Month: February 2017

February 14, 2017

John 7:37-52

37 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” 39 Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

40 When they heard these words, some of the people said, “This really is the Prophet.” 41 Others said, “This is the Christ.” But some said, “Is the Christ to come from Galilee? 42 Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the offspring of David, and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David was?” 43 So there was a division among the people over him. 44 Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him.

45 The officers then came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, “Why did you not bring him?” 46 The officers answered, “No one ever spoke like this man!” 47 The Pharisees answered them, “Have you also been deceived? 48 Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him? 49 But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed.” 50 Nicodemus, who had gone to him before, and who was one of them, said to them, 51 “Does our law judge a man without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does?” 52 They replied, “Are you from Galilee too? Search and see that no prophet arises from Galilee.”

Reflection Questions

John 7:37-39
“On the seventh day, the priest would climb the altar steps and pour the water onto the altar while the crowd circled him and continued to sing. On the seventh day of the festival, this procession took place seven times. Judaism saw this water ceremony on multiple levels . . . Needed rainfall and water ceremonies lead to memories of miraculous desert water, water given from heaven, which concludes with Jesus’ offering himself as the source of the water of life.”

• Notice that the invitation is to anyone who is thirsty. In what ways does “thirst[y]” describe the heart of a person who is sincerely grappling with the human condition? What kinds of people do not “thirst”?

John 7:40-44
• Though there was lively discussion about the identity of Jesus, with some people hitting upon exactly the right answer (v. 41), what was ultimately missing in the people’s response? What does this show about the limitation of discussions?

John 7:45-47
• What is remarkable about the guards’ response, given their station in life and what they were told to do? Are there ways in which I blindly act out of my assigned role rather than think for myself, discern situations, and decide on a course of action?

John 7:47-52
• Think about the Pharisees’ reasons for rejecting Jesus. In their unreasoned prejudice, which groups or individuals do they revile? What does this show about the effects of pride? Is there some way in which my prejudice, pride or stubbornness has hardened me, causing me to revile or demonize others?

• What contradiction does Nicodemus point out? What should this have caused in the other Pharisees? Do I pause and allow myself to repent when my contradictions or pride are pointed out?

February 13, 2017

John 7:25-36

25 Some of the people of Jerusalem therefore said, “Is not this the man whom they seek to kill? 26And here he is, speaking openly, and they say nothing to him! Can it be that the authorities really know that this is the Christ? 27 But we know where this man comes from, and when the Christ appears, no one will know where he comes from.” 28 So Jesus proclaimed, as he taught in the temple, “You know me, and you know where I come from. But I have not come of my own accord. He who sent me is true, and him you do not know. 29 I know him, for I come from him, and he sent me.” 30 So they were seeking to arrest him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come. 31 Yet many of the people believed in him. They said, “When the Christ appears, will he do more signs than this man has done?”

32 The Pharisees heard the crowd muttering these things about him, and the chief priests and Pharisees sent officers to arrest him. 33 Jesus then said, “I will be with you a little longer, and then I am going to him who sent me. 34 You will seek me and you will not find me. Where I am you cannot come.” 35 The Jews said to one another, “Where does this man intend to go that we will not find him? Does he intend to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks and teach the Greeks? 36 What does he mean by saying, ‘You will seek me and you will not find me,’ and, ‘Where I am you cannot come’?”

Reflection Questions

John 7:25-30
“There was a popular tradition that the Messiah would simply appear. But those who believed this tradition were ignoring the Scriptures that clearly predicted the Messiah’s birthplace (Micah 5:2).”

• Why did the people conclude that Jesus could not be the Christ? How does their conclusion reveal their ignorance of Scripture? • Are there popular notions about God or Christian life that people hold onto, though they contradict Scripture? Are there some ways in which I have ideas about God and Christian life that are not founded on Scripture?

John 7:25-36
• What is Jesus’ message regarding where he is from (v. 29) and where he is going (v. 33), and the “little longer” that they have to discover who he really is? Given this message of urgency, what can we make of the debate and speculation about Jesus in this passage?

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