Sermon – Non-thirsty people need not apply. (John 7:37 – 7:52) – Cornerstone Church Kingston
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John 2021

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The Book of John was authored by one of Jesus’ twelve disciples, John, who features in the gospel. John makes his mission for writing the book plain in 20:31; “that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” He details the many words and claims of Jesus, as well as the various responses from those listening; in either faith, amazement, caution or rejection. Listen as Cornerstone preachers unpack the narrative and invite us to reflect on our own response to Jesus.

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Sermon 26 of 58

Non-thirsty people need not apply.

Chris Tilley, John 7:37 - 7:52, 19 June 2022

Chris continues our series in John’s gospel, preaching to us from John 7:37-52. In this passage we see the different responses of different groups of people to Jesus’ words & claims, and what it means for us today.

John 7:37 - 7:52

37 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” 39 Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

40 When they heard these words, some of the people said, “This really is the Prophet.” 41 Others said, “This is the Christ.” But some said, “Is the Christ to come from Galilee? 42 Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the offspring of David, and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David was?” 43 So there was a division among the people over him. 44 Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him.

45 The officers then came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, “Why did you not bring him?” 46 The officers answered, “No one ever spoke like this man!” 47 The Pharisees answered them, “Have you also been deceived? 48 Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him? 49 But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed.” 50 Nicodemus, who had gone to him before, and who was one of them, said to them, 51 “Does our law judge a man without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does?” 52 They replied, “Are you from Galilee too? Search and see that no prophet arises from Galilee.”


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This transcript has been automatically generated, and therefore may not be 100% accurate.

John chapter 7 verse 37. On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them. By this, he meant the spirit whom those who believed in him were later to receive, Up to that time, the spirit had not been given since Jesus had not yet been glorified. On here in his words, some of the people said, surely this man is the prophet.

Others said, he is the Messiah. Still, others asked, How can the Messiah come from Galile? Does not scripture say that the Messiah will come from David's descendants And from Bethlehem, the town where David lived, thus people, thus the people were divided because of Jesus. Some wanted to seize him, but no 1 laid a hand on him. Finally, the temple guards went back to the chief priests and the pharisees who asked them, why didn't you bring him in?

No 1 ever spoke the way this man does. The guards replied, you mean he has deceived you too, the pharisees retorted? Have any of the rulers of the Faracies believed in him? No. But this mob that knows nothing of the law There is a curse on them.

Nikodemus, who had gone to Jesus earlier and who was 1 of their own number, asked, Does our law condemn a man without first hearing him to find out what he has been doing? They replied, Are you from Galiley too? Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galiley. Well, good evening from me and let me add my welcome. My name is Chris Tilley.

I'm 1 of the elders here at Cornerstone Church Kingston. And if you are new, then you are most most welcome. Let me pray before we before we get into this this next passage in John. Father do help us now. Help us as we come to your word.

Help us as we hear the words of Jesus, help us as we look at the responses in the crowd. Help us to be people that receive your holy spirit and preach your word into this world, amen. I wonder if you've ever watched the nature shows where you've got a dusty, dry savannah grass land. It's usually the Okavango delta or somewhere like that, and it's the dry season. And there is nothing growing there.

There's no life It's just dust, dead grass, dried up old tree stumps, and gaunt looking animals, if any, at all. And then something starts to happen. And you get these really cool camera shots, don't you? Where suddenly, there's a trickle of water. There's been a big rainstorm further upstream.

And water is trickling downstream. And as they follow this trickle of water, things start to happen around it. The insects start to come up to the surface who are spiders pretty disgusting, actually. All the spiders come out the ground because they know the water's coming and they don't want to get drowned. And then the grass starts to shoot up.

And then the trees start to get green again. And before you know it, the little trickles turned into a full flood, and the whole place is just completely transformed. What was a dried up, dusty, old wasteland, is now a paradise, full of animals, full of life, full of full of everything, and it's come because this this river, this river of life, has has has worked its way down into this previously dead, dry, dusty wasteland. Now, why am I talking about that? Well, I'm talking about that because actually, that's a pretty good picture to keep in mind as we go through this this final section in chapter 7.

