Now some of them from Jerusalem said, “Is this not He whom they seek to kill? But look! He speaks boldly, and they say nothing to Him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is truly the Christ? However, we know where this Man is from; but when the Christ comes, no one knows where He is from.”
Then Jesus cried out, as He taught in the temple, saying, “You both know Me, and you know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know. But I know Him, for I am from Him, and He sent Me.”
Therefore they sought to take Him; but no one laid a hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come.
This passage poses many puzzles, starting with the confirmation that people are aware that Jesus is He whom they seek to kill. That seems to contradict what the people in the temple said in verse 20.
It does, but that just reflects a wide range of views among different people at that time. The ones from Jerusalem seem to know more about what the authorities are up to. That makes sense; they live “inside the beltway” so to speak.
The locals ask the right question too. How come the people who are trying to kill Jesus are just letting Him speak? But look! He speaks boldly, and they say nothing to Him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is truly the Christ?
The rulers most definitely don’t know (or think) that He’s the Christ. So, it is surprising that He’s free to preach. This is another puzzle. How can this be?
The next “puzzle” is the same, except it includes the answer. Therefore they sought to take Him; but no one laid a hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come. In other words, Jesus is being supernaturally protected. That’s why He seems to be free to preach and that’s why they can’t take Him when they try.
The whole sequence seems tightly scripted—which is exactly what it is.
The greatest miracle the people are seeing may not be the works Jesus performs, but this scripting. The authorities look like the keystone cops trying to catch Jesus.
But notice that Jesus doesn’t always flaunt this protection. Remember, back in verse 10, He also went up to the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. Jesus is following a script too.
There’s a deeper lesson here. While Jesus never struggles to figure out the script, the apostles won’t be so adept (particularly in Acts). They’re good at discerning the Lord’s will, but many struggles are recorded.
And we’re even less good at it. The foremost job of every Christian isn’t to do the Lord’s will; it’s to discern it.
Being sure you’re doing the Lord’s will is perfect peace.
These Monday—Friday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. The Saturday DEEPs are written by Matt Richardson. To subscribe to all the DEEPs click here:
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.