Numbers 34 / Proverbs 25 / John 7
The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that what it does is evil.
My teaching is not my own. It comes from him who sent me. If anyone chooses to do God's will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself, but he who works for the honor of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him. Has not Moses given you the law? Yet not one of you keeps the law. Why are you trying to kill me?
You know me, and you know where I am from. I am not here on my own, but he who sent me is true. You do not know him, but I know him because I am from him and he sent me.
I am with you for only a short time, and then I go to the one who sent me. You will look for me, but you will not find me; and where I am, you cannot come.
Jesus' brothers said to him, "You ought to leave here and go to Judea, so that your disciples may see the miracles you do. No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world." For even his own brothers did not believe in him.
"Even his own brothers did not believe in him" sounds like his brothers wanted him to have the validation and prominence they thought he deserved (and wanted for him so they'd get some residual glory themselves), according to what their mother no doubt told them about their brother. God purposely kept his identity hidden from his natural brothers and even at times from the mother who had been told about his identity before he was born. By our perception of the significance and nature of the recorded events (after they have occurred) it adds up; we can see how the scriptures pointed to him, and how he fulfilled them. At the time though it was confusing and seemed unreal that this very ordinary seeming Jesus could have been the One everyone was looking for, the great Messiah, the prophet Moses spoke of. But what seemed one way was all according to the purpose of the God who purposely kept His only Son's identity a total secret from the humans who claimed to be looking for Messiah, but only the version of Messiah they created for themselves—never God's version, whom He kept secret from them expressly so that they wouldn't and couldn't recognize him as who he actually was.
The fact that the genuine Messiah of Israel was right there in their midst, and yet the acknowledgment of that fact went straight on past their grasp, is one of the truly interesting and great things about the living God, and tells so much about His actual personality—He is nothing like the humans ever expect, nor does He act any way they would guess at, simply because He is so far above and beyond them and their ability to recognize and grasp anything but the obvious and obtuse, while at the same time, by their naturally inbred smugness, they always consider themselves so dang clever and able to figure out and know what's going on around them (even though they cannot explain the most common mystery of why they cannot ever love, or why they always screw everything up all the time by their privileged, arrogant self-centeredness).
Surely this man is the Prophet.
All the people were astonished and said, "Could this be the Son of David?" But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, "It is only by Beelzebub, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons."
His identity was a thing that had to be revealed, otherwise there could only be speculation with no surety or resolve; only what may have seemed to be which was quickly wiped away in the beholders' eyes by what seemed to be more true according to the way the humans are bound to judge. Messiah wasn't recognized by his own brothers, and it probably wasn't even that apparent to the mother most of the time. The same unseen life of the Father (the spirit) who lived in Jesus also revealed his identity to a few who were specifically chosen, so that it didn't happen according to how the natural would assume it to happen. That is, one would think that Jesus' identity would be most recognizable to the members of his own flesh and blood family. However, the Father purposely kept the Son hidden from the humans for His own reasons, because that's how He wanted to reveal the Son to the world—so that it didn't even notice because he came in under everyone's mistaken, assumptive radar. That says something real and strong about both God and the humans, who've always been pretty much the same way, and will continue to be.
"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.
It was a lot different than we think it was or must have been because of the hindsight thing and the way the human mind works, totally unable to understand what or how it was. In reality there wasn't any enigmatic glow or charismatic magnetism force field around him. The life of God lived in him, which was the only good thing, and it didn't radiate out for all to see, but was a secret, invisible thing in the natural. The truth that lived in Jesus, which was the mechanism of the new covenant, wasn't for public consumption as the humans always like to believe, seen in the thousands of religious groups they constantly form, all claiming to be the one group that most accurately represents the great jesus god who never was, except in the minds of some humans who made up that identity just like they made up the Roman and Greek gods of the past, which at the time were still a highly significant influence on the humans. The humans who interacted with Jesus, though, didn't think he was very great. More often they thought he was crazy and he angered them by the things he claimed about himself—that he indeed was their Messiah, although he wasn't the Messiah they expected or were ready/able to accept. He sounded pompous and paranoid to those who heard him.
"You are demon-possessed," the crowd answered. "Who is trying to kill you?"
Jesus didn't sound like some god who had everything all together and demanded everyone's respect. He sounded strange to his brothers and crazy to others. It is not an arbitrary thing that he is called demon possessed in the same chapter, because they go together. Demon possession was just how they diagnosed mental disorders in that day—someone who seems not able to be a normal and functional part of society was evidently taken over by a demon. His claim that he was the only one who knew what was going on, that everyone else was wrong about the things of God—especially what the OT scriptures actually said—would have been one of the most ludicrous things for the leaders, especially the "experts" in the law, to be able to accept. God loves to put His truth into the most unlikely, to hide His treasure in common things that no one would suspect would contain such a high thing. God loves to marvel and confound the humans by their own prejudices, assumptions and proclivities.
The Jews were amazed and asked, "How did this man get such learning without having studied?"
At the time he had little lasting outward recognition of authority which convinced anyone except a few about who he was, because what was external didn't agree with what they observed about him. It's easy to make Jesus into some kind of hero-god who had everything under control, who commanded everyone's attention all the time. In fact hardly anyone recognized his authority while he was in his earthly body because there was no external agreement that the humans could agree with. That is clear from the record but a thing not many want to actually comprehend, because they have already decided that he was a god before, so all of this critical information about him and why he was rejected, which tells the story of the human animals, becomes moot. He was actually regarded by most of the humans as a crazy, paranoid, pompous heretic, although they couldn't so easily discount the miraculous things he did or the way he spoke. What won out over everything, though, was the one thing that is fundamental to all animals, which always rules them—fear & hiding, just as explained in Gen 3 about the nature of the humans as soon as they had "died."
