Friday, August 05, 2005

Here is a long textual sermon - Jn. 7:1-31 I chose not to drag this
chapter out there is quite a bit of good material in this chapter but I
felt too much labor is just too much labor.
It is good and muggy here in Kville. Getting some much needed rain.
Take
care - Kirk

Judging Christ John 7:24

I. Introduction
A. Short synopsis on the principle of judging.
1. Jesus taught in the great sermon, “Judge not that ye be not judged,
for what judgment you measure out, it will be measured to you again”
(Matt. 7:1ff).
2. James in his discussion about church members being partial among
themselves said, “Speak not evil one of another brethren....Who art
thou
that judges another?” (Jas. 4:11, 12).
3. So it seems that it is a direct violation to judge anything another
does.
4. On the other hand the inspired Book also teaches:
a. “Test the spirits whether they be of God” (1 Jn. 4:1).
b. And did not Jesus himself tell us to be fruit inspectors (Matt.
7:16)?
c. Or how can the church exercise the command to discipline its
unruly
members if it has no right whatsoever to pass judgment (Matt. 18:15ff).
B. Therefore we must discover the context in which Jesus used this
particular reasoning behind matters of judgment (Jn. 7:24).
1. Jesus was busy doing religious things - differently. Instead of
being
so formalistic, he was practical. Instead of merely TEACHING what the
law
said, he was busy DOING what the law demanded. Luke wrote Theophilus,
“Jesus began to do and teach” (Acts 1:1).
2. The religious leaders began to seek opportunity to stop Jesus, even
if it meant to kill him. Jesus made this statement as he was defending
himself concerning the miracles which he performed.
3. Although this text is frequently used to qualify the measure of
judgment one may exercise upon our neighbor, the passage was not spoken
about judging our fellow man, but judging the Christ.
4. A practical interpretation would not be speaking to the Christians
about how to judge the world, rather how the world should be about
judging the righteous.
5. Everyone judges. Everyone judges their neighbor. What is most
important, is, how do you and I judge the Christ?
C. What we will see in this chapter is:
1. The Christ’ half-brothers were not convinced of his claims.
2. The religious leaders attitude of hatred toward the Christ.
3. The whispering multitudes were divided in opinion concerning the
Christ.
a. Simeon had so predicted (Lk. 2:34), Christ affirmed they would be
(Matt. 10:34, 35), and as history proves they ever have been.
b. We’ll notice that many were afraid to speak openly about him which
was a token of insincerity as well. They were prepared to do as their
leaders instructed them. What a miserable lot!

We will examine the chapter noting the hatred or disdain some had for
Jesus and though Jesus knew about their hate, he knew that their
judgment
wasn’t warranted.
Secondly we will emphasize in this lesson, that though we may be
wrongly
judged worthy of hatred, that is no reason for neglecting our mission.
The story is set with The feast of the tabernacles being observed. It
lasted seven days from the fifteenth to the twenty-first of the seventh
month, Tisri (October). An eighth day was further celebrated as a
closing
festival, like the first day with a Sabbath rest and a holy
convocation.
The feast served as a thankful remembrance of God’s gracious protection
of the nation during its desert wanderings, and as a joyous celebration
of the harvest when completed with the gathering in of the fruit and
wine.

