Text: John 7:1-53, Leviticus 23:39-41, Joel 2:28-29
When I was a young girl, I loved to visit my father’s elementary school. He was the principal, and being the principal’s daughter made me feel special. I especially loved the times he sent me on errands. I would walk into the cafeteria or library, looking like any other student. But when the staff learned who I was—and that I’d been sent by my father, the principal—it made all the difference. All that he represented was attached to me.
I love that the book of John sets itself apart from the other Gospels in the way it showcases Jesus as the Son of God. While Matthew, Mark, and Luke together have a handful of instances in which Jesus refers to Himself as “sent” by God, John records more than thirty. As Jesus talked to the crowds—and in particular, to the Jewish leaders—He used some version of these words: “Him who sent me… the One who sent me.”
Jesus’ choice of words was purposeful. The Jewish people knew that God had promised to send a Savior. It’s amazing to me that Jesus would tell them so plainly, so many times, that He was the “sent” One. In chapter 7 alone, those words appear five times:
“My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me” (John 7:16).
“… but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true… ” (John 7:18).
“I know Him, because I am from Him, and He sent Me” (John 7:29).
“For a little while longer I am with you, then I go to Him who sent Me” (John 7:33).
And this one: “I have not come of Myself, but He who sent me is true…” (John 7:28).
God the Father had been true to His promise. He had sent His Son for the salvation of mankind. Yet, many who walked and talked with Jesus—who heard Him testify repeatedly that He was the sent One—did not believe.
So many precious truths are repeated this way throughout the Bible, and I can’t help but wonder at just how often I’m slow to believe them. For instance, while some version of “Do not fear” appears hundreds of times throughout Scripture, there are still countless circumstances arising in day-to-day life that tend to stoke fear deep within my heart. The Bible is replete with assurances of peace and joy despite what’s happening around us. But how long does it take to believe those assurances in a given situation? God trumpets His love for us, unconditional and eternal, a love unsurpassed by any human love we could ever experience. Yet, when we feel the sting of rejection from a friend or loved one, we suddenly feel alone.
God keeps His word. If a promise is given just once in the Bible, He is faithful to fulfill it. By His grace, He often repeats those promises, giving added assurance to our hearts. With faith, we can stand on those promises and believe, because there is another promise that’s often repeated: our God is true (John 7:28-29).
No matter how many promises God has made to us, they are all made complete in Jesus. He was sent from God for our salvation, making us daughters of the King. We can believe Him. And when we do, receiving His promises as His children, we bring Him glory (2 Corinthians 1:20).
Kim Cash Tate is the author of several books, including Though I Stumble (2016) and Cling: Choosing a Lifestyle of Intimacy with God (2017). A former practicing attorney, she has a passion for studying and teaching the Word of God. Kim lives in St. Louis with her husband and their two young adult children.