In the seventh chapter of John, we see escalating opposition against Jesus. Jesus went back to Jerusalem, where He was eventually put on the cross. The Jewish religious leaders only listened to Jesus to find fault in Him, though He had none. They sought to kill Him (see John 5:8).
The beginning of chapter 7 tells us of the earthly half-brothers of Jesus and their mocking unbelief. We learn from this that men are truly depraved. If these brothers, who had every earthly advantage of knowing Jesus, and yet did not believe, we must therefore know that it takes the power of God to open blind eyes and impart faith.
Chapter 7 also tells us of the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles (or Tents). They had two ceremonies that reminded them of God's provision in the wilderness:
1. The ceremonial water drawing, representing God's miraculous gift of water in the desert. Our Lord used this to show that He offers true life-giving, spiritual water (see John 7:37-39).
2. The ceremonial lamp lighting, representing the Shekinah glory of God that led them as a pillar of fire at night. Our Lord used this occasion to declare that He is the true light of the world (see John 8:12).
We note our Lord's commitment to follow His Father's timetable (see John 7:30; 8:28). He would not follow His earthly brothers' sarcastic advice. Their taunts did not lead Him to deviate from His Father's leading. Like our Lord, we should not follow men's logic and methods to build the kingdom of God.
Dr. Hamp Edward Linehan is Pastor of Reformed Baptist Church of Ft. Worth, Texas, where he has preached since 1999. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of North Texas, his Master of Divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and...