“I Will Be With You Only A Little Longer”

33 But Jesus told them, “I will be with you only a little longer. Then I will return to the one who sent me. – John 7:33 NLT

John 7:33-36 NLT

These must have been very confusing days for the disciples and the true believers in Jesus. The Messiah had come but He had not set up an earthly kingdom as many believed that He would do. Now, Jesus is telling His followers even worse news. “I will be with you only a little longer.” Why was He leaving and where could He be going? Looking back from our vantage point in history, we know where He was going and we understand why He had to leave. Few, if any, of the people present at that time understood that. Isn’t it wonderful news that Jesus has never made that statement to us? In fact, just the opposite is true. To us, He has said:

5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”​——H​ebrews 13: 5 (NKJV)

We have a companion that is closer than a brother. He not only leads us, He walks with us, He is our rearguard, and He abides inside us. Jesus is in us and we are in Jesus. What more could anyone ask?

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“It Comes From God”

16 So Jesus told them, “My message is not my own; it comes from God who sent me. – John 7:16 NLT

Truth

It doesn’t seem to matter how many miracles Jesus had performed or how many times He had spoken, the people were always surprised when they heard Him. Jesus told them that the message He was giving them was not His own but it came from God the Father who had sent Him. Jesus reminded them that they had Moses law which said “Thou shalt not kill” but the leaders were determined to have Him killed, thus disobeying the law handed down by Moses. In today’s world, we must follow the example Jesus set. We must deliver a message based on truth as given to us by the Holy Scriptures. Our message should not glorify us, but it should glorify our Father, who is in heaven. As John the Baptist said:

30 He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.–John 3:30 (NLT)

When we speak the truth as it is given to us by the Holy Spirit to speak and that message is rejected, it is not us that is being rejected, but, rather, it is Jesus that is being rejected. So, don’t be concerned about being offended, just speak the truth in love and God will take care of the results.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“So You Can Judge Correctly”

24 Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly.”– John 7:24 NLT

John 7:20-24 NLT

Doesn’t the crowd in Jerusalem that day kind of remind us of ourselves? Aren’t we always pointing fingers at others and trying to justify why and when we do what we do? Jesus pointed out some of the things that they and their ancestors had done on the Sabbath. Under the law, if the eighth day after birth occurred on the Sabbath, you would have to violate Moses’ law by working on the Sabbath or not circumcising the male child on the correct day. That is why Jesus said:

27 Then Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is Lord, even over the Sabbath!”–M​a​rk 2:27-28 (NLT)

Jesus asks them to look beneath the surface, in other words, look into the situation and determine why the person is doing what they are doing on the Sabbath or any other time. Jesus has set us free from the law and now we live under grace. If we are led by the Holy Spirit, our conscience will determine if our actions are right or wrong. No law is required.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“It Comes From God Who Sent Me”

16 So Jesus told them, “My message is not my own; it comes from God who sent me. – John 7:16 NLT

Truth

It doesn’t seem to matter how many miracles Jesus had performed or how many times He had spoken, the people were always surprised when they heard Him. Jesus told them that the message He was giving them was not His own but it came from God the Father who had sent Him. Jesus reminded them that they had Moses’ law which said “Thou shalt not kill” but the leaders were determined to have Him killed, thus disobeying the law handed down by Moses. In today’s world, we must follow the example Jesus set. We must deliver a message based on truth as given to us by the Holy Scriptures. Our message should not glorify us, but it should glorify our Father, who is in heaven. As John the Baptist said:

30 He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.–John 3:30 (NLT)

When we speak the truth as it is given to us by the Holy Spirit to speak and that message is rejected, it is not us that is being rejected, but, rather, it is Jesus that is being rejected. So, don’t be concerned about being offended, just speak the truth in love and God will take care of the results.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“But You Can Go Anytime”

6 Jesus replied, “Now is not the right time for me to go, but you can go anytime. – John 7:6 NLT

Waiting

Jesus knew that He would be going down to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Tabernacles. It was one of the three festivals that required all Jews to go to Jerusalem to celebrate. He also knew that He could not take a large entourage with Him to attract attention to Himself. If Jesus was discovered in Judea (the region between Galilee and Jerusalem), He knew He would be detained and possibly killed. If He were murdered by those hired by the religious leaders before His time and in the wrong manner, then He would not be able to fulfill all prophecy concerning His death. How many times have we missed God’s best plan for us because we ran ahead and did a “good” thing? God has a specific plan and a specific timing for all of us to accomplish His plan. If we miss it, someone else can do our job, but no one else was, is, or ever will be qualified to take the place of Jesus. Between “good” and “God” , there is only one little “o” difference. But, OH! what a difference it makes. Not in God’s eternal plan which will be accomplished whether we cooperate or not. The difference is in how God can use us here and, more importantly, in the rewards we lay up in heaven.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“Believe In the One He Has Sent”

28 They replied, “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?”  29 Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.” – John 6:28-29 NLT​

In its simplest form, the “work” that Jesus came to do was to save the world. He could have done that by going straight to the cross, dying and being resurrected. But there were many things that God wanted Him to do while He was here. This work included miracles to draw people to God. It also included living a sinless life as an example for us to follow. Just as the work that Jesus did included more than death and resurrection, “the only work God wants from you” is to “believe the One He has sent” includes more than just believing. But believing is the first step and if you don’t believe and receive the Holy Spirit, you will not be able to do the rest of the work.

