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Don't mix up!

John 7:33-35

    "33 Then Jesus said to them, "I shall be with you a little while longer, and [then] I go to Him who sent Me. 34 "You will seek Me and not find [Me], and where I am you cannot come." 35 Then the Jews said among themselves, "Where does He intend to go that we shall not find Him? Does He intend to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks and teach the Greeks?”

In practical terms, the statement made here is believed to refer to the Jews who were, at that time dispersed throughout the nations. This notion is also supported by James 1:1. And do it does refer to that, but there is a deeper, more meaningful application of these verses. 

    The Jews - in particular the Jewish religious leaders comprised of the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Sanhedrin at this time were not convinced that Jesus was the Messiah. They were skeptical because they had studied and scrutinized the scriptures to determine who the Messiah would be, and this man did not fit their estimations. {John 5:39}. However, they did not wish to entirely dismiss Him either. They could see how the laity were up in arms about Him, how the world was abuzz with stories of what He had done. They at least had to debunk Him if He were a blasphemer. So when Jesus made the statement in John 7:33, they were slightly offended at Him. They thought it His duty to remain in Judea so they could debate with Him and so that He could promulgate His message. His going where they could not go was, to them proof that He was not the Messiah because the “true Messiah” would, like themselves, defile Himself by going into a place where the gentiles lived. Further, a “good Messiah would not dare teach the Greeks the doctrine salvation- for it was for God’s chosen people alone- or so they thought. 

    When we read the verses that follow this passage, we gain contextual knowledge that Jesus was not referring to Himself personally going to Greece to teach the Greeks, He was referring to returning to Heaven to the Father after His resurrection. Because the Jews were so naturally minded, they could not begin to comprehend such an esoteric meaning in Jesus’ statement. Based on the fact that we were born in this time, the church age, we have the unmatched advantage of seeing the scriptures as a whole, of seeing the Messianic fulfillment of prophecies laid out in book form with historical data to verify their accuracy. Therefore, we often find ourselves angry with the Jews, condemning them for their blindness, their hard heartedness… but are we right to do so? Jesus our Lord, in Luke 6:37 commanded us not to judge or to condemn so that we would not be judged or condemned. This does not refer to our very salvation but rather to the little components of everyday life. By what we do to the Jews in our hearts by thinking them so supernaturally ignorant, do we make ourselves supernaturally ignorant? I propose that we do indeed. 

    Here, as we have discovered, the Jews were completely ignoring the depth of what Jesus was stating and thinking in terms of the natural man. How many times do we ourselves find these types of thoughts sprouting in our minds? I personally speak at length to those close to me about the healing power of Jesus. I have had much personal experience with it and therefore know it to be true and stable. However, very often when I speak this way to those around me, I can see on their faces doubt and unbelief. Further, they normally “mix” faith in Jesus’ healing with some natural means. They say things like “Well I am going to take this medication because God will heal me through it…” Are they wrong? No, they are generally right because God meets us where we are and because of His abundant love- just wants us well so He allows the healing that He provides to manifest in this way as well as through the laying on of hands. However, there will come a time when God will become less and less a factor in these peoples manifested answers because of their natural mindsets. Essentially they will distance themselves from the provisions of God by using more and more natural means. By their traditions, they will make the Word of God of none effect.  This is exactly what the Jews were doing in our study passage of John 7:33-35! They couldn’t see the supernatural because they were so entrenched in the natural! Jesus said to them that where He was going they could not come- He told them that He would only be there a little while longer. This is what He says to us as well. We think that God will always be available to us to rely upon, to get us out of our messes etc. but this is not the case. First of all, God says that if we want Him to draw near to us, then we must draw near to Him {James 4:8} and secondly, Romans 1:28 states that if you do not retain God in your knowledge, then you will be given over to a debased mind. Debased here is the term “reprobate” in the KJV and it means not proven and not able to stand the test. It is the action of retaining God in your thoughts inasmuch as you act upon His Word that will protect you from a reprobate and failing mind. It is what will make you able to go where Jesus has gone. It will allow you to taste the fullness of the salvation that Jesus died to give you both here and in heaven. 

    The end of the matter is this, do not think it strange that the Jews were confused about what Jesus told them for we can be just as confused if we fail to retain God in our knowledge by creating strife between our natural minds and the mind of the Spirit within us. Believe on the Lord Jesus and what He has said to us in order to fully manifest His kingdom and begin to grow your faith to use less and less of the natural world and more and more of God for your answers!!

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