The Bible readings for today are quite powerful. In 1 Samuel 14, Saul is trying to lead an organized battle, but his son Jonathan just attacks on his own because God can win with few or many. And God wins the day. Amazing. But Saul was baffled. Our John 7:31-53 reading was baffling to several groups celebrating at the Festival of Shelters. They were baffled but Jesus too wins the day.

Life is confusing with many opinions vying to be believed but in Scripture Jesus’ words bring clarity. Let’s look at the various groups at the Festival and find some clarity.

The Religious Leaders: They were baffled when Jesus said He was going to the One who sent Him, and they could not come. Was Jesus just leaving town? And why would He not invite them – the elite?

Jesus: Stands on the last day of the celebration and shouts: If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me as the Scriptures said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.

John the author then explains to the reader that a person must believe in Jesus as Savior and then will receive the Holy Spirit.

The People: Who is this Jesus? His miracles prove He is the Christ. He certainly is the Prophet. But Galilee is the wrong location for the Messiah. Baffled. Well, only a little baffled.

The Soldiers: Cannot arrest Him because no one ever talks like Him. Baffled.

The Religious Leaders are now really baffled and just wrong. And these men who are supposed to bring clarity are more confused than the people they are supposed to lead. The leaders claim “no religious leader believes in Jesus.” False. Nicodemus believed in Jesus.

If no leader believes in Him, then “the people who do believe in Him are just lost.” False. Jesus calls to everyone to believe in Him. All people can be redeemed and found in Him.

The leaders went to the Scriptures. “No prophet comes from Galilee.” False. He will be called a Nazarene. (Not necessarily the location but more a meaning of despised) Plus the leaders could have studied Isaiah 11 and remembered that Nazareth was also a Branch that the Messiah would come from. “Jesus was not from Bethlehem or the lineage of David.” False and false. They chose not to research His birthplace. The leaders were baffled the most.

Who is Jesus? If we believe in Him we can be saved by Him and find clarity. Even the people could find clarity in what they heard and learned and experienced from Him even without perfect knowledge. We can do the same! In our baffling times He still calls us to refreshment even in the midst of confusion. Let’s come to Him and drink.

by Steve Sagué, Elder

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