September 29, 2016

Mercy Triumphs Over Judgment...

John 7:24 King James Version (KJV)
Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment

John 7

V 1–5: REJECTION BY RELATIONS Jesus stays in Galilee, rather than going to Judea. His half-brothers advise Him to go from Galilee to Judea for the Feast of Tabernacles. They challenge Him to do His miracles openly. They do not believe in Him yet, though later they will. V 6–13: SENSITIVITY ABOUT SECRECY Jesus knows that if He goes publicly to Judea now, He will unnecessarily speed up the opposition against Him, and He knows that this is not yet the right time for Him to die. He remains in a world that hates Him, because of His testimony about the evil within it. Many want to kill Him. So He goes in secrecy and indeed there is a lot of complaining and mixed opinion about Him. Misunderstanding and murmuring is rife. Fear of the Jews silences those who would like to commend Him. V 14–24: TEACHING IN TEMPLE At the middle of the feast, Jesus goes public by teaching in the temple. The Jews cannot understand the source of His teaching. He declares that His doctrine is from God. He asks why they want to kill Him. They respond that this is not so and that He is demon-possessed. He shows the inconsistent hypocrisy of their agreeing to circumcise on the Sabbath, while judging Him for making someone well on the Sabbath. He accuses them of not judging righteously and only with regard to external appearance. V 25–31: DIRECTNESS ABOUT DEITY Debate is on every hand about who Jesus is. Some conclude from the rulers’ public silence that they agree that He is the Christ. Jesus makes His claim to Deity clear by saying that He comes from God and has been sent by God. Some seek to kill Him but are unable to do so, because His time has not yet come. Many believe on Him, reasoning that Christ would not do more signs than Jesus has done. V 32–36: MURMURING AND MISUNDERSTANDINGThe Pharisees hear the murmuring of the crowd and, with the chief priest, send officers to take Him. He tells them that He is going to go to God. Although they will seek Him, they will be unable to find Him or to follow Him. The Jews misunderstand His statement and wonder if He is going to go to the Greeks. V 37–39: GIFT AFTER GLORIFICATION Jesus promises the gift of the Holy Spirit, as rivers of living water, to those who will believe in Him. The Holy Spirit will be given to believers after Jesus has been glorified. V 40–44: IGNORANT OF IDENTITY Opinions are divided as to the identity of Jesus Christ. Many ignorantly say that if Jesus really is the Christ, He would have come from Bethlehem! They seem ignorant of the fact that Bethlehem is the birthplace of Jesus! Yet again, those wanting to take Him are unable to do so. V 45–53: CONFUSION ABOUT CHRIST The confusion continues about the identity of Jesus Christ. The officers tell the chief priest and the Pharisees that no one ever spoke like Jesus. The Pharisees criticise them and the crowd. Nicodemus, who earlier came to Jesus by night, tells them that a man should be heard and the facts looked at before he is judged. At this stage their opposition is rationalised because they say that Jesus came from Galilee. They argue that therefore Jesus cannot be a true prophet. They do not realise that Jesus came from Bethlehem, not Galilee, and in any case prophets did come from Galilee, including Jonah and Nahum! Biased opposition seldom stops to look at the facts!
(There is debate whether chapter 7, verse 53 to chapter 8 verse 11 is in the best original manuscripts. As with the very few other occasions where differences of opinion arise concerning the content of the original manuscripts, no doctrine is taken away or added to by the inclusion or exclusion of the particular passage, because God’s Word stands as a whole. It is also true that, after further research, some previously doubted passages are now again given greater credibility than formerly, and we have to be careful not to jump to wrong conclusions. These notes continue as if the passage is in the original.)

■  Christ in the Feasts of Israel:
Leviticus 23:2: The seven feasts or “holy convocations” listed in this chapter find their typological fulfillment in Christ. The first four feasts are already fulfilled,...

■ Luke 6:37Judge can mean “to distinguish,” or “to consider carefully.” Jesus does not forbid this (John 7:24). Here He warns rather against high-handed condemnation of others. It is God’s task alone to render a judgment that condemns.

■  Introduction to the Gospel According to John:
The Gospel of John and the Other Gospels. John’s gospel is noticeably distinct from the other three gospels. In attempting to explain the differences,...

■  John 5:1Jerusalem: Previously Jesus had dealt primarily with individuals. Now He confronts the Jewish leaders. John 5:110:42 reveals the rising controversy and the opposition that finally resulted...

