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John 7:25-31 - Some of the people of Jerusalem therefore said, “Is not this the man whom they seek to kill? And here he is, speaking openly, and they say nothing to him! Can it be that the authorities really know that this is the Christ? But we know where this man comes from, and when the Christ appears, no one will know where he comes from.” So Jesus proclaimed, as he taught in the temple, “You know me, and you know where I come from. But I have not come of my own accord. He who sent me is true, and him you do not know. I know him, for I come from him, and he sent me.” So they were seeking to arrest him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come. Yet many of the people believed in him. They said, “When the Christ appears, will he do more signs than this man has done?”
John 7 is such a brutally honest look at how mobs of people respond to Jesus. Scan the crowd and you can see everyone at the party. Over there, with their arms folded across their robes, are the religious leaders. They are scowling because Jesus doesn’t fit their particular interpretation of Scripture. They have the Messiah figured out, and guess what – He’s a lot like them! It’s amazing how many of the people in our culture who scoff at religious leaders like this are guilty of the same attitude – they assume that God thinks like they do, and values what they value. They recreate God in their own image.
On the other side of the group are “Messiah-seekers.” They don’t necessarily believe in Jesus, but they do love His miracles. They are fascinated that Jesus hasn’t been arrested. They enjoy the show. These are drama-addicts. Church is a show, and the best part of the Bible is the controversy and mystery it contains.
Then there are the sideline critics. These are people who have a little bit of knowledge and a lot of opinion. They feel like they have the answers, but they aren’t smart enough to know what they don’t know. In this case, they lecture the others in the group: “We KNOW this guy, and when the Messiah comes, He won’t come from where Jesus comes from. Come on, everyone – we already know Him.” I can imagine this group in our times, sitting behind a computer posting on social media, lecturing everyone from their position of expertise.
But in verse 28, Jesus addresses this group directly. “Yes, you know me… but you don’t know what really matters. You know facts that you have read and anecdotes you have heard, but your knowledge has a hole in it. You don’t know the author of knowledge, and until you do, you’re nothing more than an educated fool!”
We live in the most educated society in history. God has blessed us with knowledge and insight into the workings of the world that no one else in history has enjoyed. But we are lacking the knowledge that matters most: we don’t really know our Creator. Sure, we know lots about Him. We can quote some things He said – especially the things we like! But knowledge apart from relationship is empty and cold and incomplete. How desperately we need to sit at His feet and get to know Him! Truth can’t be found anywhere else.