John 7:37-42 37Now on the final and most important day of the Feast, Jesus stood, and He cried in a loud voice, If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink! 38He who believes in Me [who cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me] as the Scripture has said, From his innermost being shall flow [continuously] springs and rivers of living water. 39But He was speaking here of the Spirit, Whom those who believed (trusted, had faith) in Him were afterward to receive. For the [Holy] Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified (raised to honor). 40Listening to those words, some of the multitude said, This is certainly and beyond doubt the Prophet! 41Others said, This is the Christ (the Messiah, Anointed One)! But some said, What? Does the Christ come out of Galilee? 42Does not the Scripture tell us that the Christ will come from the offspring of David and from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?
I have been thinking about this passage for a few days now. When I read it I was forced to ask myself some serious questions! Let’s start with verse 37. Jesus is at the Jewish Passover Feast. He stands up and begins to speak, and the words that come out of His mouth have the capacity to bring life to the hearers. If you look at verse 40 you will see that some of those who were there believed that He was indeed the Son of God. However, in verses 41-42 it says that others were not so sure and in fact started discussing how He could be the Messiah when He was from Galilee and Christ was supposed to come from Bethlehem.
Jesus was speaking words of life, but many of those who were listening to Him missed out on being blessed because they were so focused on who He was, rather than on what He was saying. Here is what made me think. How many times have I missed out on being blessed because instead of receiving a Word from God, I was too busy focusing on who was doing the speaking? I will be honest and say that I have wrongly judged ministers based upon who I think they are and what I think of them. That is not something I am proud of, but something I have changed!
1 Corinthians 2:11 says 11For what person perceives (knows and understands) what passes through a man’s thoughts except the man’s own spirit within him? Just so no one discerns (comes to know and comprehend) the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. It is easy to look at ministers of the Gospel and be judgmental, but we have to realize that the only one who is able to truly judge is the Spirit of God. Matthew 7:1-2 also tells us 1DO NOT judge and criticize and condemn others, so that you may not be judged and criticized and condemned yourselves. 2For just as you judge and criticize and condemn others, you will be judged and criticized and condemned, and in accordance with the measure you [use to] deal out to others, it will be dealt out again to you. I don’t know about you, but that’s enough to make me close my mouth!