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May 30, 2021

Scripture Reading: John 7:25-36

The exchange in the temple between Jesus and the Jewish religious leaders continues in this passage. The opposition to Jesus is becoming clearer through this conversation and the declarations of Jesus are becoming more piercing.

The confusion on the part of the people prompts Jesus to say, "He who sent me is true, and him you do not know" (Jn 7:28). It is a repetition of Jesus' identity, but also a challenge to these Israelites. Jesus is revealing to them that they truly did not know the God of Abraham, though they thought they did.

The strongest declaration of Jesus comes in verses 33,34. "I will be with you a little longer, and then I am going to him who sent me. You will seek me and you will not find me. Where I am you cannot come" (Jn 7:33,34). Jesus is, no doubt, talking about His ascension into heaven, but what is the meaning of the words "you will seek me and you will not find me"?

Jesus says much the same thing to the Pharisees in John 8:22,24. "So he said to them again, 'I am going away, and you will seek me, and you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come'" (Jn 8:21). Since Jesus promises that He will not cast away anyone who comes to Him (cf. Jn 7:37), we must conclude that the kind of seeking Jesus is talking about is not the right kind of seeking. These Jews had a "zeal for God, but not according to knowledge" (Rom 10:2). They did not pursue righteousness by faith (Rom 9:31,32).

There is a self-serving seeking of God that is not an honor to Him and does not lead to eternal life. According to John 8:21,24, someone can seek Christ and die in their sins. It is the broken, contrite heart that God receives (Psa 51:17). This is what the proud person does not possess. This pride keeps people from truly seeking God. There is a seeking that is not a genuine seeking of the living God.