promotionDaily Devotional – I’m Normal.™ I AM Ministries
“To promote Godly living in a culture committed to destroying it”
Monday, November 17, 2014
When the Feast of Tabernacles drew near (John 7:2), Jesus’ brothers saw what they considered opportunity, both for Jesus and themselves. They recommend He go to Judea to show off His miraculous talents. This very human request was recognized and rejected by Jesus, because their motives were impure. More importantly, this type of exhibition was not a priority in God’s plan for His Son.
It was their own ambition and desire for self-promotion that motivated them. No doubt they had huddled before they exhorted Jesus to show off. It would have been during this conclave when they discussed the positive repercussions of promoting Jesus’ talents. Under the guise of helping His followers appreciate Him, they manifested an underlying agenda that was not normal.
Based on their recommendation, they likely grumbled at how Jesus’s miracles were wasted on the country folk in Galilee. Those in Jerusalem, the royal seat of what they anticipated to be His coming Earthly and temporal kingdom, were closer to the seats of power and had greater influence in governmental, religious, social, and economic arenas. They reckoned Jesus’s time was spent better by impressing the elite. The rich and famous were also greater in number than those to be found in Galilee, thereby giving Jesus both a bigger and more prestigious audience. If all the world’s a stage, you might as way play at the palace and showcase your talents to the elite.
Thus, with Earthly rewards in mind, his brothers considered Jesus to be the best-kept secret in Israel and wanted to exhibit Him on the country’s premiere stage. They encouraged Him to abandpn the hinterlands and go to the bright lights of the capital city – if He could make it there, He could make it anywhere. Ironically, Jesus had already made it (John 1:3).
As would-be talent managers, they expected His miracles to garner the applause of the cognoscenti along with the respect and admiration of the rulers. After establishing His credentials, they assumed the sky would be the limit as to how famous He would become and how far He skyrocket in popularity. Jesus, however, has no limits and came to gain souls, not popularity (Matthew 10:35-36). In the end, Jesus gained immense attention, which transformed into notoriety and precipitated His sacrificial death on the cross.
The Apostle John notes in his Gospel another malicious motivator to their thinking – they were not believers in Him. If they were, they would not have said this to Him as it put them and their plan at risk. Whereas it is an honor to be part of Christ’s family, it is not a saving honor. You must have a personal relationship with Christ and be born again spiritually in order to be saved (John 3:3-6). God’s saving grace does not run in the blood of you relatives; it runs only in Jesus Christ. You must claim Him as a Savior, not just a brother.
To their credit, some of Christ’s Earthly brothers believed in Him – three of the twelve disciples were His brothers. His remaining brothers, as close in family relationship as the three disciples, rejected Him spiritually and encouraged Him in secular pursuits. Many who enjoy the same external privileges and advantages do not make the same use of them, to their detriment.
Their advice carried other dark overtones. It was presumptuous of them even to give Jesus advice, as if they had something to teach the ultimate teacher. They thought Him incapable of guiding them, so they attempted to lead Him down their path. On another level, they exhibited their blatant disregard for His safety, recommending He go to Judea when they knew the Jews were plotting to kill Him. This is not brotherly love.
Their unbelief may have extended to His miracles, with his brothers suspecting Jesus’s talents to be nothing more than clever party tricks, the mystery of which they could not solve. They may have hoped the more worldly rulers and Pharisees in Jerusalem would examine His “miracles” and find them to be cheats, which would justify their unbelief in every aspect of their brother. Finally, maybe they were just tired of Jesus being the focus of all the attention and wanted Him to depart Galilee so they could receive more attention.
It is not normal to try to dissuade Jesus from performing His mission in His Way, which is also God’s Way. Jesus always did the work of Him who sent Him (John 9:4). We should not presume to teach, guide, or influence God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit, for by doing so, we show our unbelief in their omniscience and sovereignty. Giving Them advice only shows off our ignorance and lack of faith. If you want to be a show off, try showing off your faith in them. This is a formula for success and eternal salvation.
In His love and service,
A servant of Jesus Christ
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