We join the crowd today in Jerusalem while Jesus is speaking. They are listening to Him defend Himself for His actions of mercy on the Sabbath a while back. He is confronting those in authority for wanting to kill Him.
“What? You really think we would be plotting against You? You must be crazy!” No; not crazy at all. He knew their hearts and minds and He called them on the carpet over it.
So the crowd has been watching this interaction. Earlier in the week they had been afraid to discuss their opinions on Jesus openly because, they too, knew the religious leaders’ vendetta against Jesus. It really want that well-kept of a secret.
As the crowd stands watching and listening to Jesus debate with the religious leaders, they begin talking amongst themselves. “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?” (verse 25-26).
GOOD QUESTION! I would say, yes. They know but they want to deny it with every breath. They don’t want the people to recognize and believe. That would mean disaster to their way of life. Of course we also know that all this was part of God’s plan too.
Some in the crowd discuss one of their reasons for not fully accepting Jesus as the Christ. They have trouble with His earthly lineage. They know Jesus’ earthly family and believe that the Christ is supposed to “appear” without lineage attached. I think they need to go back and read a little closer. Isaiah and Micha are two of the prophets who spoke of Jesus’ origins, along with the Psalms telling of His lineage tracing back through David.
Jesus hears their argument and answers it. He addresses the fact that He actually has dual lineage. Yes, He came from the family of Joseph in Nazareth, but He also comes from somewhere they do not know and never have been. He also makes sure that they know that He didn’t come to fulfill His own curiosities but to fulfill God’s will. “He sent me” (verse 29).
God the Father is the one who desired the lost connection with man. Jesus, God the Son, the only begotten Son of God, submitted Himself to His Father’s will. He didn’t come because HE alone wanted that connection. He came in service to His Father. God couldn’t come Himself because of His nature. He had to remain pure and holy. But His Son could. Jesus did for the Father what no other being could. He took on our form at His Father’s request and submitted FULLY to the Father’s plan. He didn’t like the way the plan ended, but He finished it just as prescribed in submission to the Father. I wonder how many times and how many days He wished He could hang it up. We know He struggled with that very thought in the Garden of Gethsemane on His last night.
But Jesus also WANTED to fulfil the Father’s plan. We are told that Jesus, “Who for the joy set before Him He endured the cross, despising its shame” (Hebrews 12:2). Jesus knew what was at the end of His journey. He knew what His struggle would end with. He hated the pain He had to go through to get there, but it was nothing compared to what lay ahead. The completion of His Father’s will. Our salvation.
Back to our story. Jesus’ words spurred the religious leaders’ into action. They wanted to arrest Him but they couldn’t. It wasn’t in God’s plan yet. I love how they can’t step out of His plan, no matter how hard they want to. Talk about a sovereign God.
Which brings us back to the people’s reactions. There was still a divide between the two sides but the argument that Jesus’ side uses tips the scales for me, even today! “When the Christ appears, will He do more signs than this Man has done?” (verse31).
ANOTHER GOOD QUESTION! Take every act Jesus had done up to that point alone and you would have enough evidence to convince any reasonable jury. The proof really was in the putting. Jesus was putting His works and words before the people on a daily basis. He did nothing in secret.
He does the same today. Put His words to the test! He is EXACTLY Who and What He says He is. There is no other conclusion, IF you are really looking. Those who don’t see choose not to. I personally think it takes a greater act of “faith” to reject Him than to accept Him. There is SO much evidence for His argument that not believing takes more work; willful, stubborn blindness. The Pharisees were certainly guilty of that. PLEASE don’t join their ranks!
Father God, first of all, thank You for sending Jesus. We would be LOST without Him. Lord Jesus, thank You for obeying Your Father’s will, even though You knew how hard the work was going to be. I wonder why You didn’t give up sometimes and say that we weren’t worth it. We aren’t, but You stayed anyway. THANK YOU BOTH!
Father God, thank You for coming up with the plan in the beginning. You BOTH knew what it was going to cost before even embarking on the journey of creation. Yet You still chose to do it. Thank You Jesus for providing all the proof I need. Please make that proof sing in my children’s hearts. Break their stubborn hearts wide open. I KNOW I can trust them in Your hands. Help me to leave them there and not try and snatch them back when I don’t see the results fast enough.