The Unlikely Messiah

from the John reading plan

John 7:1-52, Isaiah 9:1, Matthew 7:28-29, Luke 4:20-24

BY Kim Cash Tate

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 connected 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” and “the One who sent me.” 

Jesus’s 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 isn’t mine but is from the one who sent me” (John 7:16).
“…but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is true…” (v.18).
“ I know him because I am from him, and he sent me” (v.9).
“I am only with you for a short time. Then I’m going to the one who sent me” (v.33).
And this one: “I have not come on my own, but the one who sent me is true…” (v.28).

God the Father had been true to His promise. He had sent His Son for the salvation of humanity. Yet, many who walked and talked with Jesus—who heard Him repeatedly testify 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. 

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).

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64 thoughts on "The Unlikely Messiah"

  1. Miranda Padilla says:

    Sad that his brothers did not believe in Him.

  2. Miranda Padilla says:

    Thank you for the insight! I was just going to look up the festival of booths! Similar to all the times the Israelites doubted God in the wilderness once saved from Egypt.

  3. Elizabeth McGee says:

    I can only imagine how awe-inspiring and impressive Jesus’ words in the temple were, to the point they were afraid to arrest him

  4. Amelie Weise says:

    God is always talking openly about what is going to happen. The people around Jesus weren’t listening. Their ears what not open to hear. How often does that

  5. Brandy Deruso says:

    Thank you lord for being a promise keeper

  6. Malisa Cruz says:

    Lord, help me to believe on whatever you say and live according!

  7. Diane Grant says:


  8. Martha Echandy says:

    What a difficult crowd was Jesus facing! Yet, He taught them, spoke about the Law, spoke out loud at times, spoke privately (Nicodemus). His teaching was the means of accomplishing His mission. Let’s become better teachers of the gospel as we also face a difficult crowd during this time of uncertainty, fear, prejudice and opposition. Let’s be brave for He has sent us and has provided His powerful Spirit to accomplish the mission!

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