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John: Day 9

A Prophet from Galilee

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Today's Text: John 7:1-53, Leviticus 23:39-41, Joel 2:28-29

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).

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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.

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  • My very favorite statement in this is, “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).” I love that He only has to promise us once, but He knows us well enough to know that we aren’t always good with just once. Don’t we all need to be reminded over and over again? I wish, with all my heart, that once was enough for me. Why can’t once be enough? And don’t we, as humans, feel like we have to repeat ourselves when we make a promise? How often do we repeat our promises to convince someone that we’re sincere? I’m listening to “Oceans” right now, and she just sang, “You’ve never failed, and You won’t start now.” I want to rest in that. I want to believe that He has never failed, so He won’t start now. I don’t want to limit Him. He’s limitless!! Praise be to Him that He is limitless!! Help me, Father, to hear Your promises and to believe them!

  • Heather Fringer

    Something that really jumped out to me today was when we are told to stop judging according to outward appearances, rather judge according to righteous judgement.

    Also how we were reminded that if God gives us a promise in the Bible, He is faithful to fulfill it. By His grace He often repeats those promises giving added assurance to our hearts. When we stand on those promises and believe that we are daughters of the king, it will bring Him glory.

  • Today I sit in the middle of a new business and a full time job, mom (my favorite role of all) and wife too. I am riding a really busy train right now Yet trusting that God will direct me to my next steps. God is faithful… I wonder where He will take me. Praying for sustainable energy, rest, my boys and for what is to come. God only knows… my only question would be am I willing to let go of my new business if God calls me out of it. Ohh that hits close… I would drop it but a really large and evident door would need to be slammed… God has a plan and a good one so I trust and follow Him. Lord you know my heart and what passion has been moving in my heart. Do your will and change my heart to your will! Amen!

    • Ginger

      Amen, Jelly! Keep thanking God for how far he’s already brought you! You already know He’s a provider in all ways. He’s your business, as He’s mine, all of our business!!! We’re about our Father’s business!!! Lol!!!

  • These readings have been difficult for me lately due to circumstances in my life. I’m working in a dead end job, was recently rejected from a PhD program, and try as I might have not been successful in finding a relationship. It’s difficult to see Gods plan for me and his fulfilled promises when all I experience is rejection and roadblocks. It’s difficult to rectify what I know is true and what I seem to be experiencing.

    • Lauren

      Megan, my friend, you are not alone in the struggle! (Coming from another vocationally discontent and relationally single lady.) But I’ve learned to tell my story a different way. The way our Dad might see it. I’m available to mentor young women in my church, free to move as God moves, bless others with hospitality, and seek adventures with friends! It’s hard submitting our desires to the King but, despite my circumstances, I TRUST Him, Megan. And I choose to trust Him again every day. Do you?

    • Sarah D.

      Praying for you!! A great book to read for you right now would be Uninvited by Lydia TerkHearst . Talks about how to handle rejection and that God always invites us in!

    • Gema Muniz

      Sweet Megan at times I have also felt rejected by this world. We make so many plans and put our hopes and worth on careers, relationships, and degrees that we forget to see God. Is it possible that your plans are not Gods plans? I know is hard to see the positive in the middle of the storm, but i will recommend for you to step away from your personal issues in focus on other things. As one of our sisters mentioned focus your time on how God can use you by serving others and always remember to be the light in your job no matter how difficult it is. Megan God has great plans for your life you just need to let him take the wheel and allow him to work in you. I pray for you to learn to let go and allow God to guide you. From a sister that was once in the same place. God bless you.

    • Ginger

      Megan, your story sounds too much like mine! But there is hope! For you, for everyone!

      I was single for many years and am now a newlywed, thanks be to God…I didn’t think He was listening but He was and sent me a powerful mate who believes in Him and testifies daily how far God has brought him! Constant encouragement, and I love God for sending such a man into my life and the lives of my children!

      Before my new mate, I was working a dead end job, moved on from that job and currently into another dead end job, lol, that I actually LOVE doing and very passionate about! Problem? Not enough work for me to do so I’m working on an on-call basis. This means not enough money coming in, etc, and my new hubby is fully retired.

