WAS born in Bethlehem. So, even though Jesus is the Messiah, He is staring them in the eye, offering them hope, they still won’t believe. They allow their limited understanding to stop their faith in what is clearly seen.
I often do the same thing. God wants me to do something, to let go of something, to follow Him in some direction. It’s clear what I’m supposed to do. But it doesn’t make sense to me. It contradicts some thought or understanding I have. I’m not saying it contradicts the Bible, or His commands. It just goes beyond what I can see or understand. So I refuse to do it. I dig in my heels. I won’t obey. And I miss out, just like the people in the story.
What is Jesus calling you to, that maybe you can’t fully comprehend? Is He stretching you beyond where you want to comfortably be? Is He pushing you to follow, even though it doesn’t make “sense”? What will you do? In the story in John, some followed (vs. 41), some didn’t. (vs.43). What about you?