■  John 17:1His hour had finally come (cf. 2:47:8–308:20). This refers not only to His death, but also to His resurrection and exaltation.Glorify refers to the Cross and the Resurrection. Verse 2 means that the giving of enternal life directly depended on the glorification of the Son.

Judge not according to the appearance - Attend to the law, not merely in the letter, but in its spirit and design. Learn that the law which commands men to rest on the Sabbath day is subordinate to the law of mercy and love, which requires them to be ever active to promote God's glory in the comfort and salvation of their fellow creatures; and endeavor to judge of the merit or demerit of an action, not from the first impression it may make upon your prejudices but from its tendency, and the motives of the person, as far as it is possible for you to acquaint yourselves with them; still believing the best, where you have no certain proof to the contrary.

Isaiah 66:2King James Version (KJV)

For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the Lord: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word
To this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at MY word....
Those who search for worldly distinction and glory make a sad mistake. It is the one who denies self, giving to others the preference, who will sit nearest to Christ on His throne. He who reads the heart sees the true merit possessed by His lowly, self-sacrificing disciples, and because they are worthy He places them in positions of distinction, though they do not realize their worthiness and do not seek for honor....

God places no value on outward display or boasting. Many who in this life are looked upon as superior to others will one day see that God values men according to their compassion and self-denial.... Those who follow the example of Him who went about doing good, who help and bless their fellow men, trying always to lift them up, are in God’s sight infinitely higher than the selfish ones who exalt themselves.

God does not accept men because of their capabilities, but because they seek His face, desiring His help. God sees not as man sees. He judges not from appearances. He searches the heart, and judges righteously. “To this man will I look,” He declares, “even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.” He accepts and communes with His lowly, unpretentious followers; for in them He sees the most precious material, which will stand the test of storm and tempest, heat and pressure.

Our object in working for the Master should be that His name may be glorified in the conversion of sinners. Those who labor to gain applause are not approved of God....

Humble workers, who do not trust in their great gifts, but who work in simplicity, trusting always in God, will share in the joy of the Saviour. Their persevering prayers will bring souls to the cross. Heavenly angels will respond to their self-sacrificing efforts....

These workers are trees of the Lord’s planting. In a peculiar sense they bear fruit equal to the fruit borne by the apostles. A rich reward awaits them in the future life.

5381 law, letter and spirit of

A rigid adherence to the letter of the law often masks hypocrisy and neglect of its spirit, namely having God at the centre of one’s life and putting others before oneself, or recognising that the law points to Jesus Christ.

The letter of the law

Overemphasis on keeping some parts of the law Mk 7:1-8 pp Mt 15:1-2 See also Isa 29:13;Mt 9:10-13 pp Mk 2:15-17 pp Lk 5:29-32
Hypocrisy with regard to keeping the law Mk 7:9-13 pp Mt 15:3-6 See also Mt 23:1-33Lk 11:37-52Lk 18:9-14Jn 9:1-16Ro 2:17-24;Isa 52:5

The spirit of the law

Jesus Christ and the law Mt 5:17-6:19 See also Mt 19:16-30 pp Mk 10:17-30 pp Lk 18:18-30
Jesus Christ’s attitude to the Sabbath Mk 2:23-3:6 pp Mt 12:1-14 pp Lk 6:1-11 See alsoMk 1:21-28 pp Lk 4:31-37Lk 13:10-17Lk 14:1-6Jn 5:1-16Jn 7:21-24
Jesus Christ’s treatment of the woman taken in adultery Jn 8:2-11
The greatest commandment Mt 22:34-40 ppMk 12:28-34 See also Mt 25:31-46
The importance of obedience and right attitudes outweighs that of outward actionsRo 2:25-29 See also 1Sa 15:22-23Ps 51:16-17Pr 21:3Isa 1:11-17Jer 7:21-23Hos 6:6;Am 5:21-24Mic 6:6-8Gal 3:1-5
The spirit of the law is embodied in the new covenant 2Co 3:3-6 See also Jn 4:19-24Ro 7:4-6Ro 8:1-111Co 15:45-462Co 3:13-18;Gal 5:18Heb 7:18-22Heb 8:1-13Jer 31:31-34

8355 understanding:

God-given perception of the nature and meaning of things, resulting in sound judgment and decision-making; in particular the ability to discern spiritual truth and to apply it to human disposition and conduct.

