June 29, 2011
V 19 And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?”
I found the following fact pretty interesting; according to the ESV Study Bible, the term “The Jews” is used 68 times in the Greek text of John. It is a “shorthand” version of the phrase “The Jews who opposed Jesus.” Not all Jews were against Jesus, but when John wrote his Gospel he wanted to show his Jewish audience that at the time of Jesus many Jews supported Him under opposition. Now this opposition was a bit harsher than what we might expect to receive today, these Jewish supporters of Jesus might have been killed or have all their money and possessions taken from them, it was not simply a case of being ridiculed. Yet, despite this threat many still supported Jesus, believed that He was the promised Messiah. Fear of the world is a hard stumbling block to get around; it will debilitate you and cause you to be disobedient to God’s will for your life. Yet, should we expect any less; Jesus tells us that the world hated Him and will hate us as well (of course, that’s not the exact wording of the verse but you get my drift!!). I’ll admit to not giving the Jewish supporters of Jesus’ day, except perhaps the disciples, much thought, but wow, what strong believers they must have been. To be able to stand behind Jesus when many hated Him on site and would certainly hate you too! May I learn to be that strong despite what the world may do to me.