The Gospel of John, The Period of Conflict, Jesus Urged to Go to the Feast of Tabernacles, Part VI, John 7:17-24 - Lesson 53
Read Verse John 7:17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.
As we taught last week, Jesus tells them that if there be a ready heart to do the will of God the capacity for discerning whether or not a doctrine is of God will follow.
He ties doing God's will to knowledge of God.
He is saying that those who have ears to hear will hear.
Ears that hear are ready to do God's will.
If they are not ready then they are not hearing ears.
Hearing ears have purpose.
They hear because they are ready to respond.
Hearing ears await with anticipation the voice of their Master.
An ear that does not hear is not willing to respond.
Did you ever have your child not hear you when you know that sounds were made from your mouth and the sound waves went through the air and entered your child's ears but their was no action, or response?
That child heard you with the physical ear but did not hear with the ear of the heart because there was no wiliness to do your will.
Jesus tells us here that this is the same truth when it comes to doing God's will.
Whoever has that readiness of heart to do God's will, will recognize the teaching of Christ as truth.
The Holy Spirit will reveal it to him. The truth finds rest in those who will do God's will, those that hear.
John 10:27, My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
As I said last week the servant closest to the Master knows the Master best.
The servant whose ear is tuned to the Master's voice will desire to know the Master's will most perfectly.
And the servant who will be closest to the Master is the servant who most completely does the Master's will.
As James 4:8a says, Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.
You can also say, The more you draw nigh to God, the more he will draw nigh to you.
We pick up this passage here in:
John 7:18, 19, He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him. Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me?
Jesus Christ was a faithful messenger.
He sought no credit or glory for himself.
He always wanted those who hear him, to glorify the Father, the one who sent him.
And so it should be true of those who work for God, those who are called to carry the message of God.
Those who speak of themselves seek their own glory and not the Father's.
He was speaking to the Jewish leaders, the leaders that were after one thing, self-glory.
When these Pharisees came to the temple with their gifts, they blew the trumpet so everyone could see what they were doing.
When they taught in the synagogue or temple courtyard they sought the praise of men.
Jesus gives us the knowledge to discern teachers.
Where are they coming from?
What is their motive?
Does the teacher seek glory for himself or does his teaching glorify God and Jesus Christ?
If glory goes to God then there is no unrighteousness in him.
He then brings Moses into this discourse.
Did these leaders think they were carrying the message of Moses faithfully?
The law itself had become the thing of worship.
They elaborated its precepts, they had weaved a system from the law that had enslaved themselves and the people, but they failed to keep the law of Moses.
Were they bringing glory to God for the Law?
No, their glory was self-glory, the desire to be somebody in the religious system.
They charge him with being unlettered and now he charges them with disobedience to the law.
He charges them with murder in their hearts. Something the law strongly and clearly forbade.
He had healed a man on the sabbath and their distorted view of the law had revealed in them, a murderous heart.
They were now ready to break the sixth commandment in order to keep the fourth commandment.
Jesus says, Why go ye about to kill me?
He reads through the sham of their hearts and turns the light on the darkness of their hearts and finds murder.
But as we see in verse 20 they deny any such plan:
John 7:20, The people answered and said, Thou hast a devil: who goeth about to kill thee?
John told us in verse one of this chapter that the Jews or religious leaders of Israel, sought to kill Jesus.
There was a conspiracy afoot.
Plans were being made to trap Jesus Christ in error which would justify their plans.
Here John tells us that the people (perhaps the hostile element of the common people) show ignorance of such a plan. They say:
Tell us who this is that goeth about to kill you!
You sound insane, and out of your head thinking such thoughts!
We see here the growing hatred for Jesus Christ.
As they did with John the Baptist, the people call him demon possessed.
Perhaps a victim of persecution delusions.
They do not know the hearts of their leaders.
They did not know of the conspiracy.
But Jesus Christ knows what is being planned for him.
He knows what future awaits him but he continues steadfastly toward the cross.
John 7:21, Jesus answered and said unto them, I have done one work, and ye all marvel.
Here Jesus refers to the work that he did in John 5:1-16, the healing of the crippled man at the pool of Bethesda.
The Jews had not been pleased with that.
They were filled with indignation.
They had not forgotten what they assumed to be a violation of the law.
The miracle that Jesus had done was done blatantly on the sabbath day and the healing was a work and therefore was against the law of the Jews.
He had done it deliberately and with aforethought.
Jesus intended by this miracle to cause controversy.
He intended to reveal the hearts of the Jews.
They would never forgive him for this or for his other sabbath miracles.
He continues, he does not revile, he does not lose his temper but he instructs.
Perhaps there is one who will hear.
John 7:22,23 Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision; (not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers;) and ye on the sabbath day circumcise a man. If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath day?
The rite of circumcision was instituted in Abraham's time and enacted in the law given to Moses.
Circumcision took precedence if the eighth day of the baby's life fell on the sabbath.
Circumcision was not to be delayed sabbath day or no Sabbath day.
So, the priest who circumcised Hebrew boys on the sabbath, worked without sin.
Jesus argues that if the sabbath law may rightly be suspended for the removal of a small piece of tissue from one part of the body, it cannot be wrong to heal a man who had been paralyzed for 38 years.
By this argument Jesus teaches them that works of necessity and works of mercy may be done on the sabbath day.
They were wrong about the sabbath and he was right.
The sabbath was made for man and was to be a blessing to man.
He tells them in:
John 7:24, Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
Judging accordance to appearance is lazy judging.
It is judging that caters to the flesh.
It is judging that is natural to the old nature.
Righteous judging takes time and work.
It takes thinking.
Most of the time it takes study.
It is mostly done independently.
It is not a "follow the crowd judgment."
Many times it results in bucking established or accepted thought.
It requires consultation, sometimes with people that know more than you.
It requires getting rid of prejudices.
It is not based on emotion and sentimentality.
Jesus said in John 5:30, his judgment was just because he sought not his own will but the will of the Father.
From this we can conclude that righteous judgment is given apart from respect of your own person or another's person.
Righteous judgment is exercised apart from the emotions of the situation.
Proverbs says that there are paths of judgment and ways of judgment.
Proverbs also says, It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment, and to do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.
James says that judgment must be tempered with mercy.
Jesus says that with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
Do you want to be judged righteously,
then you and I need to cultivate the practice of judgment, we need to get on the path of judgment and that path of judgment is based on the Word of God.