#JesustheMessiah? #JesusChrist? #somanymiracles #nobodylikehim
In Jerusalem, people were starting to think that Jesus could possibly be the Messiah. He had done so many miracles that now the people were wondering if He truly was divine like He claimed. In modern day terms, this would be expressed in hashtags, and would be described as “the #1 trending topic” on social media.
With the Feast of Tabernacles underway, Jerusalem was bursting at the seams with people. Because of the overpopulation, the news of Jesus’ presence and power was spreading like wildfire. Now, the mumble in the crowd and on every street was that perhaps Jesus was the Messiah. No one was willing to admit it, but everybody had started to hear it. John even records that the crowd around Jesus was saying, “When Christ comes, will he do more miracles than this man?” The indication in their statement was that they had never seen anyone do any miracles, much less had they even heard of a man who had done as many miracles as Jesus. Perhaps Jesus was Christ (the Messiah); the evidence was beginning to seem undeniable.
John tells us that when the Pharisees saw what was trending in Jerusalem they were very concerned. Immediately, they dispatched soldiers to apprehend Jesus. His popularity was becoming dangerous to their enterprise. From the time He had overturned the tables in the temples, to the Sabbath day on which He had healed the lame man, everyone they encountered seemed to be speaking of Jesus in terms that began to confirm the claims that He was making.
Sadly, although all the evidence pointed towards the fact that Jesus was truly the Messiah, the religious leaders were too distracted to realize it. They were not ready to receive the truth. This was no surprise - Jesus had already explained why the religious leaders did not receive the truth when He had spoken to Nicodemus. “The wind blows where it wants to, so is everyone that is born of the Spirit.” The Holy Spirit opens the eyes and heart of those that He wants to, and He had not opened the eyes of the religious leaders to understand the truth yet.
Furthermore, their self-righteousness had blinded them from seeing the plain facts in front of them. Instead of accepting Jesus as Lord, they sought to imprison Him. They refused to admit that He was sent from God. No matter how plainly He said it to them, they still did not understand that He had come from God. John had begun the gospel story foreshadowing this with John 1:11, “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.” This was what that looked like. Even though the masses were starting to think that Jesus could be the Messiah, the religious leaders did everything in their power to undermine Him.
At times, we can act like the religious leaders. We may not use the same words that they did, or even come out and say, “Jesus isn’t the Christ;” but practically speaking, our lives might indicate that we don’t have much regard for what Jesus taught. Instead of obeying His teaching of obedience to the commands of God and of love one for another, we do those things that are displeasing to God and harmful to others. Perhaps today we can see the error of the Pharisees and check our own lives for a similar error. Jesus truly was God in the flesh. He is the Messiah, and He came to save all those who would humble themselves and trust in Him. His position demands our obedience, may the Holy Spirit help us to realize today what the Pharisees seemingly refused to see. Jesus is Christ!
Food For Thought: What was trending in Jerusalem during the Feast of Tabernacles while Jesus was there? What did the religious leaders try to do to stop this?