The Pharisees spring into action! We rejoin Jesus as He speaks to the crowd in the temple. We have been with Him during the Festival of Booths. He came to the temple midway through it and began teaching.
In the earlier part of His teaching He confronted the Pharisees about their desire to kill Him. “Who us? You think we want to kill You? You must be crazy!” Like we believe that one. Even the people in Jerusalem know there is trouble afoot between Jesus and the religious leaders.
Yesterday we listened in as the crowd openly discussed Jesus and if He could really be the Christ. We heard their arguments for and against, and so did the Pharisees. That is where we pick up today.
The people knew the Pharisees were trying to find a way to kill Jesus but were confused because here He stood, teaching openly, and the religious leaders did nothing about it. “Could they really know He is the Christ?”
Uh oh! That didn’t bode well with the Pharisees. They had to act fast to restore their position on Jesus. So the religious leaders send “officers” to arrest Him. I wonder what charges they were planning on trumping up. They were always alleging that He was breaking the Law in one way or another. I’m sure blaspheme was at the top of their list that day too.
Jesus knows they have no power over Him and that, until it is the right time in God’s plan, they won’t be able to arrest Him. He’s not worried about them or their plans. Instead He addresses the crowd again. I’m wondering if He is also addressing the Pharisees and their Temple Police.
What He tells them is that He is only going to be there for a little while longer and then He is going to be gone. They won’t be able to find Him. “You will seek Me and you will not find Me. Where I am you cannot come” (verse 34).
While I was thinking about this statement from Jesus, I remembered all the teachings I had about this section. Those lessons focused on the fact that Jesus was only going to be on earth for a little while longer and then He would be in Heaven with the Father. They wouldn’t be able to find Him physically and they couldn’t go where He was because He was now in the spiritual realm. That is very true, but I got a little different picture today. I want to share it with you.
Jesus is telling those listening in that He is offering Himself and His teachings to those listening for a limited time. He is leaving through death and resurrection, but He is also taking His offer of joining Him in eternity with Him. I’m speaking mainly of the religious leaders that are in the crowd He is addressing. He keeps holding out God’s offer to them and they keep refusing. Soon that offer will be withdrawn and passed to someone else, the gentiles, who will appreciate and accept it.
The Jewish religious leaders will continue their search for their Messiah, even to this day, but they won’t find him. There is no other, no matter how hard they look. They won’t find Him because they won’t look in the right places. And they can’t go where He is without accepting Him for Who He really is. They are locking themselves out of where Jesus is going.
This reminds me of a story. There was a flood and a man was trapped in his home. At first the water was only reaching his front door. A man in a row boat came by and tried to get the man to get in the boat so he could bring him to safety. The man refused, saying, “No thank you. God’s going to save me.”
The water continues to rise and it reaches the second story. The man is sitting in the window when a motorboat comes by. The captain of the boat tries to get the man to get in the boat so he can bring him to safety. Again the man refuses saying, “No thanks. God’s going to save me.”
The water is still rising and we find our man on the peak of his roof. A helicopter hovers over him and drops a rope ladder down for the man to climb to safety. Once again, the man turns down the offer of help saying, “No. God’s going to save me.”
The man drowns. He stands before the Judgement throne of God and asks Him why He didn’t save him. God said, “I sent you a row boat, a motorboat, and a helicopter! What more did you want?”
God sent His chosen people the Law, the Prophets, and His only begotten Son! And they STILL didn’t take the help He was offering. What more do you want!! So the religious leaders could search all they wanted but until they were willing to accept what GOD had for them, they would find nothing to satisfy their need for salvation. NO ONE can reach God without going through Jesus. And if you don’t look for Him in the right places you won’t find Him.
Father God, thank You that Jesus is “hidden in plain sight” if one really wants to look. Thank You that the evidence is all around me. Thank You for letting me “find” Jesus. I look forward to the day that I can be where He is. But until that time, help me continue to point the way for others who are truly searching. Thank You too that I don’t have to wait until Heaven to have a relationship with You. Through Your Spirit, I can enjoy Your presence every minute of every day! Thank You that You went looking for me and let me “find” You.