So, we've been in chapter 7 for a number of weeks now. We've been looking what's been going on. So where are we? We're in the feast of the tabernacles. That's where we are.

Jesus has gone up to this festival of the tabernacles. And he goes up there halfway through. He goes up there on day 4. And so for the past month or so, various other of the guys here have been taking us through Rory Tom, a few others, have been taking us through this chapter. And largely, I mean, we've seen a lot of stuff, but largely, what we've seen, if you could put a theme to it, is this cycle of preach and response, preach and response.

Preacher response. This is Jesus going public. This is Jesus taking his ministry and his his word based ministry, public. We've seen a lot of signs and wonders from him. We've looked at those for for many, many months now in the in the first few chapters of John, and we've seen amazing things, that this is his word going public.

And here we are on the final and greatest day of the feast of the tabernacles, the final and greatest day, and like any any good preacher, Jesus cannot pass up the opportunity. There are people here who it's probably gonna be the last chance he ever has to speak to. The next festival where everyone would gather like this again isn't for about another 6 months. And many of the people there would have been old, there wasn't a high life expectancy in those days. Many will probably be dead by then.

This is his last chance to speak to these people. And that's how he takes it, it seems because he preaches the words of them loudly There's nothing quiet about Jesus here. This isn't Jesus, meek and mild, little baby in a crib. This is Jesus loudly going public with his word. If he's loud, it's because he wants us to pay attention.

He wants us to take notice. He wants us to hear him, and he wants us to understand what he's saying. And he stands up and says this. If anyone is thirsty, let them come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me As the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within them.

He makes it absolutely clear that this message is for everyone who's listening. For everyone who is at this festival, regardless of social status, regardless of occupation, regardless of wealth. This is a message for everyone. Everyone is able to take a hold of this of this message. What he says is that living waters are gonna flow from within them.

Now, Jesus' words here are laced with meaning for the listeners. It's quite hard for us to understand at first glance what he's talking about because we're not first century Jews. We don't really understand what the significance is of this on this particular day. So, we are going to have to do a bit of the background work and I am going to try and make that as succinct as possible. But we've already seen from Rory and Tom in the past couple of weeks, the significance of Jesus' work in relation to the old testament, in relation to Moses and the prophets.

And here, Jesus takes that symbolism of that period of time even further. You have to remember or understand that this is the feast of the tabernacles, which has its origins in the time of the exodus. It's a time when God's people were living in temporary accommodation in booths, in in little tabernacles, in little tents. And and God was leading them through the wilderness to the promised land. That's what it's talking about, and that's a picture of us today.

That's a picture of where we are at. We are just passing through this world. In temporary accommodation, On our way to the promised land, he's taking us through. Our homes are not here. And this is a reminder, this feast.

Now, how were the people sustained when they were in the wilderness back in exodus? Well, they went where God guided them, and they ate manor from heaven. So navigation, food taken care of. But what about the most precious commodity of all? What about the thing that they actually really needed to survive?

Water. 3 days or less in the desert without water, and you are a goner. It was of the utmost importance, and the people knew it. And they were quick to grumble about it. They were so quick to grumble about it and so angry about the lack of water.

Why have you taken this out of Egypt Moses. To come out here and die of thirst in the desert, they were ready to stone him to death because of this. So Moses cries out to come, what am I gonna do? Where the desert? There's no water here?

How am I gonna satisfy these people? And so, God, commands him to strike the rock with his staff, and from it pours fresh water. From it pours rivers of fresh water. That rock. That rock in the desert.

Back in the exodus is a picture of Jesus. Paul confirms it in 1 Corinthians 10. The water that flowed from it and gave them life while they were in the wilderness, Paul was a spiritual drink here, and Jesus is saying, come to me and drink. Live, be sustained. Our lives are more than just flesh and blood.

