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The Scriptorium

Heating Up

We can feel the temperature rising around Jesus.

The Gospel of John: John 7.37-52

Read and meditate on John 7.37-52.

We could say that things are really heating up around Jesus, but that’s only because He’s managing the thermostat. Jesus Himself is turning up the heat, as everything moves perfectly in His hand toward His hour of glory.

the great day of the feast, Jesus began
to cry out, saying, “Anyone who thirsts
should come to Me and drink. 38If in your hearts
you trust in Me, then as the Scriptures say,
out from your heart will flow this very day
the living water, like a river.” 39He
was speaking of the Spirit, Who would be
bestowed on those who would believe in Him;
because the Holy Spirit was not given
as yet, since Jesus was not glorified.

40Then many from the crowd heard this, and cried,
“For sure, this is the Prophet!” Others said,
“This is the Christ!” 41But some replied instead,
“Will Christ come out of Galilee? 42Do not
the Scriptures say the seed of David ought
to come from Bethlehem, where David was?”
43Division rose among them then, because
of Him. 44And none laid hands on Him, although
some wanted to arrest Him, even so.

45Then came the officers unto the priests
and Pharisees, who said to them, “What’s this?
Why have you failed to bring Him in?” 46They said,
“No man has ever spoken like this Man!”
47The Pharisees replied to them, “So then,
you also are deceived? 48Who has believed
in Him among the rulers, or received
Him from among the Pharisees? 49But you
are like this stupid crowd. Like them, you too
are cursed, for you are ignorant, and do
not know the Law.” 50Then Nicodemus to
them answered (he who came to Jesus in
the night), 51“Does our Law, brethren, judge a man
before it hears him, and discerns what he
is doing?” 52They replied, “Then you must be
from Galilee as well! Go search and see:
No prophet ever comes from Galilee!”

- John 7.37-52

1.  Jesus’ ability to use the circumstances of His day as backdrop and reinforcement for the Gospel was powerful. Can we learn to do the same? How? Complete this prayer: Because You know all people, Lord, You knew how to use their surroundings to make them focus on You. I want to learn how to do this. Help me today to…

2.  Many people were developing ideas about Jesus, and their ideas were not entirely inaccurate. What ideas do people have about Jesus today? Is there some truth in any of these views? How could you build on these views to help people have a more complete view of Jesus? Teach me, Lord, how to begin with people where they are, and to lead them to…

3.  Coming to faith in Jesus can take time for some people. Throughout the course of Jesus’ ministry, some people who had heard Him and seen His good works came to believe in Him, but not always or even usually right away. Should you expect the same of people in your Personal Mission Field? Explain. Lord, give me patience and love so that…

4.  Jesus is the Wellspring of salvation, and His Spirit is the Living Water of eternal life. Salvation is like water to a thirsty person. In what ways? How do you experience this Living Water? There are thirsty people all around me, Lord. Help me to see them and…

5.  We continue moving steadily toward the hour of Jesus’ glory, and we can feel the tension building in each subsequent chapter. Jesus still provokes mixed responses, and creates a certain amount of tension in our world today. How should we prepare each day to deal with these responses and this tension? Bring together into one prayer the prayers you composed for questions 1-4.

“Those who did not know the law believed on the one who had sent the law, and those men who were teaching the law despised him. … For the Pharisees, the teachers of the law, were made blind, and the people who did not know the law and yet believed on the author of the law were enlightened.” Augustine (354-430 AD)

We need not fear the upheaval and unsettling the Gospel can create, nor those who oppose Jesus and His Gospel. We must rather be like Jesus, pressing on, fulfilling our calling, seeking the Kingdom and glory of God, and welcoming all who come to faith in Him. How does this translate into a daily strategy in your life?

Closing Prayer
Oh, sing to the LORD a new song!
For He has done marvelous things;
His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory.
The LORD has made known His salvation;
His righteousness He has revealed in the sight of the nations.
He has remembered His mercy and His faithfulness to the house of Israel;
All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth;
Break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises.
Sing to the Lord with the harp,
With the harp and the sound of a psalm,
With trumpets and the sound of a horn;
Shout joyfully before the LORD, the King.
Let the sea roar, and all its fullness,
The world and those who dwell in it;
Let the rivers clap theirhands;
Let the hills be joyful together before the LORD,
For He is coming to judge the earth.
With righteousness He shall judge the world,
And the peoples with equity.

Psalm 98.1-9

Psalm 98 (Duke Street: Come, Let Us Sing unto the Lord)
Come, let us sing unto the Lord new songs of praise with one accord!
Wonderful things our God has done: Jesus has our salvation won!

Now is God’s saving mercy known; His glory to the world is shown.
Faithful and kind is God our Lord; earth has the Name of Jesus heard.

Raise to the Lord your loudest voice! Break forth and sing! Rejoice! Rejoice       
Praise, praise to You our God and King, with all our hearts and strength we bring!

Now let the whole creation ‘round burst into song with joyous sound!
Jesus will come to judge the earth; let all proclaim His matchless worth!

T. M. Moore

Jesus is the Centerpiece of all Scripture, as He Himself explained (Jn. 5.39). But how can we learn to see Him there? How do the primary themes of Scripture revolve around Jesus? Our online course, Introduction to Biblical Theology, shows you how best to get at, get into, and get with the Word of God, so that you can grow more consistently in the Lord. It’s free, and you can study at your own pace. For more information or to register, click here.

We are happy to offer each week’s Scriptorium studies in a free weekly PDF, suitable for personal or group use. You can download all the studies in our series on the Gospel of John by clicking here. Please prayerfully consider sharing with The Fellowship of Ailbe through your giving. You can contribute to The Fellowship by clicking the Contribute button at the website or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series IV a and b: John, edited by Joel C. Elowsky, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006. Verse translation of John by T. M. Moore.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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