Ministry Resources

NT Fire Starters – Day 135: John 7:1-24

READ: John 7:1-24

THINK: How does it feel to be misunderstood? It can certainly be a frustrating, lonely, helpless and hopeless feeling, particularly if it leads to rejection and hate. Jesus can relate to this feeling. Even those in His own family misunderstood His mission, and the world system in general hated Him without even knowing Him. Certainly, those who are willing to identify with Jesus ought to be sensitive to the pain caused when people misjudge others. Even so, as a follower of Jesus, you must strongly resist the tendency to judge by mere appearances.

RESPOND: Why did Jesus’ brothers respond to Him as they did? Was it Jesus’ intention to become a public figure (v. 4)? Why or why not? Why does the world hate Jesus? (See 7:7 note.) In what ways is it obvious that the world is opposed to Jesus? Why did many people have such opposing views–some positive and some negative–of Jesus (cf. v. 12)? What does it mean to do “God’s will”? (See 7:17 note.) How will following God’s plans and purposes for your life help you understand God’s truth? According to verse 18, how can you tell whether a person is sincerely ministering for God or for selfish reasons? (See 7:18 note.) Why do people tend to judge by appearances (v. 24)? How can you help to ensure that you make right judgments about things rather than relying on appearances?

PRAY: Ask Jesus to help you discover His desires and purposes as you spend daily time in His Word. Pray that you’ll rely on His Word to help you make right judgments about situations, people, beliefs and behaviors.

ACT: Are there people who you don’t know very well or situations that you’re not extremely familiar with, yet you’ve still formed negative opinions or made distinct judgments about these people or things? While you need to be wise about relationships that could negatively impact you, consider the possibility that your judgments are not accurate nor appropriate. As you encounter these people and situations–even today–make a deliberate effort to become better acquainted so you can understand and respond in more appropriate and Christ-honoring ways.

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