Daily Word

Tenderly calling | John 7:32-36

32 When the Pharisees heard that the crowds were whispering such things, they and the leading priests sent Temple guards to arrest Jesus. 33 But Jesus told them, “I will be with you only a little longer. Then I will return to the one who sent me. 34 You will search for me but not find me. And you cannot go where I am going.”

35 The Jewish leaders were puzzled by this statement. “Where is he planning to go?” they asked. “Is he thinking of leaving the country and going to the Jews in other lands? Maybe he will even teach the Greeks! 36 What does he mean when he says, ‘You will search for me but not find me,’ and ‘You cannot go where I am going’?”

John 7:32-36 (NLT)

Yesterday we read in John 7:31, “many from the crowd believed in Him”. The Jewish leaders heard this and feared that they would lose control of the people. They sent temple guards, a group of Levites who were responsible for keeping order in and around the temple (Amplified Bible notes)”, to arrest Jesus. John specifies that it is the Pharisees along with the leading priests which indicates this was a serious matter to them. But we know from v30, “no one laid a hand on Him, because His time had not yet come.” 

Where’s He going?

Jesus is clearly referring to His resurrection /ascension to Heaven. “He was going where they could not come, namely, to heaven. Death was not the end for Jesus. They could not come where He was going because of their present unsaved condition. That required regeneration and translation (cf. John 8:21; 13:33).” (planobiblechapel.org) Later Jesus tells his disciples exactly the same thing…but says they can’t come NOW, but will come later (cf. John 13:33, 36). 

Missing the train

Some who didn’t quite believe now and decided to wait for more proof were going to miss the train. Jesus would soon enough depart this world to return to Heaven. He could no longer be found, physically, by them. 

Some thought he would leave Judea and head to other places.  “Little did the speakers know that, while Jesus was not to go in person among the Greeks, his followers would be numbered in the tens of thousands in the Greek lands in a few years’ time.” (Bruce quoted in Enduringword.com)

Tender call

I like (Barnes’ commentary) take on verse 33: “This speech of Jesus is full of tenderness. They were seeking his life.” Consider Jesus’ situation. Not only are the leaders seeking to arrest, and then kill him, even the crowds would later cry, “crucify him!” Yet he appeals to them to believe in Him, to come to him. He warns them to come while they can, while the time is right.

<- Reflection ->
  • Do you hear the call of Jesus, the Messiah, your savior? He is tenderly calling you also. Won’t you respond? Maybe He’s calling you back to the path of faith and following Him. Maybe He’s calling you to believe
Jesus is calling

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