ISSL Reflections September 17 2023 John 7:14–24 Post 1

If you read the first 13 verses of John 7, you see that Jesus has gone to the festival in Jerusalem “in secret” after his brothers (who were not his disciples) had encouraged him to go to the festival to “show [himself] to the world.” His brothers seem to mock him and then he goes to Jerusalem to encounter what at the Temple?

John 7:14-24 (NRSVue)

About the middle of the festival Jesus went up into the temple and began to teach. The Jews were astonished at it, saying, “How does this man have such learning, when he has never been taught?” Then Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not mine but his who sent me. Anyone who resolves to do the will of God will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own. Those who speak on their own seek their own glory, but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and there is nothing unjust in him.

“Did not Moses give you the law? Yet none of you keeps the law. Why are you looking for an opportunity to kill me?” The crowd answered, “You have a demon! Who is trying to kill you?” Jesus answered them, “I performed one work, and all of you are astonished. Because of this Moses gave you circumcision (it is, of course, not from Moses but from the patriarchs), and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath. If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath in order that the law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with me because I healed a man’s whole body on the Sabbath? Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”

It seems his teaching impresses the folk but they question his right to teach. In their opinion he has not been trained as a rabbi by the proper teachers. If you don’t go to approved rabbinical schools you can’t get “teaching credentials.”

How does he challenge them on that point?

Can you recall other times in the Gospels that Jesus operates outside the approved channels?

How might we treat religious teachers, preachers, priests and others who today don’t keep the rules of the religious establishments?

How can we know if they are trustworthy?

{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

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