John 7:19 Has not Moses given you the law? Yet none of you keeps the law. Why do you seek to kill me?‚Äù
This sentence is out of place unless you know from other narration what is going on. It just goes to show that God can see right inside our hearts and motives to penetrate our lives. Just like we know that there were men there that were seeking to kill Him, we know that there were men there that had broken the Law of Moses. Jesus didn‚Äôt have to call out names or specifics against people, because he wasn‚Äôt interested in shame for shame‚Äôs sake. He was genuinely interested in the Pharisees turning away from their sin!
When Jesus says ‚ÄúIf anyone chooses to do God‚Äôs will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.‚Äù (John 7:17) He‚Äôs not putting an impossible riddle out for them. The Father wants people to come to Him and to do His will. The Father wants people to bring Him glory and not seek their own. The trouble is that the Pharisees speak in law language that says, ‚ÄúJust tell me what to do.‚Äù i.e. activities, outward motions, etc. But Jesus speaks LIFE language that says, ‚ÄúHere is how to be.‚Äù
I heard recently that there is a tremendous increase in the popularity of Buddhism in the United States-even among Christians. When further research was done, some people found that for the most part Christianity was taught as a system of intellectual beliefs or instructions, and Buddhism was taught as a way of life. As always, I find my self wondering about the people that are leaving Christianity for Buddhism and if they would have done it had they known Jesus rather than Christianity.
When God said ‚Äú4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.‚Äù
He meant for us to live this way. Unfortunately, people turned it into rules of where they should hang things, and so they hung them there and no where else.
That’s why they are so confused and ask ‚ÄúHow did this man get such learning without having studied?‚Äù The knew all about God’s book. They knew all about every idea about God’s book, but they failed to know God. There are numerous people all over China that have only held in their hands a single page of the Bible, yet from their closeness and openness to God, they live lives more full of Jesus than many graduates from American seminaries.
Jesus talked so much in this section about bringing glory to God and knowing God, but didn’t give any specific instructions. It’s almost like God doesn’t want us to ever have a chance to check something off of our list of following Him. He doesn’t want us to have a list! You can’t just sell all you have, you can’t just leave your family, you can’t just do this thing or that thing, because every time someone asks Him what to do, He changes on them! God is God, and He will not fit into a task list unless its as nebulous as
- Believe in the One He sent
- Seek His glory
- Do His will
- Work for His honor
- Don’t judge by appearances
I love it because you could read every one of those and then say, “well how do I do that?!” and Jesus’ answer really would be different for every one of us. (I think I want to save and continue this nebulous list I enjoy it so much.)