II. Judgment of the Christ from his half-brothers.
A. Vs 3-5 The brothers were unconvinced from stories they had heard or
things they saw so they called out, “Show yourself to the world!”
Christ
pursued the right kind of exposure.
1. We must learn: It is becoming and right to walk prudently - Prov.
29:27 “An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous, and he who is
upright in the way is an abomination to the wicked.”
2. Be careful from whom you accept advice. Just because one says you
can
do it or go do something does not make it right!
a. Don’t depend on your families religion to make you right with
God.
Religion centered around the family wants is almost wholly wrong.
Fret
not that the family speaks evil of your faith. Some in the family did
the same to Christ. A man’s closest ties are often the last to believe
in
one’s greatness and goodness. Remember James believed AFTER the
resurrection (Jas 1:1).
3. Christ was very careful how he presented himself.
a. He was not an entertainer, nor a monk. He was the son of God. Even
Christ was careful not to misrepresent the Father. Oh how we as his
representatives on earth should examine this.
B. Christians must pursue the right kind of exposure.
1. Our friends call out to us - Show thyself to the world! Accepting
their call, their challenge is the downfall of many good people (1
Cor.15:33).
2. The world calls out to us - Show thyself to the world!
a. It is the phrase behind the entertainment industry. Sex sells.
Need
more be said?
b. It is the motivation behind corporate domination. Man and his
greed
harms the innocent in their gluttony for wealth.
c. It is the lust in religion. People want a show not the truth. This
is the object of the self centered heart.
3. v. 7. The world does not hate its own. Main reason why many hate
the
Christ:
a. It was not so much the high doctrines he preached as the high
standard of practice. They could have tolerated his opinions if he had
spared their sins.
b. This principle is of universal application and holds good today.
Men dislike the gospel because of its holy demands. Teach abstract
doctrines, and few will find any fault. Denounce the fashionable sins
of
the day folk nod their head. Tell the church to get busy and shortly
thereafter one will be accused of offending the faithful.
Being judged worthy of hatred by society is not always proof of
hate-worthiness. On the other hand, being hated by society is no reason
for neglecting our mission.
There is in Brazil a common plant called the Matodor, or murderer. At
first the vine creeps harmless across the ground, but no sooner does it
meet a vigorous tree that it climbs it and shoots out arm like tendrils
that embrace the tree. The higher it grows the greater these tendrils
swell and clasp the tree tighter. It climbs to the top of the tree
then,
as if in triumph, the parasite shoots out a huge flowery head above the
strangled summit and there from the dead tree’s crown, scatters its
seed
to do again the same work of death. Even so worldliness strangles the
church.
3. Sometimes, We call out to the world - “Let me show myself to you!”
Without prompting.
a. This is the speech of men filled with pride and arrogance. (Jas.
3:15 This wisdom descends not from above....). One cannot be crucified
with Christ and do their own thing.
Cnidius, a skillful architect, building a watch tower for the King of
Egypt, cause his own name to be engraved upon a stone in the wall in
great letters, and afterwards covered it with lime and mortar, and upon
the outside of that wrote the name of the King of Egypt in golden
letters, as pretending that all was done for his honor and glory. But
herein was his cunning, he very well knew that the dashing of the water
would in a little while consume the plastering (as it did) and then his
name and memory would abide to after generations. Thus there be many in
this world, who pretend to seek only the glory of God, the good of his
church, and the happiness of the state; but if there were a window to
look into their hearts we should find nothing there within but self
seeking. (J. Spencer).
b. “The cause of infidelity (disbelief) is in the heart rather than
the
head” D. Thomas.
C. God Gives his people the right tools for his children to be
rightfully
exposed. God calls out - Show thyself to the world!
1. Meekly (Jas. 3:13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among
you...)
2. Courageously (1 Tim. 6:12 fight the good fight of faith)
3. Compassionately (Jas 1:27 pure religion.....)
4. Reproductively (Prov. 11:30 he that wins souls is wise)
D. Being judged worthy of hatred by society is not always proof of
hate-worthiness. Being hated by society is no reason for neglecting our
mission.
1. v. 6 Jesus is in full control of his destiny. Man cannot control
his.
Jesus laid his life down, no man took it from him. Man may have driven
the nails, but love kept him hanging on the tree. Our time is always
ready. Our appointment with death is nearer than we think. So live that
you might die ready.
2. To who’s call do you respond - Our half-brothers in Christ? friends
&
family; world, your own, or God’s?

