Divided Opinions About Jesus

Being much concerned about the rise of denominations in the church, John Wesley tells of a dream he had. In the dream, he was ushered to the gates of Hell. There he asked, “Are there any Presbyterians here?” “Yes,", came the answer. Then he asked, “Are th … More

Division

In Jewish history we learn that during the feast, the priest would fill a golden pitcher with water from the pool of Siloam and carry it to the altar at the Temple where he would pour it out. This was symbolic of the water Moses drew from the rock. It was possibly after this ceremony that Jesus invited those who thirsted to come to Him and drink (vv. 37-38). Water for drinking is one of the symbols of the Holy Spirit in the Bible. Just as water satisfies thirst and produces fruitfulness, so does the Spirit of God satisfy a thirsty soul and enable him to bear fruit. The Spirit had not yet been given to indwell believers permanently (v. 39). That did not happen until after Jesus’ death, burial, resurrection, and ascension. Jesus was offering them living water and eternal satisfaction.

As a result of this invitation the people were divided. Some defended Him and some wanted to arrest Him (vv. 40-44). The crowd’s divided opinion about Him enabled Him to continue His ministry without immediate arrest. The temple guards, who had been sent to arrest Jesus (v. 32) returned to the Jewish council meeting empty- handed (vv. 45-49). Nicodemus was there at the time. He was a member of the council (v. 51). Our Law doesn’t let us condemn people before we hear what they have to say. Nicodemus spoke up, being one of them, and said he did not feel that the council was giving Jesus an honest hearing. They simply ignored him and told him if he would search the Scriptures, he would discover that no prophet has ever come out of Galilee (vv. 52-54). Besides, the Messiah was to be born into the Davidic family and to be born in Bethlehem. Of course, both of these were true of Jesus but the crowd refused to accept those facts. 

Application

The religious leaders were set in their religious beliefs and were not about to change their minds concerning Christ no matter what He said. I need to be careful that this doesn’t happen in my life.

John 7:37-53 (English Standard Version)

On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, 'Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'" Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. When they heard these words, some of the people said, "This really is the Prophet." Others said, "This is the Christ." But some said, "Is the Christ to come from Galilee? Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the offspring of David, and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David was?" So there was a division among the people over him. Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him. The officers then came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, "Why did you not bring him?" The officers answered, "No one ever spoke like this man!" The Pharisees answered them, "Have you also been deceived? Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him? But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed." Nicodemus, who had gone to him before, and who was one of them, said to them, "Does our law judge a man without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does?" They replied, "Are you from Galilee too? Search and see that no prophet arises from Galilee." [[They went each to his own house....

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