Is Jesus the Messiah?
Some of the people who lived in Jerusalem started to ask each other, “Isn’t this the man they are trying to kill?
John 7:25 (NLT)
The residents of Jerusalem entered the conversation. They knew that the rulers wanted to kill Jesus, and they were amazed that He was teaching openly and getting away with it! Perhaps the rulers had been convinced that indeed He is the Messiah, sent from God!
Then why were they not worshiping Him and leading others to worship Him?
“Isn’t this the man they are trying to kill?”
Suggested a negative answer:
“No, the rulers do not believe that He is the Christ, do they?”
They were able to defend their conclusion with logic:
- Nobody knows where the Christ comes from.
- We know where Jesus of Nazareth came from.
- Conclusion: Jesus cannot be the Messiah.
Once again, the people could not see the truth because they were blinded by what they thought were dependable facts. Jesus had met this same kind of resistance in the synagogue in Capernaum. Even the learned teachers—the “expert builders”—would not be able to identify the Chief Cornerstone, even though they had studied the God-given “blueprints” for centuries! (Acts 4:11)
But here he is, speaking in public, and they say nothing to him. Could our leaders possibly believe that he is the Messiah? But how could he be? For we know where this man comes from. When the Messiah comes, he will simply appear; no one will know where he comes from.”
John 7:26-27 (NLT)
Where in Scripture does it say that no one will know where the Christ came from?
It doesn’t. This must have been some tradition that was widely believed and therefore hindered the people’s acceptance of Jesus as the Messiah. We need to be very careful that we rightly divide the Word of God so we don’t lead people astray.
While Jesus was teaching in the Temple, he called out, “Yes, you know me, and you know where I come from. But I’m not here on my own. The one who sent me is true, and you don’t know him. But I know him because I come from him, and he sent me to you.”
John 7:28-29 (NLT)
At this point, our Lord raised His voice so that everybody could hear. He was probably speaking in a tone revealing irony: “Yes, you think you know Me and where I came from! But really, you do not!” Then He explained why they did not know Him: they did not know the Father! This was a serious accusation to make against an orthodox Jew, for the Jews prided themselves in knowing the true God, the God of Israel.
These Jews knew much about God. It was required of the Jewish men to memorize large portions of the Torah (the first five books of the Bible). Their whole society revolved around God’s moral standards and countless religious observances. However, they did not know God. There is a difference between knowing about someone and really knowing that person. Likewise today, millions of people are acquainted with knowledge about Jesus. They may even be moral and observe religious ceremonies, but if they don’t personally experience knowing Jesus, they are not saved and will not make it to heaven. Even the devils believe and tremble (James 2:19), but they aren’t saved. You must be born again.
But Jesus went even further: He boldly asserted that He not only knew the Father, but was sent by Him! He was once again claiming to be God! He was not simply born into this world like any other human; the Father sent him to earth. This means that He existed before He was born on the earth.
Then the leaders tried to arrest him; but no one laid a hand on him, because his time had not yet come.
John 7:30 (NLT)
This was certainly a crisis hour in His ministry, and some of the leaders tried to have Him arrested; but “His hour was not yet come.” Jesus demonstrated a supernatural ability to stop people from harming Him on a number of occasions. Therefore, this is another witness that the reason Jesus avoided walking in Judea was not because of the threat to His life. He could have used this supernatural protection at any time. It simply wasn’t time for Him to offer Himself up as our sacrificial Lamb. And until that time, no one could touch Him.
Many among the crowds at the Temple believed in him. “After all,” they said, “would you expect the Messiah to do more miraculous signs than this man has done?”
John 7:31 (NLT)
This was very good reasoning that caused these people to believe and receive the truth.
What could the Messiah have done that Jesus didn’t do?
The answer is nothing. Jesus had raised the dead, healed the blind and the lame, and cast out devils. He had proclaimed God’s Word in a way no one else ever had. Every action of Jesus was witness that He was not just a mortal man.
Many of the pilgrims put their faith in Him. It was a faith based on miracles, but at least it was a beginning. Nicodemus first became interested in Jesus because of His miracles (John 3:1-2), and eventually he openly professed faith in Christ.