SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- In this chapter we find Jesus in the midst of doubting people. It seems that no one believes in him. His own brothers refused to believe him and the Pharisees, who should know better, refuse as well. It seems that Jesus is challenged or questioned by everybody while in Jerusalem.
- The religious leaders try to take advantage of Jesus’ public preaching and have him arrested by guards. But the guards know something is different about this guy and go back to their dispatchers without him.
- Jesus takes that opportunity to confront the religious leaders about their hypocrisy. These men were willing to obey religious rules like not working on Saturday and circumcising infants, but opposed Jesus for his miraculous healings. And later when Nicodemus, one of their own leaders, pointed out that having Jesus arrested was contrary to their laws, the religious leaders insulted him.
- Though Jesus was sent by God, many people refused to believe it.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- One of the reasons people rejected Jesus is because they had pre-conceived assumptions about who the Messiah would be, and what he would be like. These assumptions weren't based on the Bible, but on commonly held ideas or personal opinion.
- Jesus had a mission -- a difficult one -- to go to the cross and take on the sins of the world in his death. And even Jesus' path to get there was difficult.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- Is it possible that you have some assumptions about what Jesus should be like, or how God should act in your life, or what God should say is right or wrong, that aren't based on the truth of God's Word, but on public or personal opinion? That's dangerous, and needs to be corrected. We need to stop making assumptions, and commit to studying the Bible so we can replace our assumptions with truth.
- Have you ever been rejected? Perhaps you've faced rejection for following Jesus? Jesus can relate to being rejected and empathize with your fear and pain. In fact, if we're following the one who was rejected by just about everyone, we can expect that we'll face rejection at all. And when it happens, go to Jesus. He can give you strength to persevere.