Monday, July 27, 2015

Jesus' Last Public Appearances!

John Chap. 11 & 12 = last public appearances before His betrayal, arrest, trial, crucifixion.

NOTE:  in the text are many people and different reactions, responses to Jesus.

John 11:45-57 - Jesus' most fervent opponents didn't deny His miracles.  Vs. 48 - we will pay for this.
John 12:1-15, insert:  Luke 19:37-40 - He will be glorified.  John 12:16-23, 27-28, 37, 42-43

People/Groups of people in the text:

1)  former believers - disciples and other disciples
2)  new believers - because of Lazarus, and other miracles
3)  snitches - run to tell about everything Jesus did
4)  Sanhedrin - chief priests
5)  Mary - Lazarus' sister - shows love, devotion, sacrifice of year's wages (the value of the ointment)
6)  Judas - betrayer
7)  Jewish pilgrims
8)  Gentile seekers - God fearers
9)  Secret believers - afraid to openly commit because of Jewish leaders
10)  "won't" believers - even after seeing signs, won't believe in Him

So.......  all of these had the same exposure, same evidence to know
However, came to different conclusions, responses, outcomes

the REASON = is questionable, debatable (due to pre-determination?, pre-disposition?)  more open? more sensitive?,  more inclined to belief?

the RESULTS = are more measurable.  Only have two options - accept Him and follow Him.  Believe & turn toward Jesus.
OR, reject Him.  Don't Believe and turn away from Jesus.

#1.  Belief is Trust - (ie:  in the New Testament sense) - is a big difference in believing with head and trusting.
Example:  the "Jews" believed the miracles - John 11:47, but they didn't trust Jesus!!
Contrast:  believe with head vs. trust with hands - example:  walking on 2 x 12 suspended between two blocks - 8" above ground - no problem.  Trust board to hold you up.  Maybe even at 2 feet off the ground, BUT, when put at 20 - 30 feet off the ground, probably not going to trust it.  Trust means committing and stepping out.

#2.  This Belief is a Choice - John 12:37 - "would not believe"
On one hand, we're not called to blind faith, or not called to choose without evidence
BUT, given evidence - you become RESPONSE - ABLE!!!!

#3.  Belief is PROGRESSIVE (or Regressive)
John 12:37-40 - "would not" ==> "could" not.
Compare:  Matt. 13:15  Rom. 1:21-28, 32

#4.  Belief does not conclude with conversion (is lifelong thing)
Biggest challenges to the disciples' faith were ahead of them!!
    a)  His trial, His DEATH!!  His Absence, delayed return
    b) waning of miracles, persecutions, jeering of sceptics
    c)  apostasies, false conversions, nominal Christians

So, Trust Him with #1) your salvation and your soul,
BUT, #2 also with your money, business, marriage partner, sexual needs and decisions,etc.

How much DO we trust Him?  Live according to His Word?  Col. 2:6

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