Decisions That Affect People
So his brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, that your disciples also may see the works you are doing. For no one works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.” For not even his brothers believed in him. — John 7:3-5
Here's the context. There is an annual gathering happening in Jerusalem. Jesus knows that if he goes there announced this might put his life and presenting ministry at risk. So he has decided not to go publicly but secretly. But no one knows that at this point.
But notice how his "brothers" respond. They are daring him a bit. His brothers push him to make a big show of himself primarily because they don't believe he is the Messiah.
I want to pause to note that the Bible teaches Jesus was born by supernatural birth through a virgin named Mary. Mary did eventually conceive marriage to a man named Joseph, and they had four sons. They were James, Joses, Simon, and Jude. We know these as Jesus's half-brothers or the sons of Joseph. At this moment in the story, the half-brothers are still skeptical about Jesus. But that is eventually going to change. Two of these men, James and Jude, would subsequently write letters of the New Testament. And James would become a significant leader in the church in Jerusalem.
Here is what jumps out at me about this notation by John. Jesus was constantly discerning the tension between what God wanted and what man wanted. In this case, it happened to be his half-brothers trying to lead him down a path that could be harmful. And each of us, as men, encounters these challenges all the time. Sometimes people in our life, well-intentioned or not, will lead us down a path of disobedience to God to get us to something that would either intentionally or unintentionally lead us to harm. And as we cross these paths, we need to be sensitive to the Spirit and God's leading enough that we can say no to them to say yes to Jesus.
So turn up your spiritual attentiveness today. Pay attention to the persuasions of those around you — even close friends and family. And if they try to persuade you toward any hint of disobedience, do the right thing. Be obedient to God even if it risks the relationship. Because you never know. Your decision for obedience today could affect their obedience down the road. It could have the same effect as Jesus.
ASK THIS: Do your choices and decisions affect those around you?
DO THIS: Make a Godly decision that positively affects others.
PRAY THIS: God, help me to discern good from evil, and may all my decisions honor you.
PLAY THIS: Until The Whole World Hears.
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Read through the Bible daily with Vince Miller.