      I’m in the process of working on a few business ideas, with no capital, lol. But I’m hopeful and praying that God answers, because He’s a God that hears and answers prayer!

      But, I have to look where God brought me from: being a single parent, a dead end job, homelessness before meeting my husband, and no income.

      Now in Jesus, I have 2 business degrees, lol, a mind for business opportunities that never stop flowing, a supportive mate, a house completely paid for, and a job I love and very passionate about, never hungry, never thirsty, in Jesus or in my home, etc…all blessings. Please count your blessings and God will show you how far He’s brought you because he didn’t bring you this far to leave you, please believe that.

      I will pray for you, also in Jesus’s name!

    • Kersti

      You aren’t alone.
      I know these feelings all too well. I’ll share only what I’ve been told, is pray for what hurts and what you’d like to see change.

      If that is hard then ask why to Jesus. For myself, I finally am at a point that I truly want someone to share my life with, I’m in my thirties and never would have imagined saying I am still single at this age. It’s really hard for me to pray for my husband, it hurts and it reminds me of the rejections, yet I know God will be faithful. If he’s placed these desires in our hearts, we need to let him meet us there. Even in our pain, loneliness and dead end jobs. Praying for you.

  • Wow thank you for this Kim. I think that a lot of times God uses our fears to get our attention. When I refused to compromise my ethics last April I was fired from my job as a hospital RN. My patient had the right to know all of his options for his cancer treatments. Administration didn’t want any referrals outside of their hospital community-a small hospital without a colorectal surgeon! Suddenly I was stripped of my identity! If I’m not a nurse who am I?! I felt lost, paralyzed and fearful for what was to come. My husband said- take your time, don’t rush into anything. With that I had permission to turn to God and say “what now?” God used my emptiness, my fears to cause me to focus more on Him. Every day I struggle to hear His voice over mine. I’m stubborn, impatient and love to make plans and lists! “What is Your plan for me Lord?! Our money is dwindling and it makes my stomach twist and hurt. Then I read- “do not fear”. I know that I am even more special to Him who cares for every bird. I can look back in my life and see countless times when His hand was at work in my life. He loves me more than I could ever love myself. I am His masterpiece made new in Christ Jesus to do the good works He has planned for me. Ephesians 2:10. Dear Jesus I am turning 60 on Saturday and I’m scared. Where did all my time go?! I have so many places I want to visit, so many people I want to know and help and it feels like I won’t have the time or the $$ to do it. And God says “do not fear”. You have the answers Lord, not me. Please help me to keep my eyes on you as you guide my steps through this very unfamiliar territory. Amen

  • Thankful that God is faithful even when we do not believe or forget His goodness. Also if you all could please pray for me, I stayed up too late last night finishing homework (bad decision on my part i guess) and didn’t feel well to go to schoo today…please pray that I feel better, get some work done, and not make this mistake again/manage my time better. Love you all!

  • Did those questioning where Jesus “came from” not know his birthplace was Bethlehem and that he was from the line of David? Thoughts?

    • Kimone

      He was conceived in Galilee and was birthed in Bethlehem as promised. I’d like to say He hailed from both places hence the division. But rightfully Bethlehem since that’s where HE was born. Yet he had roots in Galilee, I’d like to assume that’s where His parents were from, that’s where they lived but Joseph had roots in Bethlehem since that’s where His family line came from. We have no information as to where Mary was from.
      Hope I didn’t ramble too much and you got the point.

  • I praise God for being the one love that never fails. And to be reminded that his promises are always fulfilled. Praise the Lord!

  • How faithful he is!!! His promises are ALWAYS yes and amen!

    http://www.in-due-time.com

  • Our God is a faithful God. He keeps His promises and is kind enough to reassure us throughout the Bible because He knows that’s what we need even though just once should be enough. I’ve had MAAANNYY instances where I’ve allowed emotions and situations that arise derail me and make me feel scared or alone, but God every time has proven He is always there. Always. I want to reach a point where I will no longer fear or worry and solely put my trust in Him <3

    • Glorybe

      That really touches me Katalina. I want to reach a point where I will no longer fear or worry, and solely put my trust in him. Thanks for posting!

    • Taylor

      I too want to be at the point of complete trust, no matter what. May we have peace and complete faith that God is good! Amen.

