FAME OR FAITHFUL FACT                   JOHN 7 :1-24                           02/03/2019

Pastor Troy VanHorn

HEAD:  What did I learn?

(How did my understanding of God change, what thought, fact, or insight did I discover?)



 HEART:  What did I feel?

(Does it match up with what God has said about me in His Word? Does it move me closer to Him or separate us?)



 HANDS:  What will I do about it?

(Is there a sin to repent of and confess, is there an attitude to change, a behavior to stop or start?)




When is a time you feel pressured? Is it family, work, or others? All of the above? Is this pressure from others or from you?


Jesus’ brothers wanted him to make himself publicly available during the feast of booths. This would allow him to go from being a backcountry name to the big time! It was his big chance to go pro! Jesus gave his brothers a ‘not yet’ response-not deception. There is a cultural difference at play here. In the west, we would say that a private-self and public-self disagreement would be hypocrisy. The collective ‘in-group’ is much more important for the Ancient Near Eastern mind.


Anthropologists distinguish three selves in Ancient Near Eastern thinking:

  • private self—what I say about my own self, my behaviors, etc.
  • public self—what others of the group say and think about me
  • collective or in-group self—what the in-group says about me, that is, my parents, family, nicknames, expectations, behavior, etc.

(Malina & Rohrbaugh pg. 143-taken from Dr. Michael Kuykendall’s Gospel of John notes at Gateway Seminary)

What do you think we are more concerned with-private self, your public self, or the collective self? What about you? How does this affect our culture today? Is this good or bad? What does this mean when we talk about our church being a ‘family?’


His brothers told him to go and ‘perform the works you have been working.’ This places them in the same group as the crowds of ch 6. They did not yet believe in Jesus’ deity. The crowd was not certain of Jesus…they knew he was making claims of being Messiah…but were unsure. He is a good man… No, he is leading people astray… How does our dependence upon leaders make us defer our faith?


The lack of action by the religious leaders had them wondering, too. How do questions about Jesus help our faith? How does they hinder it?


 “SIGNS” in the Gospel of John-the Greek word is σεμειον (semeion.) John uses this word rather than the word δυναμις (dunamis) for powerful work/miracle. Other times people refer to Jesus’ signs/miracles as ποειμι or (work/product.) This pinpoints the emphasis on the activity as being a signpost or marker pointing to Jesus and his messianic claims. Many people wanted the sign, but missed who it was pointing to!



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