We need physical water for the body, but we need spiritual water for the soul. And what's the point of having physical water for the body without spiritual water for the soul? You may as well just be pouring water into a dead empty vessel. Jesus promises that everyone who believes in him will have the holy spirit live in them. They will become like a wellspring for other people to drink from.

You become like the rock in the desert, watering other people, the Holy Spirit God's Holy Spirit lives in you, and you are a source of life. For other people, by the Holy Spirit in you, rivers of living water, will flow from them. That's you, that's me, if you were truly a believer in Jesus. And Jesus promises it loudly. Loudly, he declares it.

And it's it's it comes true at pentecost. After he dies, you have pentecost, the Holy Spirit comes on the disciples, and goes out into the world. Now, Jesus Jesus also sorry, John, also mentions that this is the the last and greatest day of the festival. Now, apparently, the Jews had a tradition on this last day of the festival, which all adds into this picture. On the last day of the festival, they had a tradition of pouring out water, which was to symbolize the water coming from the rock.

So there's no way that when Jesus stands up on this particular day and says what he says, that anyone listening is misunderstanding what he's saying. There is no way. They know absolutely from the least to the greatest what he is claiming here. He is claiming that he is the source of life, that he is the creator god. That's what he's saying.

And we can see it We can see that they understand because of the quality of the responses, whether they be good or bad. It doesn't leave any anything in the middle, really. And that's really what we're going to spend the rest of the time looking at. So, that sets the scene, that sets the scene for what we're now looking at. You've got Jesus preaching that clear unequivocal message that he is the source of life, from him, flows life, and only by believing in him, can you really have life?

And now, we're going to look at all the responses. That's what we get for the rest of the passage here. So we've got 4 groups of people that we're gonna look at. 4 different responses, and the first 1 is the thirsty. You've got the people who are thirsty.

They they call him prophet and Messiah. Now, we've already heard those responses in this chapter at other times, but now there is a there's a slight difference in in these ones. Because previously, They were always followed with a question mark. Is this really the prophet? Is this really the the the Messiah that is to come?

Have the pharisees concluded that He is the prophet, the Messiah, you see it in verse 26, verse 31, but now now their statements of conviction There's no question mark anymore. There's no question mark whatsoever. It's just simply surely this man is the prophet. And he is the Messiah. There's no doubt whatsoever in the minds of the people that say this, they're not on the fence, They've seen and heard about the wonders and signs that Jesus has performed, but it is his person and his preaching.

That has convinced them, that has convicted them. These are the thirsty ones, and they're happy They're happy to come to Jesus to have their their their thirst quenched. And there's an encouragement and a challenge in this for all of us, isn't there? The encouragement is that there are always those who are thirsty. There are always those who are thirsty, and when the word about Jesus' preach to them.

They believe. They go, yeah, he is. He is the Messiah. Absolutely. Preaching Jesus clearly and loudly, guess what?

Works. There are always those who will believe. Now, what I want to say is that notice the signs and wonders that Jesus has performed, spent a lot of time looking at amazing signs and wonders over the past couple of months, the feeding of the 5000, calming storms, all kinds of things. And on their own, they they didn't really work. To make true believers of people.

We saw that again and again and again. They produced a a crowd, certainly. They gathered a a large crowd, but largely a crowd that was interested in what they could gain from Jesus. How could he improve their quality of life? How could he fill their bellies?

And I was struck by this, Because what signs and wonders does God perform today? How could we get hung up on that and rely on that and not preach the word? Is there a danger here that we could we could do that? And I think, well, what's the signs and wonders God performs today? Well, it's It's you.

It's it's it's the converted. It's the people whose lives have been radically and drastically changed by the message of Jesus. If you are a follower of the Lord Jesus, you are you are a sign and a wonder of God. But what does a sign and a wonder serve to do? It serves to point It serves to win an audience so that you can follow it up with the preached word about Jesus Christ.

That's what the point is. That's why our lives are changed. That's why we are told to live such good lives. Among the gentiles that we cause them to ask, we cause them to wonder, we cause them to come to us and say, Why'd you do that? Or why'd you not do that?