36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. 38 So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”—Matthew 9:36-38 (NLT)

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“He Was Testing Philip”

 6 He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do. – John 6:6 NLT

How?

Philip and the other disciples had been following Jesus for a while now. They had seen Jesus perform miracle after miracle. Even now, a huge crowd was approaching Jesus because they knew about His miraculous work. Jesus sees this as an opportunity to test Philip. He asks Philip, “Where will we buy bread to feed these people?” Philip doesn’t answer the question Jesus asks, instead, he makes a statement about their lack. It doesn’t seem to enter his mind that the Bread of Life is sitting right in front of him. When Jesus asks us to do something for Him, what do we see? What is our answer? Don’t we do basically what Philip did? “Even if we_______, we wouldn’t have enough! (fill in the blank with whatever you think you would have to do to accomplish the mission). Most of us, like Philip, avoid the question and look at what we don’t have. Jesus will never ask us to do a work for Him without providing everything we need to accomplish the task. All he wants is our availability and all we need to finish the work is Jesus. If we do what Jesus asks us to do, the oil and the flour will not run out.

15 The widow went and did as Elijah had told her, and all of them had enough food for many days. 16 As the Lord had promised through Elijah, the bowl did not run out of flour nor did the jar run out of oil.—1 Kings 17:15-16 (GNT)

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“You Search the Scriptures”

39 “You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! ​ – John 5:39 NLT​

John 5:39-44 NLT

At the time Jesus was speaking, He, of course, was referring to the Old Testament Scriptures which clearly prophecy of the Messiah coming as the Suffering Servant. But the Jewish leaders didn’t want the Suffering Servant, they wanted the King. They did not understand that Jesus was both. People today are still reading the Scriptures, both the Old and the New Testament looking for confirmation of what they already believe instead of searching for the Truth. There had been impostors in the past, that the leaders had accepted because the impostors led rebellions against the Roman Empire. They had been led astray and deceived before. Today, we still have so many highly educated and/or charismatic leaders that lead people astray. People are searching for something or someone to believe, so they honor and follow after those they can see refusing to believe the truth about Jesus. The way we can show our love for Jesus is to spread the Truth to these poor souls who have been deceived. Will we win all of them to Jesus? No, but that should not keep us from witnessing to the lost. How can we do this? We can follow the example Paul set for us:

22 When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. 23 I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings.–1 Cor. 9:22-23 (NLT)


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“Rabbi, Eat Something”

 31 Meanwhile the disciples were urging Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat something.” – John 4:31 NASB

Food

The disciples are concerned about the physical welfare of Jesus, but He explains that He is nourished by doing God’s work here on earth. He uses the idea of food to segue into planting and harvesting. But again, He is not talking about natural or physical food. He is using the sowing and reaping in nature to demonstrate how God wants us to do His work here on earth. Studies have shown that it takes an average of as many as 14 times of hearing the Gospel for a person to accept Jesus as their Savior. So, as we go, we plant seeds into individuals and others reap the harvest. It is a joyful moment when we get to harvest where others have come before us and planted the seeds. We must be faithful in doing God’s work even though we may not see the result of the seeds we plant. We can be encouraged by what Jesus said here and what we find in Isaiah:

God’s Word

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“We Worship What We Do Know”

 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, because salvation is from the Jews. – John 4:21 NASB

John 4:19-24 NIV

We might think it strange that the woman ​is concerned about where is the proper place to worship​, but in her time and situation, it was a very important ​issue. Under the law, there were specific feasts and celebrations that could only be carried out in Jerusalem. She wanted to know how this would affect her worship. So, if we wanted to update this ​issue​ to now, we might ask Jesus, “How is this going to affect my lifestyle?” Jesus answers her question by introducing a whole new concept. The time is coming and it is actually here now that you will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. After Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension, He sent us the Holy Spirit, Now that we have the Holy Spirit abiding in us, we can worship God anywhere and anytime. This is true for individual worship. The answer for corporate worship is a little more complicated.

24 Let us think about each other and help each other to show love and do good deeds. 25 You should not stay away from the church meetings, as some are doing, but you should meet together and encourage each other. Do this even more as you see the day coming.—Hebrews 10:24-25 (NCV)

The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous