John’s Gospel: Reflecting on Chapter 7

I’m sure I’ve read John many, many times before, but for some reason, chapter 7 and 8 never clicked for me. I’d never really read them.

But I just love these chapters. I wrote all the posts on both chapters in one sitting. I just couldn’t stop reading, studying, and writing the thoughts that were pouring into my head.

* Why do you suppose Jesus’ brothers didn’t believe in him? The text doesn’t say, but we do know from Acts and history that they later became believers and leaders in the church. But why did it take them longer to believe than so many others? (And what does that say about prevenient grace, if it took his brothers so long?)

* In the earlier posts, I conclude that Jesus was initially reluctant to attend the Feast of Booths for fear of being arrested before his time had come. Does that conclusion make Jesus too human? Would we prefer a Savior who never hesitated to face death?

* Why on earth did Jesus take this opportunity to remind everyone that he’d healed on the Sabbath? Clearly he was risking his life! What goal did he have that was worth the risk?

* What do you think of Jesus’ higher-law argument, that it’s okay to heal on the Sabbath because it’s also okay to circumcise on the Sabbath? Doesn’t that argument risk destroying the Sabbath? Don’t we need bright-lines, clear rules, so that we don’t accidentally break them?

* Am I right to suggest that John deliberately writes this (true) story to emphasize the humorous elements? Is the Bible funny?

* Why didn’t Jesus explain that he was born in Bethlehem? His apparent birth in Galilee was a barrier to faith.

* What does this story tell us about the personality of Jesus? What character traits did he demonstrate in this chapter?

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