Why'd you think that way? Why'd you hold that opinion? And then you can preach. You can speak the word of Jesus loud and clear. Now, look, I know that we're all in different situations.

And we are not all upfront public preachers, but we are all preachers. We are all preachers. With all preachers of God's word in the situations that he's put us into. In our workplaces, at the at the school gates, in our colleges, in our universities, in our homes, in any situation that God puts us into, in any relationship he gives us, We're to preach. We're to witness and we're to preach.

The word, we're to be a wellspring of life. A river of living water to the people around us. So when the opportunity comes around, that is what you are to be. A river of living water. This morning, after the morning service, we for the first time, we we did this we did this thing where It was not me and Bernadette, just happened to be me and Bernadette today that were in the canteen.

And after the service, you could come and you could come and pray with us, I don't know why us, particularly, I think it's just an elder and elder's wife. I noticed that none of you came to pray, actually, so don't worry it was logged. But Muckland did. Muckland came and prayed, and if you don't know who Muckland is, just look on the poster outside. Mclan heard the word, and she was still thirsty for more.

She was still thirsty for more, She came and she prayed with us, she had something she wanted to pray about, not only did she water us and give us encouragement in life, but we were able to do the same for her. It was a life changed by the gospel, is life giving to those around it. It's encouraging. We're here to feed off of 1 another, to encourage 1 another. The thirsty.

That's the first group of people you see. They're thirsty for Christ. They're thirsty for more. They wanna know who he is. And in doing so, they become a river of living water themselves.

Second group of people, very different, the ignorance. Look at the response, another response in verse 41, 42. Still others asked, How can the Messiah come from Galile? Does not scripture say that the Messiah will come from David's descendants and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived, And I think what's going on here is that whilst having this sort of facade of knowledge, These people are simply lazy in ignorance, be frank. They've heard something about Jesus, They think they know something of him, and they've taken it at face value without further investigation.

They think they know something of who he is and where he's from, but they haven't trouble to find out properly. They're they're like regurgitators of memes and TikToks and Insta Post with no solid references whatsoever. They've heard something from someone, somewhere, but they don't really know from who, when or why. That's what's going on here. They're they're the unwitting spreaders fake news.

Fully assured, this is the scary thing, fully assured that they are spreading truth, that they're on solid ground here, President and sisters, we've got to be so careful that we are not like this. These people represent the majority the vast majority of people in this world. It's an easy trap to fall into, and a very hard 1 to climb out of because you have to swallow your pride and opinions to do so. And you have to do the hard work of finding out what the truth is before you open your mouth. And you have to be willing to change your opinion.

Now to be fair to them, there is a clear prophecy in Micah, which is what they're quoting that states that the Messiah will come from Bethlehem. They're absolutely correct about that. No doubt. And they they feel quite safe in the viewpoint because they're quoting scripture. How can they be wrong if they're quoting scripture?

But that is exactly the problem. That's exactly the problem because they're so focused on what they think and what they what they what they think they know and their own interpretation, or somebody else's interpretation at that that they've heard. That they cannot see what's right in front of them. They cannot see that the 1 they're talking about is standing right there, speaking clearly to them, in words they understand. Jesus's words should, at the very least, have caused them to start a serious investigation into his birthplace.

Do you not think? If they were serious about this, they would have gone and found out. If they weren't sure, they would have made some inquiries, even an amateur, would have been able to find this out without too much too much trouble. The truth is, They just simply can't be bothered. They simply don't really care, actually.

Investigating it isn't actually that important to them. They just don't believe what Jesus is saying. That's the bottom line. They just don't believe him. I wonder if I mean, the problem is they probably went to their graves thinking that they were right.

I mean, imagine being brought for God. I wonder how it went down when they said. Well, my defense is, I I thought he came from Galiley. Seriously, I thought he came from Galiley. That's what everyone was saying.

I don't think it would have gone down too well. That's not a defense that's gonna stand. And it's sad It's sad that so many go down this way. Now, it may be the case that many of these people did come to believe. We we don't know because this is all that's written about.

