Saturday, July 17, 2021
39-40 “You have your heads in your Bibles constantly because you think you’ll find eternal life there. But you miss the forest for the trees. These Scriptures are all about me! And here I am, standing right before you, and you aren’t willing to receive from me the life you say you want.
41-44 “I’m not interested in crowd approval. And do you know why? Because I know you and your crowds. I know that love, especially God’s love, is not on your working agenda. I came with the authority of my Father, and you either dismiss me or avoid me. If another came, acting self-important, you would welcome him with open arms. How do you expect to get anywhere with God when you spend all your time jockeying for positions with each other, ranking your rivals, and ignoring God?
45-47 “But don’t think I’m going to accuse you before my Father. Moses, in whom you put so much stock, is your accuser. If you believed, really believed, what Moses said, you would believe me. He wrote of me. If you won’t take seriously what he wrote, how can I expect you to take seriously what I speak?” -John 5:39-47 The Message.
Jesus continues his explanation to Jewish leaders. So we continue at verses 39 and 40. “You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.’ The most important thing that he wants you to understand about his teachings is not getting so involved in “religion.” The religious leaders knew what the Bible said, but they didn’t want to apply the words of the Bible to their lives. As religious leaders, they know what the Bible says. All the leaders understood the teachings and scriptures but didn’t want to see the Messiah where the Scripture pointed. So they made sure they stay with “religion” and not what Jesus said.
Jesus continued: “I do not accept glory from human beings, but I know you. I know that you do not have a love of God in your hearts. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me, but you will accept him if someone else comes in his own name. So how can you believe since you accept glory from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?” So the question Jesus is asking is, who do you praise? The leaders of Jews may have enjoyed fame in Israel, what they don’t realize is that their stamp of approval meant nothing to Jesus. Jesus was concerned about God’s blessing. We should be concerned if God disapproves of our behaviors. The highest official usually approves of our behaviors. Let it be practical to serve God at our highest and not the highest officials.
Jesus continues on to the last part of his speech. “But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. If you believed Moses, you would feel for he wrote about me. But since you do not believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?” The Pharisee’s haughtiness about following Moses, their ancestor, did their best to follow his letters’ laws but added some of their own. Jesus warns the Pharisees that Moses would accuse them stung them angrily. Moses wrote about Jesus in Genesis 3:15, Numbers 21:9, 24:17, Deuteronomy 18:15, but the religious leaders refused to believe Jesus when he came. What do you do when you have friends and family that don’t want to follow Jesus? Do you stop following? Do you continue to support Jesus? Living in the free world that God releases us to live in, we have choices and decisions to make. God knows your options before making them, but it is up to you to make a wise decision.
Father, thank you for educating us about following you. Thank you for the history of followers that pretended. We can see how to follow you when the devil comes and convinces us to do other things from people or ourselves. In Jesus’ name. Amen!