Coming and Going

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In this message we will continue our study through Jesus’ exchange with the crowds and religious leaders at the festival of booths in Jerusalem. The portion we’ll be spending time in this week is John 7:25-36.
Jesus hated puffery and domination of any sort. At every opportunity he confronted those who looked down on others with arrogant contempt. The VIP’s of that day in Israel were the religious leaders – they were considered the most important , powerful, respected, and influential people in Israel. Yet Jesus denied them the honor that they felt they were due. Elsewhere, He called them hypocrites, white-washed tombs, and snakes. He accused them of robbing widows, seizing the seats of honor, play-acting at righteousness for the benefit of a human audience, and, in so many words, he accused them of worshiping themselves.
These men had all the external trappings of success and attainment. They wore the right clothes. They kept the right company. They were seated in the places of honor. They jealously guarded their reputations as men of power and influence. They used their titles and their special robes to build a wall of separation between them and those who they thought of as less than them. They had institutionalized a pecking order and called it religion. This was a departure from the Word of God, but really it would be more accurate to describe it as a departure from God Himself.
But then God showed up in the flesh.
It’s no surprise that sparks flew whenever Jesus met these guys. Jesus, the Creator, God in the flesh, the one to whom all glory, honor and praise was absolutely due, had, amazingly, emptied Himself of all of His glory, counting not equality with God something to be laid ahold of in order that he might associate with the most lowly of sinners. You couldn’t find more polar opposites than Jesus and the Pharisees.
I hope you can listen in as we continue our study through this interesting exchange between God and these so-called experts on God.