Life is full of hard questions. Where do you turn for answers? Jesus faced some really intense skepticism and persecution, even from His own family. But He answered those objections again and again. In the process, He also answered four hard questions for us.
1) Which/Whose plan should I follow? (John 7:3-13)
We make lots of difficult decisions throughout our lives… decisions about college, career, relationships, child-rearing, investments, retirement, just to name a few. How do you decide which plan, whose timetable, to follow? Jesus modeled that following God’s plan for my life is always best!
Jesus faced pressures from others that could have caused Him to deviate from God’s plan for His life; but Jesus was keenly aware and determined to follow God’s plan and timetable His life. What is your strategy for making critical life decisions? Are you committed to seeking and following God’s plan? Are you praying fervently about where He is leading you? Are you inviting others to pray with and for you?
2) Why should I trust what Jesus says? (John 7:14-24)
People knew that there was something remarkable about Jesus’ knowledge. Jesus left no doubt that His knowledge came from God the Father. Jesus went to the Festival of Tabernacles, but not in the way His brothers had sarcastically suggested. While He was there, He made clear that He was God’s Son, the promised Messiah.
Knowing Jesus’ authority comes from God is fundamental to my belief, my faith, my trust in Him! His knowledge was truly divine and He was using it, not for His own glory, but for the glory of His heavenly Father; yet many still couldn’t see that, especially the religious leaders. How about you? Do you fully trust Jesus?
3) Where can I fulfill my soul thirst? (John 7:37-39)
Jesus never wavered from His mission to bring the water of life to thirsty souls.
Where do you find water for your soul? Quenching my soul thirst comes only through Jesus.
At the Festival of Tabernacles, Jesus “shouted” for all to hear, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink”. (John 6:37). He had said something very similar six months earlier during Passover; “…whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35). Is your soul thirsty? Draw near to Christ! Drink the “living water” He offers your heart and soul. Make Him the center of your life. Allow the Holy Spirit to teach you and guide you. Any other choice will cause your soul to thirst and shrivel.
4) What is my response to Jesus?… There are 5 responses we see from the crowd of people who heard Jesus speak at the Festival of Tabernacles…
Convinced. (John 7:40-41). Some were convinced Jesus was the Messiah; they had no doubt that He was exactly Who He claimed to be! Are you convinced and fully committed to Christ as Savior and Lord?
Curious. (John 7:41b-42). Some were curious, but mistaken; they wrongly believed that Jesus was from Galilee. Of course, we know he was born in Bethlehem. Maybe you or someone you know is curious about Jesus, but not yet convinced. Search for answers. Keep studying, listening, and learning… but don’t delay!
Contentious. (John 7:43-44). Some were seriously contentious toward Christ. But the same is true today; there are some who are contentious toward Him and the truths He taught. They stand against those who follow Him and the values He taught too. If that is you, do not be discouraged or dissuade!
Confused. (John 7:45-46). The religious leaders wanted to use the temple guards to drag Jesus in that day, but the guards were conflicted and confused. They respected the religious leaders, but they knew there was something remarkably different about Jesus… 46 “No one ever spoke the way this man does,” the guards replied. (John 7:46). What a testimony! Are you confused about Jesus? Allow Him to clear up your confusion!
Cold-hearted. (John 7:47-49). Most of the Pharisees there that day despised Jesus. Their hearts were hard and cold. They weren’t even willing to give Jesus a fair and honest hearing. But there was one Pharisee who was not cold toward Him… Nicodemus. He was willing to be an ally for Jesus. (John 7:50-52).
What do you believe about Jesus? Jesus offers us direction for life! He answers hard questions for us again and again. For much more, click here to listen to: Light in the Darkness - Part 7 - Answers to Four Hard Questions.