John 7: The Polarizing Christ

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What a polarizing figure Jesus is! One group wanted to crown him king, another wanted to kill him. His own siblings, who for years slept under the same roof, didn’t recognize him as the Messiah. Questions arose about his trustworthiness, his education, his morality. At best, people thought he was unstudied; at worst, demon-possessed. All this during a feast to commemorate the faithfulness of God — yet God himself dwelt among them and they didn’t know it.

Jesus was the perfect human, the most loving friend, the most learned teacher. He did everything right, but there were still many who hated and disbelieved. This is strangely comforting in my Christian walk, as I seek to live in step with God’s Word, but people mock and misconstrue. Of course, I do the wrong things very often, too. But Jesus never did. He was “God with us” and yet his own people did not receive him (John 1:11).

But by the end of John 7, there are a glorious few who say, “This is the Christ.” At this point in John’s gospel, people are taking sides. Eternal life and death hinge on what they believe about Jesus — as it does today. Truly, as A.W. Tozer said, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”

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