Scripture: John 7: 1-13
Key verses: (6-13) 6 Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always here. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify against it that its works are evil. 8 Go to the festival yourselves. I am not[d] going to this festival, for my time has not yet fully come.” 9 After saying this, he remained in Galilee.
10 But after his brothers had gone to the festival, then he also went, not publicly but as it were[e] in secret. 11 The Jews were looking for him at the festival and saying, “Where is he?” 12 And there was considerable complaining about him among the crowds. While some were saying, “He is a good man,” others were saying, “No, he is deceiving the crowd.” 13 Yet no one would speak openly about him for fear of the Jews.
Reflection: In John’s gospel, there is no recorded story of Jesus being tempted in the wilderness but his temptation comes in other ways. Jesus’ brothers are tempting him to go to Jerusalem during the festival of Booths. This would be the perfect place to perform some miracles and to show everyone what Jesus was about. The city would be packed and his brothers wanted Jesus to show himself to the world.
Jesus was not being tempted to do anything hurtful or even sinful. Performing miracles and healing people would have been a great thing. It was not, however, the right reason or the right time and Jesus does not give into the temptation. Jesus understands his calling, and remains faithful to that calling. Likewise, God has called each one of us to join in the work God is already doing. We are often tempted to do something good that is more about us and less about God’s kingdom work.
To understand the difference so that we can withstand this temptation we must seek God’s will for your life in the first place. The 65 members of our confirmation class are asking that same question today on their final confirmation retreat. They realize that faith is not just about being a good person or helping us feel good about ourselves. Discerning God’s will and figuring this out is hard work. We have realized that to understand God’s will for our lives we have to spend time in scripture, prayer and worship. Our discernment of God’s will comes only through our intentionally seeking it together and then moving forward to join God in some kingdom work in God’s time.
Prayer: God, bind us together as we seek your will and join your work to bring about your Kingdom. In the name of your son we pray. Amen.
Author: Michelle Thomas-Bush
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].