Daily D – John 7:3-4
So his brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea so that your disciples can see your works that you are doing. For no one does anything in secret while he’s seeking public recognition. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.” JOHN 7:3-4 (NLT)
Professor Malcolm Yarnell of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth recently tweeted a photo of a footnote in William Lane’s volume on the Gospel of Mark in the New International Commentary on the New Testament. Footnotes are often golden. Thou shalt not ignore them. This one will show you why. It says,
“The messianic secret expresses in Mark the irrevocable and free decision of Jesus to embrace his passion, because this is the divine will. It is this fact which is expressed by . . . ‘must.’ If Jesus had allowed his glory as Son of God to shine everywhere, if he had permitted to the crowds their delirious enthusiasm, if he had allowed the demons to howl their servile confession, if he had permitted the apostles to divulge everywhere their sensational discovery, the passion would have been rendered impossible and the destiny of Jesus would have issued in triumph, but a triumph which would have been wholly human (Ch. 8:33) and which would not have accomplished the divine plan of salvation.” (G. Minette de Tillesse, op. cit., p. 321)
This footnote nugget helps us understand this text. James, Jude, and maybe others of Jesus’ siblings, taunted him. Their perfect big brother was gaining popularity. They prodded him to go show off to a big crowd. They missed the point then. They figured it out later. It’s amazing how his rising from the dead changed their opinions.
Notice what they said which completely missed the mark: “For no one does anything in secret while he’s seeking public recognition.” Jesus was not seeking public recognition. The public sought him because he had healing in his hands. He could turn water into wine. He could turn a little boy’s lunch into a full meal deal for thousands with more left over than what he started with.
Jesus was not running for public office. He did not want the position of Bread King (John 6). He was not motivated by how many followers he had. He was motivated by how many sheep were not in his pasture. He was motivated by the eternal destiny of men, women, boys, and girls. He was motivated by the need to seek and to save the lost, the last, the least.
A book on my shelf above my computer screen teaches how to get people to follow you on social media and via email. The more people who follow you, the more money you can make. Take a moment and consider if this was how Jesus operated. (Hint: It was not.)
Why do a couple of billion people today ally themselves to Jesus at least by name? It is not because of his salesmanship or platform effectiveness. It is because he saves, delivers, and heals.
How do you and I serve those we influence? How do we connect them to the Savior, the Deliverer, the Healer?
Points to ponder for a morning like this.
I will use what influence I have to connect others with Jesus.
Our Father, what John Baptist said is what I say: More of Jesus; less of me. Amen.
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Psalm 139:17, 18 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!
2 Corinthians 5:1-5 For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 10:13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.