Saturday Morning: 26 Jan 2019 – John 7:1-24 ~ the blinding effect of sin

Saturday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening (Collect for Purity)

Almighty God: to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid; cleanse the thoughts of my heart through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that I may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name, through Christ my Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – John 7:1-24 (NLT)

Jesus and His Brothers

After this, Jesus traveled around Galilee. He wanted to stay out of Judea, where the Jewish leaders were plotting his death. But soon it was time for the Jewish Festival of Shelters, and Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, where your followers can see your miracles! You can’t become famous if you hide like this! If you can do such wonderful things, show yourself to the world!” For even his brothers didn’t believe in him.

Jesus replied, “Now is not the right time for me to go, but you can go anytime. The world can’t hate you, but it does hate me because I accuse it of doing evil. You go on. I’m not going to this festival, because my time has not yet come.” After saying these things, Jesus remained in Galilee.

Jesus Teaches Openly at the Temple

But after his brothers left for the festival, Jesus also went, though secretly, staying out of public view. The Jewish leaders tried to find him at the festival and kept asking if anyone had seen him. There was a lot of grumbling about him among the crowds. Some argued, “He’s a good man,” but others said, “He’s nothing but a fraud who deceives the people.” But no one had the courage to speak favorably about him in public, for they were afraid of getting in trouble with the Jewish leaders.

Then, midway through the festival, Jesus went up to the Temple and began to teach. The people were surprised when they heard him. “How does he know so much when he hasn’t been trained?” they asked.

So Jesus told them, “My message is not my own; it comes from God who sent me. Anyone who wants to do the will of God will know whether my teaching is from God or is merely my own. Those who speak for themselves want glory only for themselves, but a person who seeks to honor the one who sent him speaks truth, not lies. Moses gave you the law, but none of you obeys it! In fact, you are trying to kill me.”

The crowd replied, “You’re demon possessed! Who’s trying to kill you?”

Jesus replied, “I did one miracle on the Sabbath, and you were amazed. But you work on the Sabbath, too, when you obey Moses’ law of circumcision. (Actually, this tradition of circumcision began with the patriarchs, long before the law of Moses.) For if the correct time for circumcising your son falls on the Sabbath, you go ahead and do it so as not to break the law of Moses. So why should you be angry with me for healing a man on the Sabbath? Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly.”
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Morning Reflection:

In today’s reading, Jesus reluctantly travels from Galilee to Jerusalem to participate in the Jewish Festival of Shelters already in progress. He is reluctant because the Jewish leaders are already plotting to kill him, and his appearance will only provoke them further.

Why does Jesus and his teaching cause such division and hatred? Two verses stand out –

“The world… hates me because I accuse it of doing evil.” – John 7:7

“Anyone who wants to do the will of God will know
whether my teaching is from God or is merely my own.”
– John 7:17

Sin blinds us from believing in Jesus and accepting his teaching. How did that work out in today’s reading?

+ Authority: Theological training valued over plain truth of God’s Word.

+ Legalism: Ignores the Spirit of the Law, while adhering to the letter.

+ Disobedience: No interest in understanding or obeying the God’s will.

+ Superficiality: Unwillingness to accept Jesus as God’s Son – for fear their sins will be exposed.

“It is difficult for us to believe because it is difficult for us to obey.”
– Soren Kierkegaard –

Questions for consideration:

  • How often do you read the Bible yourself?
  • What role do Bible notes or commentary play in your reading?
  • Do you believe that you can understand the plain truth of the Bible yourself?
  • What role does your faith community play in your understanding the Bible?
  • Once you understand what the Bible says, how willing are you to do what it says?

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Morning Prayer:

Heavenly Father: Drive away the fog of sin that clouds my ability to trust and obey the plain truth of your will, revealed in the life and teaching of your Son, the living Word of God. Cleanse the thoughts of my heart through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that I may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name, through Christ my Lord. Amen.
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“Open My Eyes That I May See”

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen



Categories: Life in Christ

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