“For even His (Jesus’) brothers didn’t believe in Him.”John 7:5 (NLT)
The closing of John 6 sets the stage for further rejection Jesus would encounter in chapter 7. John records,
“At this point many of His disciples turned away and deserted Him.” John 6:66 (NLT)
As Jesus taught, not all who listened believed. Those who did believe for selfish reasons began to bail out when Jesus challenged them with the cost of discipleship. They had grown accustomed to seeing the miracles and getting a free meal. But John tells us,
“Jesus knew from the beginning which ones didn’t believe, and He knew who would betray Him.” John 6:64b (NLT)
In chapter 7, the responses to Jesus were beginning to polarize the people. Growing hostility among the religious leaders led to open confrontations challenging His Deity. Already, the religious leaders were looking for a way to put Jesus away. Even his family members ridiculed him. It would not be until after His resurrection that some of Jesus’ own brothers put their faith in Him. Two of them, James and Jude, later wrote the letters in the New Testament that bear their names.
Ridicule, abandonment and rejection are hard for any of us to deal with. Have you experienced such rejection and ridicule? How did Jesus handle it? If you find your worth from the approval of others, you won’t make it. Read John 7 and check out verses 16-19 and 28-29. You’ll discover where Jesus got His security from and how He was able to keep His focus when so many around Him lost sight of who He was. Despite the critics, Jesus continued to extend God’s invitation for anyone who was thirsty to come. He never allowed people’s opinions to alter His message.
Just as Jesus found His identity in the Father, we find our security in Christ. When we live to please Christ and do the will of God, we can overcome the pain of rejection, ridicule and abandonment. Jesus has promised that He will never leave us or forsake us. He said He would be with us until the end of the age and nothing could separate us from His love! As you read today, ask yourself: Who am I living to please? Read John 7 now.