• New Hope Church

2021_11_08 Insight Post- Kim Feld

This week's reading- John 7-8

John chapter 7 begins with an exchange between Jesus and his brothers. These brothers are children of Mary and Joseph, technically Jesus’ half-brothers. John includes them in his narrative more than any of the other gospel writers. The relationship between Jesus and his brothers is fascinating to me. Jesus, being the oldest, would have had a unique role in His Jewish family, including responsibility for Mary after the death of Joseph. We don’t know the exact time of Joseph’s death, but it seems likely that he died before Jesus’ ministry began. Later in John’s biography, we will see how Jesus beautifully fulfills his obligation to His mother as her first-born during His own agonizing death.

Verse 5 of John chapter 7 tells us that Jesus’ brothers did not believe in Him at this point. They seem to be aware that He can do miraculous things and encourage Him to go to Jerusalem to make a name for Himself. But that’s not part of the plan. Jesus is committed to following His Father’s plan, not an agenda that others may have for Him.

I’m grateful that Acts continues the story from the four biographies and gives us a picture of the events immediately following Jesus’ resurrection. Let’s take a look at Acts 1:

12 Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk from the city. 13 When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James, and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew; James, son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas, son of James.14 They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

Although Jesus’s brothers did not believe in Him at the point of John chapter 7, Acts chapter 1 gives us evidence that they became believers with Jesus’ resurrection.

Chapter 7 shows the tension that was rising around Jesus. In chapter 6, Jesus is aware that the crowd is planning to force Him to be king, which He dodges (see John 6:14-15). Later in chapter 6, He loses a large crowd of followers because they couldn’t understand His teaching due to their unbelief. Now, He has pressure to present Himself from His brothers, who also don’t believe. I can’t imagine the weight Jesus was carrying at this point.

John’s entire biography speaks to me about God’s love for us. Because God loved, He came to us in the person of Jesus and gave Himself as a ransom for you and me. Jesus understands what it feels like to be misunderstood by those closest to us. He gets relational pressure and how difficult it is to stay the course for what is right. There is nothing that you will face today that Jesus does not understand.

14 So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. 15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. 16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. Hebrews 4:14-16 NLT

Kim Feld

Executive Director of Education and Outreach