  • I am usually pretty good at understanding how all the readings relate, however I’m totally stuck on the Leviticus 23:39-41 passage. Can anyone help me understand the relationship?

    • Jenn

      Hi JoAnn, I think the Leviticus passage is a description of the festival that the Jews and Jesus were attending in the reading we did in John.

    • Kathryn

      JoAnn,
      I believe they included the scripture from Leviticus because it relates to the Jewish Festival of Tabernacles, mentioned in verse 2. They would build small shelters and cover them with these various types of branches and live in them during this festival.

      • JoAnn

        Thanks you! I desire so much to learn the history of the time to better understand the Word!

  • ‘All that he represented was attached to me’
    Woah! This his me like a strong cup of coffee on an empty stomach. My dad was in the navy, with what I perceived as a high level of authority. I remember feeling so proud whenever I got to visit him because he was a ‘master chief’ instead of a petty officer or ‘regular’ chief. (not that those are lowly, my dad started there too!) But I could feel his position of authority attached to me as his daughter.
    And though I’ve always known and believed that I am ‘the righteousness of God’ because Jesus is also; I’ve never made that real connection before. ALL THAT HE IS, IS ATTACHED TO ME, through Jesus. All that the Father is, was attached to Jesus when He became a man; and just like the loaves and fishes, he multiplied that extension of grace and righteousness and authority and connected us to the Father as well – the people who mocked Him, and thought He was crazy!
    Whoah!
    Thank you, Jesus, for literally standing in the gap when all we did was toss you in the gutter. Thank you for giving us gifts when we threw you in the mud and beat you with our pride. Amen!

    • Cherylin Birkholz

      WOW! I love this connection you made, it left me overwhelmed! I am attached to God the Father because of His son…and like you, I’ve known that and believe that, but never thought or heard it in those words before. I’m in awe of our God & that he loves me. Makes me think of the song “How deep the Fathers love for us, how vast beyond all measure…” listen to the Selah version :)
      thanks for sharing!

  • My prayer for today: to remember that through God’s grace, his promises are made complete and fulfilled by Jesus. That through faith, I can cling to these promises, knowing that the One who send them is TRUE. I am loved, protected, cared for, and made complete by the One who formed the mountains and sky. I pray that when fear and doubt creeps in, I will stand on these promises, that I would focus on them so fully I see nothing else. Lord, lead me today. Help me be intentional in all that I do, for your glory.

  • Keri McCue

    “No matter how many promises God has made to us, they are all made complete in Jesus.” – I forget this sometimes, I think. It is already complete in Him. I needed to be reminded of this today. Thank you!

    http://www.littlelightonahill.com

  • rebecca7395

    As I read the passages today, I was struck by how confused and easily distracted the people were. Their Messiah stood in their midst, yet they spent their time hung up on where He was from, how He could dare teach them when He was untutored Himself, and how they accused Him of being possessed by a demon whenever He held a mirror up to their hearts. We haven’t changed. Look at our nation, and the people around us today. Think of how we ourselves as believers are so easily pulled off course. When someone stands for God’s Truth, they are condemned as using hate speech and being a bigot. Or as being holier than thou, of being arrogant. The devil was working furiously then to keep the people blind and deaf to Jesus’ message, and is hard at work today. May I cling to the Lord and His promises, and reach out with His truth to others as He wills.

    • J

      Thank you for your articulation of truth and for sharing your thoughts today, Rebecca. A resounding amen to your extremely timely and relevant points. May we all have the stillness and humility to see these connections and the courage to perpetuate God’s will in our world around us!

    • Taylor

      We are lost sheep in need of a Shepard !

  • I wonder if I would have believed if I had been there. Maybe I would’ve thought Jesus was a lunatic. I would hope not. But I am grateful that I know He is True and Just and He is the Messiah. Praise His Name!

    • Teresa

      I often wonder the same. I love the song by Sidewalk Prophets ‘You love me anyway’. Powerful!

    • Sarah

      Reading these passages I often wonder the same thing. I fear that that I would not have believed Jesus at the time, because I am often so scared to go against the crowd. I pray that this is never true in my daily life now. That I would always hear God’s voice over the crowds and hear truth. God give me ears that would listen!