Them. This is all we know of them. And as we speak the word of Jesus into this world, we will certainly come up against this kind of apathy, this kind of objection, people who know enough to be dangerous, but not to be well informed. And our job is is is simply to witness faithfully to the truth, to cling to the truth, to keep contending for the truth and to back it up with our lives. The holy spirit living in you is a river that does not dry up and can bring life to the driest and dustiest of hearts.

Think of ezekiel told to preach to a valley of dry bones. At the end of the day, you can you can only lead a horse to water. You can't make it drink. But you can still be pouring the water in. You can still be calling out.

You can still be saying, come, drink, receive life for goodness sake. The next group of people we see, the half wayers, didn't really know what else to say about I couldn't think of a better term to call them, but the half wayers or maybe in 1 case the 3 quarters or whatever. These guys could kind of go either way. So you have the temple guards and you have nicodemus. They are the 2 groups of people we we we look at.

The temple guards, verse 45 and 46. And I absolutely love the guards here actually. I think they're brilliant. Because in verse 32, they've been sent out to arrest Jesus, and then you don't see him again till verse 45. They just disappear.

It's like it's like sending out someone on an errand at the beginning of the work day, and they pop up again at 5 PM. But where have you been? And when they come back, it's finally finally, the temple guards went back to the chief priests and the pharisees. Finally, finally, they they they managed to get back. So they weren't that enthusiastic about carrying out their orders, were they?

This is the first time there's been any organized serious opposition to Jesus and the arrest warrant. An arrest warrant from the from the ruling authorities, and they don't carry it out. Why? Were they worried about causing a riot, stirring up the crowd? Is was that their reason for not doing it?

Well, no. It wasn't at all. In verse 46, they simply say, and this is brilliant. Well, no 1 ever spoke the way this man does. No no further explanation, no excuses given, not trying to justify themselves.

It's just like, oh, you should have that, take it or leave it. I don't really care what you think. It's more than a lack of enthusiasm. They've clearly just been sat there listening to him. They were meant to arrest him.

They sat down with everybody else and started enjoying themselves from the sounds of things. And then, upon hearing him, they concluded, we can't arrest this guy. There's something about him. The things he's saying, the way he's saying them. No one's ever done this.

We haven't heard this before in all our time in the temple. There's something about him that causes them to draw up short, to stop and think about what they're doing, their actions, their behavior. It stops them in their tracks. And they start to think. They start to become a bit more aware.

Basically, with these gods, I think Jesus has he he's lit this smoldering ember of belief in them. And it could easily be found into flame at any moment. Again, we don't know how this works out for the temple guards because we don't hear precisely. But it's certainly a beginning, isn't it? It's certainly a beginning.

And this is why we preach This is why we speak the truth of Jesus out into this world, to lost people. We do it to lost people. It's like stacking up kindling and striking sparks. Eventually, one's gonna catch, isn't it? And when it catches, you hope it turns into a massive roaring fire.

That's why we preach Jesus into this world to reach people. To reach even temple guards, even enemies that were going to arrest him, get stopped in their tracks. Like Paul on the road to Damascus, and countless other examples. Now, nicodemus takes it a step further. He actually starts to try and mount a defense in verse 51.

He says, does our law condemn a man without first hearing him to find out what he has been doing? Very good question. Because the answer to that is no, it doesn't, and they know it. But that doesn't actually seem to matter. But we'll get on to them in just a second.

I actually think nicodemus is a bit more than a halfway out here. I think he's maybe a 19. 95, maybe even 90, maybe a hundred percent. Who knows? Who knows?

We it's very hard to say. But what's interesting is that 1 of the first signs that someone who's been converted has been 1 is that they start defending the faith. I think, Phil Cooper, you've your testimonies, this, isn't it? You started defending the faith, and you didn't even realize you were doing it. It's it's a pretty good sign.

And wherever nicodemus is on that journey, he's certainly well on the way, isn't he? We know that earlier in in John, he came to see Jesus secretly under cover of darkness, and Jesus said a load of things to him about being born again that really infused him, and he went away with a sore head. And then we know that later on in John, that he's definitely there. Because he takes Jesus' body and he helps to wrap it, and he helps to give it the proper burial rites. In what's actually a really moving touching scene.