III. Judgment of the Christ from the Jews
A. If you want to be noticed, list our school on your resume and we
will
hear you! vs. 14-18
1. Which approved school had Jesus attended? They reasoned, “Why is
his
interpretation so much different from ours? Ah - ha! He didn’t go to
our
school!”
2. Jesus received his information from a greater source than the
established order. He has a direct link.
a. Herein lies the problem with Study Bibles. The established orders
have created Bibles with commentaries and prejudiced doctrinal
references
so to guide the reader to a conclusion not supported by the entire
scope
of scripture.
3. Who do you quote?
a. Saw a news paper clipping on a hospital bulletin board. The author quotes some supposedly learned man then talks about God not using one criptural reference.
b. Who do you quote?
Your Study Bible?
Preacher?
Scholar?
Parents?
Friends?
c. To quote Jesus may be “old school” but its the “right school!” “Jesus taught the world as one who had learned nothing from it, and was under no obligations to it” (P. Schaff).
4. v. 17, if any man did the will of God, he would know the teaching of Jesus is true. We may be hated because we teach like Jesus and his apostles but, Being judged worthy of hatred by society is not always proof of hate-worthiness. Remember, Being hated by society is no reason for neglecting our mission.
B. vs. 19-24 Hypocrisy exposed.
1. The desire to kill Christ was inconsistent with their religious profession. They sought to kill, law said thou shall not! Sought to accuse of breaking Sabbath, they set it aside to perform circumcision.
2. The desire to kill Christ implied a great inaccuracy of judgment(v.24)
a. They judged that a mere peasant had no Divine mission.
b. They judged that a ritualistic religion was a religion of righteousness. Had there been in connection with the ceremonies of the Temple, the healing of the sick on the Sabbath day should have been esteemed a sacred work if their heart was right.
c. They also judged that by killing a teacher they would kill his influence.
C. Could Christ expose the hypocrisy in the church today?
1. The world is right of accusing Christ’s people of hypocrisy if we “say” and “do not.”
2. We know the inconsistency of the world. They say, “I’ve got this thing between me and the Lord.” Is it not a cop out for not giving to the poor, or self permission to talk crudely, or not taking time to really worship him?
3. We must not supply them the ammunition to use on us. Let us be like Christ - avoid hypocrisy - do then teach.

IV. Judgment of the Christ from the common people.
A. vs. 10-13 Regardless how much good you do or how much evidence is on your side, some refuse to believe.
1. Here we see moral cowardice.
2. They that fear the Lord still speaks. Those who love him will surely speak to others about him. James 5:10 Take my brethren the prophets....There is a need for more Jermiah’s in the world who cannot stop speaking up for the name of the Lord (Jerm. 20:9).
3. The prophets were hated unjustly yet never forsook their mission. If we are being judged worthy of hatred by society it is not always proof of hate-worthiness. So, being hated by society is no reason for neglecting our mission.
B. vs. 25-31 Problem in skepticism. Not total disbelief but a serious lack of conviction.
1. There is a great difference in judging appearances and judging actions. They were amused, even intrigued that the rulers did not seize him though he spoke against them publicly. But because of preconceived notions or prejudices, they assumed the Christ would be this great mystery. They could trace his birth to a horse stall, knew his physical parent(s), knew where he grew up.
2. Facing the obvious, some reasoned, “Can one do more miracles than this?” Yet many were more persuaded by the judgment of the religious leaders than their own conclusions. They were swayed by prejudice and hatred. What a miserable lot!
C. So shall it happen to all the faithful. Regardless how much evidence you declare, preconceived notions and prejudices keep folk from following the truth.
1. We will be hated by society for their lack of faith but remember
Being judged worthy of hatred by society is not always proof of hate-worthiness. Being hated by society is no reason for neglecting our mission.

CONCLUSION
V. How do you Judge the Christ?
A. Like Jesus’ half-brothers?
1. In his presence yet unappreciative of what he is doing - In church
yet not really a person of conviction?
2. Do you judge Jesus as one who should take orders from you?
B. Like the religious leaders - someone who is a threat to their way of life.
1. Communism hates Christ because of the liberty he brings, Democracy
hates him because of the absolutes of morality his life demonstrated. Religious institutions hate him because he denounces their titles, creeds, catechisms, formalism, self led spiritualism.
2. Do you judge Jesus as a threat to your way of life?
C. Like the skeptical people - some faith, but not enough to change
sides.
1. “Infidelity is more in the heart than in the head.”
D. What says your heart concerning the Christ?
1. How do you judge him?
2. Is he worthy enough for you to be hated by your contemporaries for
your strong convictions?
3. Do you dabble in Jesus but are not immersed in him?
4. Are you willing to be sprinkled by the ashes yet not brave enough to
be baptized by fire (suffering)? Being hated by society is not always proof of hate-worthiness. Being hated by society is no reason for neglecting our mission. ARE WE A PEOPLE TODAY WHO ARE NEGLECTING OUR MISSION?

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