Read John 7:25-52
25At that point some of the people of Jerusalem began to ask, "Isn't this the man they are trying to kill? 26Here he is, speaking publicly, and they are not saying a word to him. Have the authorities really concluded that he is the Christ? 27But we know where this man is from; when the Christ comes, no one will know where he is from."
28Then Jesus, still teaching in the temple courts, cried out, "Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from. I am not here on my own, but he who sent me is true. You do not know him, 29but I know him because I am from him and he sent me."
30At this they tried to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his time had not yet come. 31Still, many in the crowd put their faith in him. They said, "When the Christ comes, will he do more miraculous signs than this man?"
32The Pharisees heard the crowd whispering such things about him. Then the chief priests and the Pharisees sent temple guards to arrest him.
33Jesus said, "I am with you for only a short time, and then I go to the one who sent me. 34You will look for me, but you will not find me; and where I am, you cannot come."
35The Jews said to one another, "Where does this man intend to go that we cannot find him? Will he go where our people live scattered among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks? 36What did he mean when he said, 'You will look for me, but you will not find me,' and 'Where I am, you cannot come'?"
37On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. 38Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." 39By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.
40On hearing his words, some of the people said, "Surely this man is the Prophet."
41Others said, "He is the Christ."
Still others asked, "How can the Christ come from Galilee? 42Does not the Scripture say that the Christ will come from David's family and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?" 43Thus the people were divided because of Jesus. 44Some wanted to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him.
45Finally the temple guards went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, "Why didn't you bring him in?"
46"No one ever spoke the way this man does," the guards declared.
47"You mean he has deceived you also?" the Pharisees retorted. 48"Has any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in him? 49No! But this mob that knows nothing of the law — there is a curse on them."
50Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus earlier and who was one of their own number, asked, 51"Does our law condemn anyone without first hearing him to find out what he is doing?"
52They replied, "Are you from Galilee, too? Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee." (NIV)
This is a wonderful section that talks about the conflicts Jesus brings to people. Jesus has a way of bringing people to a yes or no decision. There is no in between. We either accept him or we don’t. There is no middle ground of maybe. We see in the beginning that it is the people in conflict over who Jesus is. Some say he is the Christ. Others say no. That has been the case since Christ comes. This was the question Jesus ask his disciples at Caesarea Philippi when he asked, “who do people say I am?” They gave many answers. And we must answer the question that Jesus then asked the disciples, “But who do you say I am.?” Peter answered “You are the Christ.” We must answer this question to, not with our head, but with our heart.
The passage ends with the struggle Nicodemus has in defending Jesus. We see in his struggle the struggle of many who follow Christ. His heart wants to defend him, but his head tells him the cost might be too high. After Christ’s death, many would count the cost to follow Jesus and do it anyway with the cost being martyred. Today we see images in Ukraine where the cost of defending one’s home is to give one’s life. Christianity spread the fastest when people had this kind of commitment. Today, we must ask ourselves do we have this same commitment to Christ, to follow him no matter the costs?
But in the middle of this section of arguing over who Jesus is, John places this teaching by Jesus that speaks to the benefits of following Christ. Jesus tells the people in verse 37and 38, “"If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." There is life in Jesus, even if this body is killed. It is in Christ that we can find a strength to live and love and laugh. There are costs to following Christ, but there are great benefits.
And Jesus warns that there will come a time when it is too late to say yes. This is what Jesus said in verse 33 and 34 where he says: "I am with you for only a short time, and then I go to the one who sent me. You will look for me, but you will not find me; and where I am, you cannot come." These two sections of Christ take us back to what Isaiah told the people in Isaiah 55:1 and 6 where he said: 1"Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. . . 6Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. (NIV)
When we come to Christ, he will sustain us with the Holy Spirit. But we must seek him while he is near for a time is coming when it will be too late. And that time comes in each person’s lifetime for at death, it is too late, for we cannot go to were he is at that moment if we have not found him before.
Do you believe in your heart that Jesus is the Son of God? If yes, are your head and heart in agreement? We don’t have to be in perfect agreement, but we do need to be on the road where they are coming together each day.
Blessings and Peace