Jesus at the center of controversy
Three times the apostle John uses the word “division” regarding the opposite views people were taking about Jesus (7:40-43; 9:16; 10:19-21). Some believed in Him; others rejected Him.
- Some argued that Jesus is the Christ, while others said He could not be the Christ because the Messiah was to come from Bethlehem (John 7:40-43).
They were right in believing that the Messiah would come from Bethlehem (Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:1-6). But they were ignorant of the fact that Jesus of Nazareth was born in Bethlehem. Because they didn’t have all the facts, they came to the wrong conclusion.
- In the second case of division (John 9:16) some were saying that Jesus could not be from God because He did not keep the Sabbath. Others argued, “How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?”
Because Jesus healed on the Sabbath, some accused Him of violating the prohibition against working on the seventh day (Exodus 20:8-10). What Jesus violated was not God’s law, but the Pharisaic traditions regarding the Sabbath. Even Jesus’ opponents allowed certain kinds of work on the Sabbath (Matthew 12:1-7; Luke 14:1-6; John 7:22-24).
- And then the third division: “Many of them were saying, ‘He has a demon and is insane. Why do you listen to Him.’ Others were saying, ‘These are not the sayings of one demon-possessed. A demon cannot open the eyes of the blind, can he?’” (John 10:19-21).
And our response?
So how shall we decide about Jesus? A fair-minded reading of the New Testament shows abundant evidence that Jesus really is who He claimed to be: the Christ, the Son of God.
It’s really impossible to be neutral about Jesus. We must decide what we believe about Him, but whatever we conclude, we had better make sure we’re right!
What if one were to assert that George Washington is a mythical figure who never actually existed? Would it matter, ultimately, if we took that view, wrong as it is?
We cannot have a personal relationship with George Washington. He did not die to save us from hell. Nor will he be our judge on the last day. If we choose to reject Washington as a historic figure, what difference really does it make in the long run?
But what if we’re wrong about Jesus?
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/
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