John 7:19-31 “Appearances Can Be Deceiving”

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The residents were amazed because they knew the truth. The leaders did want to kill Him, and they were astonished and confused over the lack of leadership engagement in the situation! They reasoned, if Jesus is a deceiver, He should be stoned; if He’s Messiah, worshiped! They asked, “Have the rulers reconsidered who this Man is? Do they now believe He is the Christ?” The question gives some hope that a few are beginning to get it and perhaps heard Jesus’s words to not judge according to appearance, but judge righteously! In verse 24, Jesus implored them to make righteous judgment not based on appearances. Verse 25 suggested they might be doing just that, but verse 27 reveals the reality! The question wasn’t genuine. It was rhetorical with the answer already pre-determined! The answer is no, they don’t believe He is Messiah, and they reason this out using the faulty logic Jesus warned them not to use. Appearances. They said, “No one knows where the Messiah is from,” but they should have known (Micah 5:2-5). They said, “We know where Jesus is from, Nazareth, and that can’t be good (John 1:46)!”  Therefore, they were confident based on appearance, Jesus cannot be Messiah! Once again, the people could not perceive or see the spiritual truth because they were blinded by their sin tainted bias of the way things appeared to be! Raising His voice so that everyone could hear Him clearly, insuring there would be no misunderstanding, Jesus announces, “You think you know me, where I’m from, who my parents are, and everything else about me, but the truth is, you don’t know squat because you don’t know the Father!” This was a serious accusation, to claim the Jewish leaders who prided themselves on knowing the true God, the God of Israel didn’t really know Him at all! What exacerbated the situation most was there is only one way Jesus could say definitively that only He knew God and they didn’t. He knew because He is God! Jesus again claims to be God Himself come down in the form of a man to save people! This sent the religious leaders into a fit and they wanted to kill Him, but nobody laid a hand because of sovereign protection given His time to die hadn’t arrived yet! There was something cool happening in the midst of all these folks getting worked up! Some in attendance were moved by His teaching to believe! Now their belief wasn’t based on faith just yet, but on the appearance of His miracles; “Certainly even Messiah could not do more than this Man!” It’s a start, and Jesus can and will use anything as a catalyst to help people receive Him! Given how hostile the world is becoming toward Jesus and Christianity, this gives me a lot of hope that there is still opportunity for the Word of God to go forth and reach people who appear extremely lost to bring them into saving faith! The crowd as a whole was vehemently opposed to Jesus and rejected Him, but there were many who were still open to hearing, learning, and being saved!

Lesson4Life: No matter how lost someone appears to be, Jesus can reach them!