Contrasting Views of Jesus

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Reading the Word

John 7:10–13 (ESV)

10 But after his brothers had gone up to the feast, then he also went up, not publicly but in private. 11 The Jews were looking for him at the feast, and saying, “Where is he?” 12 And there was much muttering about him among the people. While some said, “He is a good man,” others said, “No, he is leading the people astray.” 13 Yet for fear of the Jews no one spoke openly of him.

Understanding and Applying the Word

After Jesus’ conversation with his brothers in verses 1-9, we are told that his brothers went up to the Feast of Booths without Jesus. However, Jesus did also go, but he did so secretly. His popularity must have made him a focus of conversation at the feast. The people were looking for him and there were competing opinions on who Jesus was. Some said the he was a “good man” while others said “he is leading the people astray.” The people were afraid to speak openly of him because the Jews (i.e. the Jewish religious leaders) were set on killing Jesus (cf. John 7:1).

If you were to take a poll today and ask people what they think of Jesus, you would probably get many answers, but the majority of the answers would likely fit into one of two categories: those who say Jesus is a “good man” and those who say “he has led people astray.” There really is not much middle ground on Jesus. He is as polarizing today as he was in the first century. And we are left to answer the same questions that people have been answering since he walked on this earth. Who is Jesus and what will we do with him?

How would you answer?

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