Jettison Junk; Jive with John

John 7:25-36

Therefore some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, “Is this not the man whom they are seeking to kill? “And look, He is speaking publicly, and they are saying nothing to Him. The rulers do not really know that this is the Christ, do they? “However, we know where this man is from; but whenever the Christ may come, no one knows where He is from.” Jesus therefore cried out in the temple, teaching and saying, “You both know Me and know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know. “I know Him; because I am from Him, and He sent Me.” They were seeking therefore to seize Him; and no man laid his hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come. But many of the multitude believed in Him; and they were saying, “When the Christ shall come, He will not perform more signs than those which this man has, will He?” The Pharisees heard the multitude muttering these things about Him; and the chief priests and the Pharisees sent officers to seize Him. Jesus therefore said, “For a little while longer I am with you, then I go to Him who sent Me. “You shall seek Me, and shall not find Me; and where I am, you cannot come.” The Jews therefore said to one another, “Where does this man intend to go that we shall not find Him? He is not intending to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks, is He? “What is this statement that He said, ‘You will seek Me, and will not find Me; and where I am, you cannot come’?”

Right… I forgot the context.

“It was now the midst of the feast… Jesus went up into the temple, and began to teach. The Jews therefore were marveling, saying, ‘How has this man become learned, having never been educated?’ Jesus therefore answered them, and said, ‘My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me. If any man is willing to do His will, he shall know of the teaching, whether it is of God, or whether I speak from Myself. He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. Did not Moses give you the Law, and yet none of you carries out the Law? Why do you seek to kill Me?’ The multitude answered, ‘You have a demon! Who seeks to kill You?’ Jesus answered and said to them, ‘I did one deed, and you all marvel. On this account Moses has given you circumcision (not because it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and on the Sabbath you circumcise a man. If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath that the Law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with Me because I made an entire man well on the Sabbath? Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.'”

If you are not aware, I wrote a free book available on this site; for free, on this site. To read it, freely go to the menu page on this site and click on Did God Really Say? The book is about Eschatology but more importantly our mass manipulation of the manuscript. I constantly listen to pastors and preachers, theologians and teachers and with every sentence they continue to speak, more and more I have to scream, “God didn’t say that!” I wondered why I abruptly stopped writing my missives in the middle of John’s gospel account, to write a book but I think I have it figured out. I couldn’t take it anymore!

I believe in numbers, data, science, logic, deductions, time, seasons and the Holy Spirit. I believe in the rigid, laws of nature, such as what goes up must come down– gravity. Yet I also believe in the supernatural, which can defy laws– miracles. Nevertheless, if miracles were the norm, they would cease to be miraculous. We would have had miracle inflation and we wouldn’t give them a second thought. Do not jump to the conclusion that I believe Jesus did too many miracles based upon what I have written and today’s text but rather zoom out and consider a long-view of human history. Not only did the quality of miracles mean he was the Messiah but also the quantity or volume– that is, Jesus did really good miracles and did a lot of them in the midst of a culture requiring miracles.

However, Jesus also invented math, order, reason, accounting and all other ‘natural’ phenomenon. I believe we take the natural for granted more than the supernatural. We have natural inflation– our nature is flooding the market. What I mean by this is that everyone from the communist atheist to the dispensational theist, believes that the sky is falling from natural disasters. Some say it is our fault, others say that God is angry but both agree that time is running out. But what if 1,000 years is like a day to the lord? Better yet, what if a day is like a thousand years? Notice that these are opposite statements, antithetical to each other and not in concert with each other; it’s not a comparison but a juxtaposition. Peter wrote both of these statement in his second epistle and ever since, people have ripped it from its context.

Which reminds me about the CAGED method of biblical hermeneutics: Context, Aspirations of author to his audience, Genre, Examples and Divide rightly. We keep the Bible caged by our taught traditions, preconceived notions and presuppositions. The CAGED method can unlock the text from the caged placed around its content by pastors and preachers, theologians and teachers.

“Really Russell P, everytime? You are like a broken record.” I will scream “context is king” until I die– Jesus did. Look at today’s text and see. Unfortunately many pastors and preachers, theologians and teachers also say context is king– but you will know them by their fruits. If they say context is king, but don’t consider the context, audience relevance, historical setting, time indicators, etc. we know that they are not really considering the context but merely paying lip service, opting actually for ego-circular reasoning. Honestly, let me hit you hard and stab you to the soul– if Jesus spoke to them, why do you think he actually is speaking to you?

Therefore strap on your first-century, Jewish sandals and follow along with the words of the inventor of time and space, who performed a massive amounts of meaningful miracles. But remember the context and the audience and especially the timing– Jesus was at the the brink of assassination from his so-called brethren. They struggled with the miracles and the Scripture juxtaposed from whence Jesus came, amongst other seemingly inconsistent realities.

“Therefore some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, ‘Is this not the man whom they are seeking to kill? And look, He is speaking publicly, and they are saying nothing to Him. The rulers do not really know that this is the Christ, do they? However, we know where this man is from; but whenever the Christ may come, no one knows where He is from.‘ Jesus therefore cried out in the temple, teaching and saying, ‘You both know Me and know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know. I know Him; because I am from Him, and He sent Me.’” 

When you listen to sermons, teaching, preaching, missives, youtube channels or anything else, first look back. Our pastors and preachers, theologians and teachers do exactly the same things first-century Israel did. They said, “we know where this man is from; but whenever the Christ may come, no one knows where He is from.” Jesus, according to John, countered this notion by saying, “You both know Me and know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know. I know Him; because I am from Him, and He sent Me.’”

Yet we are the ultimately blessed generation, so far, to whom belong the completed and compiled Scriptures, with the ability to zoom in. Micah states and Matthew confirms that the Messiah will be, and was born, in Bethlehem. However, Jesus never brought this up– Why? It all goes to the author’s aspiration to his audience. This was the exact point Jesus made. They did not know the Scripture but tradition. They didn’t consider the context. They didn’t know the Father and therefore couldn’t recognize the Son. They neither understood the miracles nor his hometown– we should, we have the Bible.

Because of this, where Jesus was going, they could not come.

How much more guilty are we than they? How much more accountable will our pastors be than the Pharisees? Read the Bible for yourselves using a hermeneutical tool such as the CAGED method. Trample traditions and see the Scripture as it was written and thank God that you live in the best of times, so far. Consider the context, ascertain the author’s aspirations to his audience, jive with the genre, explore examples using exegesis rather than the extremely popular eisegesis and then divide rightly the word of truth.

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