God experts | John 7.25-31
Some of the people of Jerusalem therefore said, “Is not this the man whom they seek to kill? And here he is, speaking openly, and they say nothing to him! Can it be that the authorities really know that this is the Christ? But we know where this man comes from, and when the Christ appears, no one will know where he comes from.” So Jesus proclaimed, as he taught in the temple, “You know me, and you know where I come from. But I have not come of my own accord. He who sent me is true, and him you do not know. I know him, for I come from him, and he sent me.” So they were seeking to arrest him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come. Yet many of the people believed in him. They said, “When the Christ appears, will he do more signs than this man has done?” John 7.25-31 | ESV
Some of the local crowd now sat up and took notice. “Hold on a minute! Isn’t this the guy they’re after, the one with the death warrant? And here he is openly speaking his mind in public with no one saying or doing anything about it. The authorities haven’t pegged him as the Messiah after all, have they? But how can that be? We know where this guy is from – no mystery there; but the Messiah, no one will see him coming…”
Hearing all this speculation, in the midst of his teaching session in the temple Jesus hollered, “THAT’S RIGHT, YOU KNOW ME! And you know my humble point of origin! But none of this was my idea carried out on my own initiative. I’ve been sent! And the One who sent me is true through and through, and of His identity you have not a clue! Oh, but I know him. My very being is intimately connected with His, and He’s the one who commissioned me.”
Some of those in the crowd – from the authorities, no doubt – were chomping at the bit to clamp him in irons right on the spot, but no one laid a finger on him; it wasn’t time for that. Yet.
Meanwhile many others in the crowd were totally sold on him. “Whenever the Messiah shows,” they would say over and over to each other, “will he have a more impressive résumé of signs and wonders than this fellow does?” MAV (Mike’s Amplified Version)
It’s basic to the human condition.
We love thinking God into the elaborate or simplistic boxes of our expectations.
We are so sure we know how he will show up, or how he clearly won’t; how he will behave and how we’re sure he never would. They were as diligent in the construction and reconstruction of their Messianic end times scenarios as we are with our Messianic second coming end times scenarios. They may not have had the elaborate charts we love to produce into which they could pour their calculations as to how it would all go down, but oh how they charted. And calculated. And through their basic miscounting and miscalculations they were instrumental in bringing about the incalculable path that God had in mind all along.
There’s a simple lesson here: if we can write it and reduce it to a chart, be it the longest and most elaborate chart ever conceived by the mind of man all with detailed scripture references (and available free for any donation of $50 or more, call now), at least we know that that’s not the way it’s going to happen.
“When the Messiah comes, we won’t see him coming, he’ll come out of nowhere, *poof* and there he is.” And they saw this Jesus coming a mile away. He just didn’t fit the profile.
We think we’re such God experts, explaining his divine nature, his past movements, and extrapolating his future motions with such certainty – and how often, like our religious neighbors in this text, do we then miss the God movements happening right before our faces.
When have you found yourself thinking God into a box of your own expectations? What is the key for us being able to see beyond such boxed expectations?
Abba, surprise me. Today. Give me eyes to see your unexpected movements and to see and embrace your blowing the lid off my expectations and calculations. Through Christ.