The source of understanding

Understanding belongs to God Job 12:13;Ps 136:5 See also Ps 147:5Pr 3:19Jer 51:15Jer 15:15 God’s understanding gives rise to compassion.
Understanding is a gift from God Pr 2:6Isa 29:24 See also 1Ki 4:29Job 38:36Isa 32:3-4Da 1:17Da 2:21,30Da 9:22Ro 15:21Isa 52:15

Understanding spiritual truth

Understanding truth about God 1Jn 5:20 See also Pr 2:5Pr 9:10Isa 40:21,28Isa 43:10;Jer 9:24Jn 10:38Ro 1:20
Understanding God’s purposes Dt 9:6 God’s reason for choosing Israel; 1Ch 28:19 God’s plans for the temple; Job 34:10-11 the reason for Job’s suffering; Ps 73:16-17God’s dealings with the wicked; Isa 57:1-2God’s purpose in taking the righteous; Jer 9:12-13 the reason for the exile God’s purpose in bringing judgment: Jer 23:20; Jer 30:24
Da 8:15-16 God’s purposes in history God’s will regarding his people: Eph 5:17; Col 1:9

Understanding God’s word Ps 119:73Lk 24:45 See also Ne 8:8,12Ps 119:27,125Mt 24:15 pp Mk 13:14Lk 24:27Ac 8:30-31Jn 12:16
Understanding Jesus Christ’s teaching Mt 13:11 pp Mk 4:11 pp Lk 8:10Mt 16:12Mt 17:13Mk 4:33Mk 8:17Jn 2:22
Understanding God’s salvation Eph 1:18 See also Isa 41:20Ro 13:11Eph 1:9Eph 3:4,17-19Col 2:2Phm 6

Human understanding is limited

Gaining understanding

Through faith Heb 11:3 See also Mt 16:8-9
Through God’s Spirit 1Co 2:12 See also 1Ch 28:12Job 32:8Isa 11:2Jn 14:26Jn 16:13-151Co 2:14Eph 1:17
Through God’s word Ps 119:130 See also Dt 4:6Ps 111:10Da 9:2Jn 20:9
Through wise teaching Ps 49:3 See also Job 8:8-10Pr 1:2Pr 4:1Pr 15:32Ecc 12:9

Lack of understanding of spiritual truth

Not knowing God Isa 1:3 See also Dt 32:28-29Isa 27:11Jer 4:22Ro 10:19Dt 32:21
Lack of understanding due to hardened hearts Dt 29:4Isa 6:9-10 See also Job 17:4;Isa 44:18Isa 48:8Jer 5:21Eze 12:2Mt 13:13-15 pp Mk 4:11-12 pp Lk 8:10Mk 6:52;Jn 12:40Ac 28:26-27Eph 4:18
Not understanding God’s purposes Ps 82:5;Ps 92:6-7Isa 5:13Isa 19:12Mic 4:12Lk 12:561Co 2:8
Not understanding Jesus Christ’s teachingMt 13:19 By Jesus Christ’s disciples: Mk 4:13;Mk 9:32; Jn 4:32-33; Jn 8:27; Jn 11:13; Jn 16:18
Lk 2:50 by Jesus Christ’s parents By some Jews: Jn 2:20-21Jn 6:51-52Jn 8:43
Jn 4:11 by the Samaritan woman

Understanding people and situations

Understanding languages

Those who have understanding

Good leaders Jer 3:15 See also Dt 1:131Ch 22:122Ch 30:22Pr 28:2 Bad leaders, by contrast, lack judgment: Pr 28:16Isa 56:11

The results of understanding

Seeking God Ps 14:2 See also Ps 53:2Ro 3:11
Obedience Ps 119:34 See also Ne 10:28Ps 32:9Ps 119:100Pr 28:7
Taking the right path Pr 2:9 See also Ps 119:104Pr 15:21
Sensible living Job 28:28 avoidance of evil;Pr 11:12 slowness to criticise; Pr 12:11conscientious labour; Pr 13:15 winning favour; Pr 17:27 showing restraint and an even temper; Jas 3:13 good deeds and humility

The results of a lack of understanding

Foolish behaviour Pr 6:32 committing adultery; Pr 7:7 being easily seduced; Pr 17:18 making rash commitments; Pr 18:1-2selfishness and self-importance; Pr 24:30-31idleness leading to ruin; Hos 4:11Drunkenness clouds understanding.