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. Amanda says:

    This devotional helped me in my study of Johnn, i’m very thankful for this community ✨❤️ Praying fot the team so you can keep doing this amazing job!

  2. Portia says:

    The commentary in my ESV Study Bible for Leviticus 24:33-44 says that the Feast of Booths celebrated the people’s salvation from Egypt. In Exodus 3, God says that he has sent Moses to bring his people out of Egypt(v.10) a few times just like he does in John 7! So good! Jesus is the better, greater Moses! I love the parallels between the Old & New Testament!

  3. Bev Woods says:

    One thing that stands out to me is that no one touched Him. Why?!? Because it wasn’t time yet. In today’s climate, it’s hard for me to not tell God how to fix the injustices that I see every day. I forget Who is in control, and Who has perfect timing. God give me grace to remember that YOUR ways are perfect.

  4. Rachel Lawson says:

    I have found it fascinating to research the festival meanings/purposes anytime John had mentioned one. The Festival of Shelters mentioned on this reading is also known as the Festival of Tabernacles or Booths. It’s 7 days long and is meant to be a reminder of the journey the Israelites had through the wilderness and to be thankful for God’s provisions. It’s so ironic that during this festival they were listening to Jesus and doubting His word. They were seeing Him in the flesh and still did not believe.

  5. Shana Fields says:

    This devotion was so helpful to me in my study of John to point out over 30 times Jesus listed as the one sent by God. I see it so much continued in chapter 8, and I may go back to see that in the first 6 chapters.

  6. Marilyn Jones says:

    I guess it’s true what was said in the Bible that they didn’t have ears to hear with. Because if people was really listening you think they would’ve know Jesus was the one sent by God.

  7. Ali Adair says:

    They talked about the Luke verse at church this Sunday. The crowd was so quick to move from being amazed at Jesus’ words to wanting to throw him off a cliff!

    Jesus – please remove any false ideas that I may have of you. Open my eyes to your truth. Amen.

  8. Sarah Ritchie says:

    Oh Angie, you are a marvel. Blessed to “know” you. You’ve got my prayers for sure.

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