We live in a world where seeing isn’t always believing. Oftentimes, we receive everything we want and still yearn for more. Jesus came to the world and took on human flesh so that we would not only see His miraculous power, but we would also know that He is the one true God.
In John 7, Jesus experienced hurt and knew His betrayal was near. All the while, Jesus stayed true to the promise God had placed in His heart. There was a very significant event happening during this time of year, The Feast of the Tabernacles. This week-long celebration was a time where the people celebrated God’s provision in the wilderness.
The Feast of Tabernacles represents a time of restoration for God’s people, but there was an underlying current that Jesus was aware of. Instead of going to Galilee, Jesus went to Judea because the Jewish leaders were plotting to kill him. Jesus knew that He didn’t need to prove who He was at this time. He needed to stay focused and walk in God’s timing.
“After this, Jesus went around in Galilee. He did not want to go about in Judea because the Jewish leaders there were looking for a way to kill him. But when the Jewish Festival of Tabernacles was near, Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Leave Galilee and go to Judea, so that your disciples there may see the works you do. No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.” For even his own brothers did not believe in him.” (John 7:1-5)
Jesus must’ve been felt disappointed and hurt when His own brothers suggested that He show His power to the people one more time to prove who He was. Jesus knew the call God placed on His heart and no one else could convince him otherwise.
“Therefore Jesus told them, “My time is not yet here; for you any time will do. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil. You go to the festival. I am not going up to this festival, because my time has not yet fully come.” After he had said this, he stayed in Galilee. However, after his brothers had left for the festival, he went also, not publicly, but in secret. Now at the festival the Jewish leaders were watching for Jesus and asking, ‘Where is he?’” (John 7:6-11)
Jesus performed one miracle and the people began to wonder who He was. There were some people who believed Him and others that doubted Him, but one thing is for certain, the people knew there was something different about Him. I believe the people needed to see a small, eye-opening glimpse of who the Messiah truly was.
In contrast to John 7, John 8 talks about an adulterous woman. Imagine Jesus at the temple early in the morning teaching. People were arriving as He continued to pour into the multitudes.
“But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?’ They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, ‘Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.’ Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’” (John 8:1-10)
The scribes and Pharisees saw this woman’s sin and called her by her sin. But, there was one important aspect of this story that was missing. In order to properly execute the law of Moses, the adulterous man needed to be present too. The scribes and Pharisees asked Jesus this question in order to make Him appear disingenuous. They wanted Jesus to appear as if He were a false teacher. Jesus knew this woman’s sin and yet He reminded the judgmental people that they too have sinned and need saving.
The world sees our mistakes and broken moments and takes note of our sins in order to hold them against us. But Jesus sees our sins and reminds us that we are His. Jesus loves us regardless of the messes we’ve made. He loves us when everyone has walked out of our lives. He loves us when we feel inadequate. He loves us when we feel as if we’ve blown it, but most of all He loves us because we are His precious prize.
I encourage you to look deeper at people in this world. I encourage you to seek His face in every facet of your life. He wants us to love others regardless of where they’ve been or what they’ve done. Jesus paid the ultimate price for you and I. Everyone we meet has a beautiful story beyond the mistakes of their past.