Read John 7:14-24. TEXT: (Jesus said) "... 'Why do you seek to kill Me?'" (John 7:19b)
The darkness of unbelief hangs like a thick blanket over the temple grounds. For the first half of the festival it looks as though the darkness has driven away the Light-Jesus is nowhere to be seen. But midway through the festival He steps into the temple courts and begins shining His light for all to see. Jesus immediately addresses the reason He stayed away for the first half of the festival. He asks the religious leaders why they want to kill Him for doing a good deed.
Unaware that Jesus is talking to the Jewish leaders, the crowd thinks He is talking to them. Since they aren't seeking His death and are unaware of their leaders' thoughts, they reach a false conclusion: they accuse Him of being demon possessed!
When He hangs from the cross they will reach another false conclusion: Jesus was a fake and God is using the cross to show the world Jesus of Nazareth is not His Son. They will have no idea God is giving His only-begotten Son to die for the sins of the whole world.
Judging by appearances and jumping to conclusions is something we often do too. We are offended by our neighbor, so we condemn him before we even learn his reasons. Jesus warns, "Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment."
Stop a moment and reconsider Jesus Christ. Did you start this Lenten season thinking of Jesus as only being meek and humble? Have you begun to see His strength, commitment and courage? Stick around, because as Jesus once told Nathanael, "... You will see greater things than these" (John 1:50b).
THE PRAYER: Father, forgive me for judging by appearances. Open my eyes to see Your Son as He is-my powerful Lord and Savior. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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