      • Ashley

        I thought the same thing as I was reading. It really made me think that I need to truly understand and know the scriptures so that I am able to discern and know if what people are saying is true when they speak God’s word.

      • Lynn

        ❤️

  • How quickly I forget God’s promises and truth when life gets busy and complicated. I pray that God will give me the power to focus on Him in the midst of the day to day activities of toddler chasing, getting to work, dinner cooking, laundry folding and such. Isn’t the reason I do all this to glorify him? Didn’t he give me the opportunities in front of me? I pray I don’t lose sight of the purpose here.

  • churchmouse

    Reading the selected scripture, this stood out to me : the Jews were afraid of their own. The pharisees and chief priests ruled their fellow Jews with a heavy hand. The rules for righteousness under the Law were numerous, burdensome and unattainable. The people feared their own leaders. Enter Jesus. He comes with promise fulfilled and freedom from the Law. Yet He provokes fear and confusion and some acceptance. John 7:27 reveals that some didn’t even know the Scriptures (a good Jew would) and in vs. 42, those who knew the Scriptures still struggled to believe Jesus was Who He said He was. Vs. 47 reveals the elitist attitude that prevailed : ” Are you fooled too? Have any of the rulers or Pharisees believed in Him?” It was incredulous to them that any common folk could believe if the head honchos didn’t. Where am I in this scenario? Do I know the Scriptures well enough for myself so that I can proclaim in the midst of opposition that I believe that Jesus is Who He said He is? Do I search the Scriptures for myself or do I expect other more learned folk to spoon feed me forever? Have I developed an elitist attitude that isolates me from other brothers and sisters in the faith? Does my elitist attitude prevent non believers from approaching and asking questions? Hard soul-searching questions for me this morning. Praying that the Holy Spirit would do a fresh work in me and root out that which convicts me.

    • Kristy

      I love your thoughts here. Good questions

      • Debbera Vail

        My heart is asking the same questions. Do I fear what others might say, if I speak up. I want too believe that I will stand in the face of any thing Jesus help me believe with conviction. Blessings to all, as each of us search for ourselves.
        God loves you and I love you.

    • Rachel

      This really challenged me, thanks for sharing. I pray that we all might gain humility and passion for pursuing the truth in scripture.

    • Lynn

  • Sarah_Joy

    I would encourage you all to read through verse 43 in Leviticus. It completes the explanation of the feast of booths mentioned in John. This feast from my understanding was to not only remind the people of living in booths when being brought out of Egypt, but it also reminds us that earth is not our home. In the midst of this feast Jesus speaks of who He is and where He comes from. And the religious leaders can only see the temporal.

    God, help me remember to see that my daily life and my long term goals all are but a breath compared you and your ways. Help me to live for the bigger story and in light of my true home.

  • The Bible is full of God’s promises, but unless I take hold of them they do me no good.
    “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days.” Deut. 30:19-20.
    He is my life.

    • Shari

      Hi Kathy, you are right. We have to choose moment-by-moment to take hold of God’s promises and live as if we believe them.

      He is my life too!

  • Earlier in the chapter, when Jesus is at the festival teaching, this makes me smile. I think Jesus was a little snarky :) I love little things like this in scripture that show that Jesus could really call someone out when he needed too. :)

  • Laura Kane

    How much He desired to give us, and how little we cared. We would rather get hung up on His origin (Galilee!?!) than face the fact that without Him, we are full of evil deeds. Same debate today by those who believe they are good on their own, and He was merely a good teacher. That way the evil inside does not need to be recognized or addressed. There is a vested interest in not believing Him.

    • Taylor

      Yes, sadly this rings true of the way I have been treating God and his promises. I get hung up on the doubting and all the reasons the things he has told me that are to come in my life, could not be true. Often times it’s easier to not believe than to believe. I pray for the peace in knowing that God’s promises are always fulfilled and have been fulfilled!

    • Naomi LaBoo

      The fight goes on in those who claim to be His also! The Jews were given Gods Word and yet they had no ideal who Jesus was! I wonder if we as Christians do the same!

  • Great song

  • Catherine

    I was reminded of one of my favorite praise songs that we sang in church the other day: King of My Heart

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcCBQ4jnluk

    Sending love from the UK!

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