In a week of debate over a huge event taking place to remember the most divisive figure in recent British political history, we were looking today at the lunchtime talk at a huge event at which people Jesus, the most divisive figure of human history is subject to furious debate, even as some people try to kill him.
Amidst all the words spoken about Thatcher it is, as is so often the case with these things, striking to hear from people who actually knew her and so who can give an insight into her as a person, not just as a political set of ideas.
Amidst all of the discussion, all of the frenzy of ideas and opinions about Jesus, who he was, what he stood for, whether we should care about him anymore – how are we to know what to think?
In John 7 we find ourselves at a festival, in amongst a fast paced melee of people, surrounded by the noise of public opinion, hearsay and intrigue. John wants us to show us that lots and lots and lots of people have always had lots and lots and lots to say about Jesus, but that much of it is not worth listening to. Actually, if we want to figure Jesus out, then the best way is probably to take some time out with the man himself…
And here are some questions you might like to chew over as you consider this passage.
1) What does Jesus mean when he speaks about ‘his time not yet having come’?
2) What are the major questions that people ask about Jesus in this chapter? How would you answer them?
3) How does Nicodemus’ input in v50-51 help us to know what John wants us to do as we witness the division over Jesus?