Daily Bible Reading for August 23, 2014, with Commentary: John 7-9
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Context: Jesus was content to wait and follow God’s plan and timing for Him. Jesus would go to the Feast, but not as His brother suggested. Jesus went in secret for it was not yet time to reveal Himself. During the reading of John, pay close attention to who John says it talking. Often, “Jews” refer to the religious leaders, rather than Jews as a whole. The theme of chapter 7 is that God’s timing will prevail! We must know God in order to understand His timing for events in our lives. It is debated if the beginning of chapter 8 was included in the original text or added later. The message is clear: do not judge others without first examining yourself. The remainder of the chapter focuses on trusting Christ. For salvation, for forgiveness, for freedom, for understanding. Chapter 7 and 8 are both heavy theological discussions. There is no doubt, Jesus had much more to say on each truth He addressed and He taught each truth various times during His ministry. Recorded here is only a small portion, but it is enough for us to understand that we must place our faith and trust in Him. Study this section carefully. Chapter 9 returns to the miracle-message, but continues the theme of faith.
World History: The Feast of Tabernacles (in chapter 7) occurs six months after Passover (in chapter 6). In today’s reading, Jesus’ parentage, specifically His father, is questioned. There is a good chance, Jesus also faced these questions growing up. Depending on the emphasis in the statements from the crowds, which we do not know, they could have been using Jesus’ questionable and unknown parentage as an argument for why He could not be the Christ.