Sent

Just as is the case today, there were conflicting opinions about Jesus.
Some were convinced He was the Promised One while others thought it was a possibility. Some were sure He was not Messiah while others hoped He wasn’t—Messiah would seriously shake up the carefully constructed peace with Rome. The crooks in the crowd—and there are always crooks in any crowd—feared for their various schemes and scams. Above all things, they feared an honest leader with power to reform the corruption they counted on for sustenance. Sincere members of the faithful remnant who longed for Messiah prayed that Jesus was the Promised One.

Amazed by His Boldness
A conspiracy of powerful men was forming to arrest Jesus and take His life. When Jesus burst out of hiding and started teaching in the Temple courts, they made no move to stop Him. Their strategy was to let the factions in the crowd foment opposition to Him. Prompters were planted in the crowd to create doubt.

Questions arose from all sides of the issue:

  • How can He be so bold? Doesn’t He realize the danger?
  • Do the leaders think He might be Messiah and are therefore not arresting Him?
  • How can He be Messiah? He comes from Galilee and Messiah must be born in Bethlehem of the House of David.
  • Others claimed that no one would know from whence Messiah would come.

As planned, confusion reigned in the streets of Jerusalem and in the Temple courts.

Jesus identifies Himself.
Jesus tried to take the people deeper into the prophecies concerning Messiah. He wanted them to see the spiritual dimensions of God’s plan. This was more than politics and genealogies; this was the divine plan of God.

“You both know Me, and you know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself,
but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know.”

His origin was neither in Galilee nor in Bethlehem. He had been sent from heaven—sent from God. He went on,

“…whom you do not know. But I know Him, for I am from Him, and He sent Me.”

The stunned silence enveloped the multitude. How can He claim to know God? Many knew of Joseph of Nazareth, but he was dead. With the silence came a paralysis; no one moved to silence Him. Finally someone began to ask the obvious question,

“When the Christ comes, will He do more signs than these which this Man has done?”

The leaders could have none of this. Their paralysis broken, they moved to arrest Him. As temple guards approached with swords drawn, Jesus fastened His eyes on the officer in charge. His voice stopped the guards in mid-step.

“I shall be with you a little while longer, and then I go to Him who sent Me.
You will seek Me and not find Me, and where I am you cannot come.”

Was he threatening suicide? Should they seize Him? No, not until the issue was settled. Theories were advanced about where He might be planning to go—out of their hair, perhaps!

The Moment Passed
The leaders realized the sentiment of the people was not yet settled against Jesus in sufficient force . It was too soon to make a move against Jesus so they called off their initiative. Other opportunities would present themselves soon enough. If indeed, He had been sent from Heaven, time would tell.

Just as is the case today, there were conflicting opinions about Jesus.

Scriptures:
John 7:25-36

Now some of them from Jerusalem said, “Is this not He whom they seek to kill? But look! He speaks boldly, and they say nothing to Him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is truly the Christ? However, we know where this Man is from; but when the Christ comes, no one knows where He is from.” Then Jesus cried out, as He taught in the temple, saying, “You both know Me, and you know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know. But I know Him, for I am from Him, and He sent Me.” Therefore they sought to take Him; but no one laid a hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come. And many of the people believed in Him, and said, “When the Christ comes, will He do more signs than these which this Man has done?” The Pharisees heard the crowd murmuring these things concerning Him, and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take Him. Then Jesus said to them, “I shall be with you a little while longer, and then I go to Him who sent Me. You will seek Me and not find Me, and where I am you cannot come.” Then the Jews said among themselves, “Where does He intend to go that we shall not find Him? Does He intend to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks and teach the Greeks? What is this thing that He said, ‘You will seek Me and not find Me, and where I am you cannot come’?”

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, while the world may be confused about You, I am not. I know You are Son of God and Son of Man, the Lord of Glory, the Prince of Peace, the King of kings and Lord of lords, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Savior, the Bright and Morning Star, the Rose of Sharon, Emmanuel—God with Us, the Sun of Righteousness, Mighty Warrior, and Victorious Lord! You are all the world to me! Amen and Amen.

Song:
Who Is He in Yonder Stall?

Words and Music: Benjamin Russel Hanby

1. Who is He in yonder stall, At whose feet the shepherds fall?
Who is He in deep distress, Fasting in the wilderness?

Refrain:
‘Tis the Lord! O wondrous story! ‘Tis the Lord! the King of glory!
At His feet we humbly fall, Crown Him! Crown Him, Lord of all!

2. Who is He the people bless For His words of gentleness?
Who is He to whom they bring All the sick and sorrowing?

Refrain

3. Who is He that stands and weeps At the grave where Lazarus sleeps?
Who is He the gath’ring throng Greet with loud triumphant song?

Refrain

4. Lo! at midnight, who is He Prays in dark Gethsemane?
Who is He on yonder tree, Dies in grief and agony?

Refrain

5. Who is He that from the grave Comes to heal and help and save?
Who is He that from His throne Rules through all the world alone?

Refrain

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2018 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

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