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. Lisa says:

    K Swenson, I often say the same thing! I believe, yet help my unbelief. Amen!

  2. Angela Recontructing says:


  3. Natasha R says:

    John 7:16-17 stood out to me today. Jesus said it again and again – He is the Son of God and the Messiah. Yet many did not believe, and even I, with my overthinking brain, question it sometimes. But my heart KNOWS and is certain that He is the Saviour. Because I want to do His will, have submitted to Him, and dedicated my life as a living sacrifice, God has planted this Truth in my heart. I’m so grateful.

  4. K Swenson says:

    Thank you for sharing your hearts and I’m praying for all the requests mentioned. As for the reading today, I so often pass judgement on the Pharisees and other Jews who didn’t believe Jesus, but do I believe Him as I should? Would I have believed that He was sent by God if I grew up a few blocks from him? I don’t know the answer to that, but I want to believe Him more. “I believe! Help my unbelief!”

  5. Dorothy says:

    WOW!!! So much AWESOMENESS to take in. I’m learning so much in this study of John — like starting with verse 21 through 24 when Jesus states how it’s okay for them to circumcise a baby boy on Sunday but not okay for Him to heal on Sunday. I don’t know that I’ve ever read this part before and it just grabbed my attention when I read it. Then starting with verse 50 when Nicodemus tells the others it wouldn’t hurt to investigate. Their reply just “floored” me, ““Are you from Galilee, too? Search the Scriptures and see for yourself—no prophet ever comes from Galilee!””. And then Kim’s final two paragraphs really “hit home” with me. I don’t know exactly what it is about them but they just really caught my attention and made me think.
    Be blessed and go out talk about “this Man from Galilee”.

  6. Angela Recontructing says:

    Two things struck me today: What stood out was people’s fear of their own religious leaders. I once heard that a good litmus test for answering that “Am i in a cult?” question is, “Am I allowed to ask questions without fear?” Second: “The crowd was divided.” The truth can be divisive. Let no one tell you that your questions shouldn’t be asked because they are divisive.

  7. AZ Walker says:

    Praying for all. Angie, Arina, Melanie’s father, our loved ones with covid and health issues and surgeries. Thank you K Swenson for sharing about the BEMA podcasts. I love finding new teachings. Prayed for Brook earlier today as I listened to this week’s SRT podcast with Jeannie Cunnion. If you have some quiet time to lIsten, I found it very beautiful, uplifting and comforting. Once God has you, he will never let you go, you are born again, just have faith.

  8. Arina says:

    This community truly warms my heart. Thank you all so much for your prayers and for sharing your wisdom and prayer request. Lifting you all up to our Lord.

    Angie: praying for wisdom for you in this situation. That you will be able to love this person and God will bring healing.
    Mari V: So good to meet a fellow runner! Hopefully, you’ll be able to go back to running soon. Praying for your work situation too.
    Nads: praying for wisdom and a blessing for you. That you may feel God’s peace today. Margaret W: praying for your boyfriend, that he may get to know how big God’s love for him is.
    Abby: praying for God’s blessing over your co-worker and her husband.
    Melanie: praying for safe travels and for your father in law. How is your recovery going after your surgery? Thank you (and Kristen) so much that you are willing to sponsor! I think I can’t share links here, but if you go to muskathlon . com / en-us /events /88 /africa . html (removing the spaces), you can find me under ‘View participating Athletes’.

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