by Pastor David Groendyk
“There was a division among the people over him” (v. 43). John may have been understating that a little bit! Over the course of this one chapter, we see numerous evaluations of Jesus. His siblings were unbelieving and skeptical and taunted Jesus to prove himself (vv. 3–5). Some feast-goers thought he was a good man while some thought he was lying to people and a dangerous threat (v. 12). Many recognized that he had a mastery over the Scriptures and over preaching (v. 15). Some thought that he was demon-possessed and out of his mind (v. 20). Some claimed that it was utterly illogical for this man to be the Christ (vv. 41–42, 52). Some were quite impressed with the things he had to say (v. 46). Others thought he was the great Prophet who was promised to come (v. 40). Finally, some did believe and confess that he was the Christ (vv. 41). One can be quite close to Jesus, hear everything he has to say, agree with it, even stand in awe of Jesus and his teaching or grow up in the same house as him and still not have true faith. Anything short of trusting in Jesus as our Savior who pays our penalty on the cross by dying for us does not constitute true faith. What other nice things do people say about Jesus without truly believing in him? How does that fall short of true faith?
What else does Jesus say about himself in this chapter? Jesus is sent by the Father and seeks nothing more or less than his Father’s will (vv. 16–17). This proves that he is speaking with the Father’s authority rather than his own. The same cannot be said for the Jews listening to him. They have been given the law of Moses, and yet they don’t keep it. More than that, Jesus says that they don’t know God the Father at all (v. 28). The Jews possessed the Word of God, memorized it, even loved it. But they still fundamentally did not know God. They knew about him, but they didn’t know him personally. Thus, they would never come to understand, know, and believe Jesus. They didn’t know God, and they weren’t truly seeking his glory in keeping the law. Jesus has a unique authority and a unique corroboration. He is unlike any other prophet or teacher that has come before, not just because he is right in everything that he says, but because he is God and has perfectly obeyed the law.
What is the message that Jesus was given by the Father about himself? He is the one to whom you must come for life (vv. 37–38). If anyone desires to know God, if anyone desires to have eternal life, they must come to Jesus and believe in him. No other prophet or teacher will make that claim about themselves. There is nowhere else to go but to Jesus. He alone has the words of eternal life. Are you going to Jesus for all that you need?