Will To Do His Will
The timeline of Christ turns in a different direction in John 7. There are seven months between John 6 to John 7. John 6 begins the last year of Jesus’ life, and John 7 begins the last five months of His life. It’s now early autumn, probably the first of October right before the Feast of the Booths takes place. Jesus knows He’s in the last half year of His life. The hostility that begins to build here in John 7 is going to culminate just five months later in His murder.
We could subtitle John chapters 7 and 8 “High Intensity Hatred.” Jesus has passed the height (John 6). In the last few months of His life, His days are going to be spent among a few who want to follow Him and among many who want to kill Him.
Jesus has become the topic of conversation every time the people assembled. “What do you think of Him?” “Well, I think He is a good man.” “What do you think?” “Well, I don’t know, I think He is deceiving the people.” They were afraid to speak openly, but everywhere a person went in Jerusalem the burning question was, “What do you think of Jesus?”
The story begins in Galilee, and it goes to Judea. This is the third trip Jesus takes to Jerusalem. The first time He cleansed the temple. He certainly didn’t make many friends then (John 2). The second time He healed a man who was lame on the Sabbath (John 5). The Jews were so incensed they tried to kill Him. He certainly didn’t make any friends then.
Even His own brothers were hostile. They said, “Let people see Your miracles. Go to Jerusalem and produce a few thrills. Become everybody’s wonder boy. Go to Jerusalem and do a few tricks, come up with a few new gimmicks.” In other words, “Be sensational. You are just walking around Galilee talking to some fishermen. That’s never going to make it. Go where the crowds are. Move to Jerusalem. All the big name preachers live there.”
Jesus just destroys their criticism by showing that He might not have been to their schools, but He knew the Law better than they did. For example, He said, “You know the Law, but you don’t keep the Law. You’re planning to kill Me. Isn’t there something in the Law about, ‘Thou shall not kill?’” (7:19) They could not deny that they were violently breaking the sixth commandment.
He said, “You think you know the Sabbath. And you’re all upset because I healed that lame man by the pool on the Sabbath day. Do you circumcise on the Sabbath? If you can do that on the Sabbath, why can’t I for medical reasons, but also as a symbol of holiness, make a man well on the Sabbath?” (7:21-23)
They never recognized Jesus, not because they weren’t religious, not because they didn’t go to church. Their problem was they never “Willed to do God’s will.” If we don’t want to do the Father’s will, we can look right into Jesus’ eyes and never see God. “If anyone wants to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My Own authority” (John. 7:17, NKJV). What is the key to man knowing the will of God? We must want to do His will. Then we will see Him.
Lord, help us lay aside our prejudices. Help us to have a desire to do Your will. Help us look past our own hedges. Help us to see Your great work. Amen