Scripture: John 7:
47-49The Pharisees said, "Are you carried away like the rest of the rabble? You don’t see any of the leaders believing in him, do you? Or any from the Pharisees? It’s only this crowd, ignorant of God’s Law, that is taken in by him—and damned."
Observation: God often operates outside of our expectations.
Application: Christians all over the world anxiously await the day that Christ will return, and most of us think we know how He will return. In my previous entry I stated that Christ has come again and is among us and within us. This is “A Hard Teaching” precisely because it’s not what we’ve been expecting. We are looking for a figure on a white horse riding across the sky with an army of angels behind Him. We await a mighty trumpet sound that will be heard by all the people of the earth at once. We look for an instantaneous gathering together (rapture) of all the living believers on earth. Then, after all our expectations concerning the second coming were met, we would say, “Yes, Christ has come again.”
As we read the New Testament we often see the Pharisees and Sadducees as enemies of The Lord because of their participation in the denouncing of Jesus and in setting the stage for the crucifixion. We need to remember that they were pious religious people who observed the laws of Moses and did their best to live a life of service and obedience to God. They were of course imperfect and had flaws, but I think that any church today would be thrilled to have a member as committed as they were.
The Pharisees couldn’t accept that Jesus was The Messiah because to them he wasn’t doing what they thought the true Messiah would do. They thought that He would be a military type leader who would strengthen their positions of authority in the religious structure and lead a rebellion against the oppressing Roman government. In contrast Jesus was going against the religious system, and had little concern about the government. He was operating outside the system of traditional theology concerning the coming Savior and so they assumed, He could not be God’s chosen. But He was.
The modern church has much in common with the Pharisees of Jesus’ day. We are doing our best to serve God, and live according to His Word. But like the Pharisees, I fear that we have reduced His Word to something less than what it truly is. If Jesus walked into our church and told us that what we had been teaching was wrong, would we crucify Him again? If He came in a manner other than what we were expecting, would we be able to accept that it was Him? If we were not able to verify through the scriptures (as the Pharisees tried to do) that He met all the criteria of the second coming how would we know?
People of God, we must awaken ourselves to hear His voice. Just because the last words of the New Testament were written nearly two thousand years ago, doesn’t mean that God stopped speaking. God is trying to get our attention. His Word will never pass away. Listen not with your ears, see not with your eyes, but open your heart and feel the love of God that surrounds you.
Thank you for Your Spirit that is within. Thank you for Your Spirit that surrounds. Thank you for Your Word that is alive and never ends. Please open my heart and help me to realize how close you are to me. Grant me the strength to surrender all things to you, and the peace of knowing that your desire for me is one of fulfillment and victory.