John 7 and 8 are intense chapters. People question Jesus’ character and mission; they respond to him out of confusion, ignorance, and division. They demand he prove himself to them, and question his authority. His own brothers even say, “If you can do such wonderful things, show yourself to the world!”
Throughout these two chapters Jesus replies, “My message is not my own; it comes from God who sent me… The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory, but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood… I am not here on my own… I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me… For I always do the things that are pleasing to Him… I am not here on my own; but he sent me… I have no wish to glorify myself. God is going to glorify me, He is the true judge… If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me.”
THIS IS THE WAY GOD ACTS. He does not seek status among men. He is not prideful. He seeks nothing for himself. He is constantly exalting the Father, and constantly dying to himself. Jesus is the most humble man of all, and his death on the cross was the culmination of the humility he demonstrated his entire earthly life. It was the ultimate expression of his ministry. And he did it for us: for his brothers who mocked him, the Pharisees who killed him, the crowds who didn’t understand him, for Peter who denied him, Judas who betrayed him, and for you and for me. He literally graced us with his humility.
Where did Jesus get all this confidence? 8:14 – For I know where I came from and where I am going… you judge me by human standards…” He knew where he came from, what his mission was, whose opinion mattered, and where he was going. He never lost sight of the Father’s love and acceptance. He counted his reputation as nothing before men because he was totally satisfied in the approval of God.
Whose opinion matters most to you? Maybe we should think of it this way: whose good opinion most satisfies you? My prayer is that we would realize and take hold of the freedom we have because we are “in Christ.” It is the most liberating thing that will allow us to walk confidently in humility before men and before the Lord. 7:38 - “Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the scriptures declare, rivers of living water flow from his heart...”
As we end Lent this week and enter into a season of celebrating the resurrection and begin a new series on miracles, let’s remember that the resurrection is the greatest miracle of all time. Every other miracle echoes it. At the heart of the resurrection, Jesus gave up his authority to the point of death and let the Father raise him up by the power of the Holy Spirit. It was a miracle of humility. And now the train of his robe fills the temple, and we look forward to the marriage supper of the Lamb!