Hearing the Right Message
Briefing: What message do you hear when it comes to the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Do you think of all the benefits of a life spent following after Jesus or do you see what you perceive as negative consequences?
Dispatch (Assignment): Read John 7:25-44.
On the Street: In this passage of scripture we see Jesus under attack. He has become a political enemy of the Jewish leaders.
To the Pharisees and the Jewish leaders, Jesus appeared to be a threat to their political system. They would not let anyone disrupt the authority they enjoyed. They were not willing to give up the individual benefits they received from being leaders in their community. They could only see Him through the lens of their own selfish interests. Even though Jesus was there to fulfill the very prophecies they preached, it became more an issue of their personal comfort and selfishness vs. the saving grace of God coming to all mankind. Jesus did not come into the world to level a personal attack on these Pharisees and Jewish leaders. He came to offer them life.
How often do we hear a message or plan of direction that is different from the path we are on? There was a midnight patrol shift that was very diligent in their enforcement of drinking and driving offenses. The officers on this shift had worked several years sharpening their skills and knowledge on DUI enforcement. This shift was assigned a new supervisor who cared little for DUIs but was very focused on his officers catching burglars. He began to give his officers assignments in the areas that were having higher rates of burglaries. These areas were away from the highways the officers normally patrolled for DUI enforcement.
If you were an officer on this shift would you deliberately disregard the specific assignments of the new supervisor and continue doing what you feel is more important? We let our pride swell up inside us to the point of willfully following the wrong plan or path.
Jesus came with a message for all men and women. Even the Pharisees and the Jewish leaders were included in His plan of salvation. All they had to do was get over their own pride and ego to see He was Christ, the Messiah. These leaders were the very people who had been entrusted with looking for the signs and fulfillment of prophecies that foretold of His coming.
All the people heard His message yet when He was finished, there were several very different reactions. Starting in verse 40, some of the people thought Jesus was the Prophet (foretold by Moses) and some spoke out saying, “He is the Christ”. Still others got hung up on the notion He was from Galilee. With a little investigation they would have found that Jesus did come from the line of David and was born in Bethlehem.
We have all heard the Gospel preached at some time. The question is, how did you receive the message? Did you look for an issue to deflect the real message? That is what the Pharisees did. Or did you hear the message and think that Jesus was a good person or leader? Some people in the story looked at Him this way, thinking He was the Prophet. Then there are the true believers, like I hope you are. Those who heard His good news and accept Him as the Christ.
Investigational Resources: Jesus eventually gave His life for the furtherance of His good news. This is the story found in the Gospel of John. That makes the entire Gospel of John our resource for today’s devotional.
Officer Safety Principle: You have heard the right message; it is up to you to make the right choice.
from The Gospel of John Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
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