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statue of Jesus October 22 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading (NIV) or alternate versions (use your browser arrow to return): Luke 17:20–18:14; John 7:1-52

Who is Jesus?

This is a question that divides many people. Some think Jesus is a mythical figure, a dead religious icon, the greatest man or the greatest teacher who ever lived, a prophet, a miracle worker, a great deceiver, a man who became a god, or God who became a man. What do you think? Today's Bible study may change or confirm your opinion.

In today's Bible reading, the Pharisees (religious leaders) are not sure who Jesus is, but they are jealous of his popularity. They always question him, trying to get him to stumble or slip up so they might have something to accuse him of. Jesus has been talking about the kingdom of God, so they ask him when it will come. He answers that the kingdom of God is within you. Some commentators believe a better translation of the Greek text is that it is “in your midst or within your reach” (The Bible Knowledge Commentary of the New Testament, edited by Walvoord and Zuck, ©1985, p. 249). The future king of Israel and the world is standing right before them. They don't understand him. Do we recognize that Jesus is the coming king?

Jesus’ disciples believe in him. Recently, when Jesus questioned them, asking them who they thought he was, Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16, NIV).

Now, privately, Jesus gives a more in-depth explanation to his disciples about himself and his coming kingdom. He informs them that first he must suffer and be rejected. The coming kingdom is a long way off (but almost 2,000 years closer now). He doesn't want them to be deceived by false reports, saying, “here is Christ,” or “there is Christ.” The real Christ will come again suddenly and unexpectedly like a flash of lightning. Until his coming they (and we) need to be persistent in prayer. Jesus tells them that the true subjects of the kingdom are those who humble themselves before God (unlike the religious leaders of that day).

Jesus’ brothers don't believe in him, but they think that if he wants to be a public figure, he should go to the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem, perform some miracles and show himself to the world. They don't realize who Jesus is, even though they have lived with him. They don't believe he is the Son of God who has come into the world, until after his resurrection from the dead. In all fairness, were we in their sandals, would we believe he is the Messiah, the promised Savior? To believe Jesus is who he said he is requires a spiritual transformation of our hearts (more...).

Jesus delays going to the feast because the religious leaders are plotting to kill him. They think The Feast of Tabernacles is an opportune time for Christ to make himself known, and they want to be ready. Jesus secretly arrives later, however, and begins to teach in the temple.

The people and religious leaders are divided in their opinions about Jesus. Some believe him to be a good man. Others believed Jesus to be a deceiver. When he teaches them, however, they are all impressed with his understanding of the Old Testament (or Old Covenant) and how he speaks with authority. Jesus challenges them to study the Scriptures to see if his words are from God or from his own mind. Truth is not afraid of investigation. The Scriptures reveal Christ to be the Messiah and Savior (Luke 4:16-21).

“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’” (John 7:37, NIV). What does Jesus mean by this? We have already read that Jesus' offer to come and drink was an offer of salvation (John 4:14; 6:53-63). On this special day he is saying the same thing in the company of the Jews and religious leaders in the temple courts (more…).

Jesus continues,

“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 (John 7:38-39, NIV).

What is the reaction of the crowd? Some believe he is a prophet, while others are still divided in their opinions. What about us? Have we come to Jesus to have our thirst quenched or are we still wondering who he is? We need to trust in him for our salvation. He can save us from our sins and give us forgiveness, peace, and spiritual life (more...). If we have trusted Jesus, the Holy Spirit has been given to us. He is like a stream of living water for our souls, as we obey and worship him. If we do this, our souls will keep on being replenished.

If you or someone you know has doubts about Jesus, here is a recommended book to read: The Case for Christ, A Journalist's Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus by Lee Strobel, ISBN - l0: 0-310-20930-7 or ISBN - 13: 978-0-310-20930-0

Lessons to Live By

  • To believe Jesus is who he said he is requires a spiritual transformation of our hearts.
  • Truth is not afraid of investigation. The Scriptures reveal Christ to be the Messiah and Savior.
  • Jesus will come back suddenly like a flash of lightening, and we should be ready.
  • Christ’s offer to “come to me and drink” is an offer of salvation for everyone (more...)
  • The Holy Spirit is like a stream of living water for our souls as we believe in Christ and obey and worship God.

Focus Verses

John 7:37-8 (NIV)

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.”

praying hands Write a private prayer response to today’s Bible study:

Please send your comments to mtbiblestudies@gmail.com

A Look Ahead: Jesus talks about Spiritual Blindness. What is it? Join us to find out.

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