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May 16, 2021

Scripture Reading: John 7:1-13

It is clear from reading the gospel of John that the author records a growing hostility toward Jesus as time goes on.  There is a mixture of confusion and disdain as the people, and particularly the Jewish leaders, become familiar with Christ.

This passage gives us insight into the extent to which people did not understand Jesus.  Even Jesus' brothers did not believe in Him (Jn 7:5).  Against the backdrop of the Feast of Tabernacles, the Jewish people were privately talking about Him, even arguing about His character (Jn 7:10-13).

In response to His brothers, Jesus says, "The world . . . hates me because I testify about it that its works are evil" (Jn 7:7).  This is a profound statement.  First, we see the reason why people reject Jesus … namely, that He declares that their deeds are evil.  Christianity is being increasingly rejected today because it declares that certain actions are wrong.

Second, when we see the word 'hate' we must not simply think about the angry emotion we associate with that term.  There are many ways of 'hating' Jesus which do not always include an emotional disdain.  To withhold from Jesus His rightful honor is to hate Him.  To call Him simply a man … even a good man … is a way of disdaining Him.  To ignore Jesus is to hate Him.  To worship Jesus with heartless forms is a way of hating Him.  Let us pray for a heart that truly and passionately loves Christ.