TEXT: John 7:11-17
11 Then the Jews sought him at the feast, and said, Where is he?
12 And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but he deceiveth the people.
13 Howbeit no man spake openly of him for fear of the Jews.
14 Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught.
15 And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?
16 Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.
17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.
Today, I am continuing the daily Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign sermon series, which is aimed at sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ with unbelievers and reminding Christians, in this important election year, to keep the main thing the main thing — and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents, politicians, and people, but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey the Lord’s Great Commission which is to, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to “pray without ceasing” for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders. Yes, you should pray for the right candidate to win; yes, you should vote for the candidate that the Lord gives you peace about voting for. But, don’t get caught up in it like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord.
This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”
This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As another hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 86.
C.S. Lewis said, “You must take your choice. Either [Jesus] was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God.”
Jesus Christ has always been a subject of controversy down through the years. People either love Him or hate Him, respect Him or despise Him, believe He is the Son of God or a con-man. There is no middle ground when it comes to Jesus Christ, and that is what we see in this passage.
The Jews apparently were expecting Jesus at the Feast of Tabernacles. Even though He was a controversial figure, He was still a rabbi who had a substantial following. When they found out that He wasn’t there, they wanted to know, “Where is he?” Perhaps some people saw Jesus’ half-brothers there and wanted to know why Jesus wasn’t with them. As we saw previously, Jesus was not avoiding the feast, He decided not to go up at the beginning of the week-long event because of the threat against His life. The Bible informs us that once things got underway, Jesus secretly went to Jerusalem. That way, He could slip in unnoticed and not draw attention to Himself.
In the meantime, John reports, “there was much murmuring among the people concerning him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but he deceiveth the people. Howbeit no man spake openly of him for fear of the Jews.” The people, sitting around in their booths in Jerusalem, talked among themselves about Jesus the way we talk about political candidates. Take any candidate and you’ll have one group of people who have nothing but good things to say about him or her while another group of people call the same candidate everything but a child of God. The people discussed this matter among themselves in private, but kept quiet in public because they knew the Jewish religious leaders did not like Jesus and wanted Him silenced for good.
“Now,” the Bible says, “about the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught.” Jesus revealed Himself at the time God directed Him to do so. His purpose in coming was not to be made Messiah or King, but to explain to the people the will and ways of God and give them another opportunity to believe.
However, His teaching only caused more controversy among the people. Verse 15 says, “And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?” When John uses the term “the Jews,” he typically is referring to the religious leaders. Jesus taught with such authority, insight, and wisdom that the religious leaders, who knew Jesus had not sat under any other rabbi or attended any of their religious schools, were astonished. The “letters” spoken of here are the Hebrew Scriptures. Jesus taught from them and taught of them in a way that no one had ever heard.
In response to their amazement, Jesus says, “My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.” Here, He does the very thing that the Jewish religious leaders hated the most. He identified His words and actions with God. Jesus says, ‘You want to know where my knowledge, wisdom, and ability comes from? It comes from God who sent me into the world.’
Then, He goes on to tell them how they can have the same knowledge of God’s Word. “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” The main thing the people wanted to know about Jesus’ teachings was: Is it true? And is it backed up by Scripture? Jesus tells them that if they wish to know such things, they must commit to doing God’s will. He says, ‘If any man will do God’s will, he shall know of the doctrine.’ In other words, ‘If any person is obedient to what He knows God would have him to do, God will reveal more and more of His truth to that person. F.W. Robertson said that “obedience is the organ of spiritual knowledge.”
Jesus is not saying that we must do as He says in order to find out if what He says is the truth. What He is saying is that we must be open to the truth and willing to walk in the light that we already have. Warren Wiersbe said, “Satan offered Adam and Eve knowledge, but it was knowledge based on disobedience. Jesus offered knowledge as the result of obedience: first the yoke of responsibility, then the joy of knowing God’s truth.” This is why He told the Jews to “search the Scriptures for they testify of me.” God had already given the Jews much light in the Old Testament. Jesus wanted them to get rid of their hostility toward Him just long enough so they could look at what God had already given them. If they did that, they would easily see who Jesus was because of all that the Old Testament prophets had written about Him. Once they did that, God would enlighten them even further.
Sadly, the Jews were not willing to trust Jesus for even that. They, like many of us, wanted to know the whole story up front. On top of that, they were not willing to do what God wanted them to do because it would conflict with their way of doing things. Because of that, many of them missed out on eternal life.
You do not have to make the same mistake that the Jews made. Jesus is not asking you to become a religious scholar overnight. He is not asking you to turn your life around by next week. All He is asking you to do is place your faith and trust in Him for your soul’s salvation. Are you ready to do that right now? Here is how:
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for over twenty-seven years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at www.danielwhyte3.com. Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.