Among the crowds there was widespread whispering about him. Some said, "He is a good man." Others replied, "No, he deceives the people." But no one would say anything publicly about him for fear of the Jews.
Some may have wanted to believe on some human level within them to go with what is right, for their own good, but couldn't because they were prevented by the fear that was bigger than their ability to choose the right. They saw or heard about the miracles he did, and they heard him teach with an authority so genuine that they couldn't recognize it as anything they'd ever seen. But they were confounded and confused—prevented from actually knowing the truth because they were afraid to believe anything that they couldn't find an agreement with to their natural senses. God transcends the natural though, and He doesn't create that agreement so the humans can always have what they want without having to give anything substantial up—namely their hold on what they think is reality but is just an illusion because it always goes away, while God's world seems like the illusion to the humans (because it cannot be "proven"), but ironically it is the reality that will exist beyond the natural creation.
On hearing his words, some of the people said, "Surely this man is the Prophet."
Others said, "He is the Christ." Still others asked, "How can the Christ come from Galilee? Does not the Scripture say that the Christ will come from David's family and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?"
Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, "He is out of his mind."
God kept him secret all kinds of ways. The fact that God kept him secret is something people can read but they just cannot comprehend because it goes so against what they're willing or able to accept about Him in their human minds. They think that God must be the same for everyone and therefore what He has is for public consumption—every last one of them should get a shot at His highly valuable commodity—so they make things up that sound logical and explainable. This is how God keeps the truth secret from them throughout the history of the natural creation, and the humans who rule it.
On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.
Jesus spoke about the spirit before it was given, although it had been given to him which is why he could speak about it. It was such an unknown concept at the time, just as it is now—something that people are unable to accept because what's usually referred to as the spirit is something other than what it is, so it can't be genuine. Jesus knew it because it was in him, part of him. However, to everyone else it would be like someone in the 1600's talking about cars or airplanes. Because it wasn't given there was no way of being able to comprehend it. There was also no way of being able to believe in him yet, except unless that ability was being given. Even those to whom that was being given, though, didn't embrace and believe him until long after the time he spoke.
The present time is the same way. What we think and believe seems totally impossible and unbelievable, although to us it seems very believable when we are allowed to have the knowing. Otherwise we cannot just get it by being able to do anything to get it. Belief happens because the Father and Son want it to happen. Some times it doesn't seem true, which is when we need to believe it anyway, because that's what God loves, for His own sons to go against the natural order, because it isn't what it seems (permanent). It's a difficult thing to explain because it's so supernatural and unavailable for public debate and scrutiny.
It is like life for us, like the hidden manna that we are still unable to comprehend very well because we're still so full of the animal that if we were able to comprehend it more perfectly we would attempt to use it for our own gain, because that's how the animal always works. God requires that we come away from what the humans present as the things that are so valuable because they believe the lie and they want us to believe it too, to secure the agreement they need. It's the only thing we can expect from them because they don't know, but embracing what they present will only reinforce the natural world and way in us and make it more difficult to believe in what exists beyond the limitations of the natural creation. The embracing of it creates the feeling in us that what we think and believe is unreasonable and impossible i.e., it's harder to have faith and do the work of believing when we're being exposed to the lie and conspiracy of the humans that what they can see and understand with their natural minds is such a great thing, or that there is some great and valuable thing to merely surviving as an animal.
"The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent."
The ironic thing is that there are so many people who actually embrace the idea of there being something more than merely what can be seen. They believe as a hobby, not as work, because what they believe is that they need to survive more, and better than the others. They need to get all they can get, which is their real life and aspiration, so searching for and finding what is true beyond everything else is just like a side thing, like an extension of it to enhance their survival mode—to add an eternal dimension to their life of surviving . They get what they can get, and then also think they can just keep on surviving past their expiration. They believe in something supernatural, yet only in a natural sense so it can be comprehended by their natural minds, and only if it jives with what they can accept as being "real," according to their natural reality. Even though there is no proof of anything, they are swayed to believe if they can surround themselves with enough other people who believe it too (agreement of consensus), and especially the "experts" who authenticate its validity. So as long as the supernatural lines up with the natural they can believe certain not provable scenarios. However, if it's supernatural, it isn't natural, and it makes sense that it cannot be comprehended or controlled by the natural. That doesn't stop the humans though, because it is their mode to control everything, because that equates in their minds to surviving better, having the guarantee.
That is perfectly illustrated here with this picture of Jesus being what is recorded, yet the identity in the minds of those who "believe" in him is so out of whack with what was actually true about him that it cannot be the same Jesus. This isn't apologetics; there isn't anything we can say to convince anyone about the truth. This is a lesson for the sons, that our own mind will do the same thing, especially when we're young and still more animal than spiritual. The gift of actually knowing the truth is something that will elude us until it's given, when the spirit is ready to reveal it to us.
The time that we aren't aware is for a good purpose, so that we have to learn the new way, because it's so not natural, so unable to be arrived at by the natural process, so out of our control to even be able to know anything that's real. The process is so contrary to everything we know, and even think we know, that it takes a long time of not knowing to even begin to know. It is against everything we know that there is no way to know unless it's continually revealed to us; that is how dependent we are on the Lord's power to constantly keep us where he wants us to be for his own good reasons. Otherwise we'd just buy it, own it and control it for our own purpose, because we can't help it. There is no reason or logic that can battle the animal nature. It does what it does, and does it well.
"Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee."