Tripping Hazards

  1. Message: Jesus was avoiding Judea because he knew that the religious leaders were plotting to kill him. Interesting enough his own brothers were pushing for him to go. They didn’t believe in him but told him that going to the festival in Judea was the only way he could become more famous and get more followers. If they didn’t believe in who he was, why would they be interested in promoting his ministry? Were they plotting to kill him too? Jesus told his brothers he wouldn’t be going because it wasn’t his time yet, but he secretly went to the festival and heard all of the crowds disputing whether or not he was a prophet or a fraud. When he began to teach in the temple they were even more conflicted because they knew where he came from but didn’t understand how he became so educated without “training”. Jesus didn’t get his training from man but they knew there was something about him that made them want to believe, but they were tripped up by knowing where and who he came from.
  2. Command: Set aside the traditions and ideas that keep us from seeing who God really is.
  3. Promise: God reveals himself to us when we set aside our own beliefs and ideas.
  4. Warning: Tradition is powerful, and so is the influence of other people. We have to ask the holy spirit to reveal what only he can reveal.
  5. Application: Reading this it’s difficult to find my place in this story. Obviously none of us can put ourselves in the place of Jesus here because we can’t relate to his perfection. We don’t want to relate to the crowds or even his brothers because that puts us on the wrong side of Jesus! What really caught my attention here was that the main thing holding the people back from believing he was the Messiah, was that they knew where he came from. Not only did they know where he came from, they despised where he came from. They saw signs and miracles, and they heard him speak in a way that no teacher of the law had ever spoken, but they were tripped up by that one detail. They even tried to pull from the scriptures to disprove what they felt in their hearts to be true. I believe we all do this with things that don’t fit the narrative of what we believe to be true. In all fairness, they were almost right with so much of it, but they ignored the blatant truth that was speaking to their hearts to emphasize on one small detail that they had misunderstood. I wonder how many things that I believe to be true according to scripture, that are not fully accurate. I wonder how many things I have clung to in spite of mounting evident. What things about Jesus have I misunderstood, and replaced with tradition? Today I’m asking myself to clear the plate and ask God to show me things about himself that I don’t understand because they don’t line up with what I believe I already know about him. This is a work only the holy spirit can do inside.

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