And I think this is this is 1 of the biggest joys and privileges of Christian ministry, isn't it? You get to watch people being transformed in front of your eyes. It's a wonderful thing. You see people coming to life. You see that grass starting grow, the trees blossoming.

The animals coming back in, you see life springing up as rivers of living water are poured into them and are pouring out of them. And you see people fire on all cylinders for the gospel. It's a fantastic thing. So let me encourage you again, Christian. Be that wellspring of life.

Be that river of living water to others. It's contagious. It catches. And finally, to end you on a total downer, you've got the bullies. They're just bullies.

There's no other way of putting it really. There's not really much good to say about this final group in all honesty, but there's still useful lessons to be learnt here, very useful lessons to be learnt. The final response is is from the pharisees and the chief priests. Look at how they treat the temple guards and nicodemus. So to the temple guards in verse 47, they go, you mean he's deceived you also?

The pharisees retorted. Have any of the rulers or of the Faracies believed in him? No. But this mob that knows nothing of the law There is a curse on them. As soon as there's any mention of anyone believing in Jesus, they go on the attack, and they've got various tactics at their disposal, which we should be well aware of.

We need to be well aware of. Because we do and will come up against this as we preach the gospel into this world. The first 1 is this elitist snobbery that comes out of them. And the way that they try to snuff out the smoldering ember of belief in the temple guards is through this sort of classist elitism, this this snobbery. Look at what they say.

You've been deceived. Basically, what's behind that is you pour uneducated fools. How stupid you are to have been deceived? What do you know about such things Of course, not your fault, is it? You're just a lowly temple guard.

After all, you're not educated like us. Have we believed in him? No. Us with our great knowledge and our heritage. Of course not, we know better with our better education, of course, and our social status, and our positions of power and influence We wouldn't be fooled by such things, have any of us believed in him?

No. We know better. We just know better. We know more than you. We know better.

You silly, silly temple guards, we would never be deceived. And if we are not deceived, then neither should you be? Actually, you should listen to us You'd be better off if you listen to us. You see their disdain for the common person come through. This mob that knows nothing of the law.

Then they switch to their second tactic. It's just out and out propaganda. They're the original propagandists, well, they're not people who've been doing it for a long time, but it's propaganda. There's a curse on them. No explanation.

No no no backing for that. No evidence. It's just propaganda. It's just media nonsense. There's a curse on them.

It's it's just a curse on them. Pawfuls. When things are not going their way, they simply tear down any opposition by spreading false rumors about them. And look at how they deal with nicodemus. This is where their real colors start to come through.

As ugly as the other stuff's been, but this is this is where it gets nasty. Are you from Galile Lee too? They're just racist snobs. The thought, the very thought that the Messiah could come from Galile from those northerners those peasants. No.

The Messiah will come from Judah, and from noble stock, from the line of David. You know how many gentiles live in the north, by the way? They're all pig farmers, aren't they? I think they're all pig farmers? It'd be like it'd be like the Messiah coming from Scotland, you know, or or even worse Liverpool.

So I saw you, Tom. I couldn't help it. Could be birmingham. I'm from birmingham. That'd be pretty bad.

It's just racism. It's classism. It's it's it's horrendous. It's horrible. It's ugly.

Anyone who goes against them and their views, they will deride and they will tear down. They can't have it. They can't stand for it. They won't allow it. Remember, just after I I I became a Christian gosh, 10 years already now.

And I had a really close group of mates when I became a Christian, none of whom became Christians. And we were we were very close. We used to live out of each other's houses, out of each other's pockets, and I I remember 1 of my closest mates basically did exactly this. What are you like a you're some sort of born again Christian, are you? What does that even mean?

That's ridiculous. How stupid are you? That's the way the conversation went. These men are supposed to be the leaders of Israel. They're supposed to be caring for and looking after the people, waiting for the Messiah, preparing the people to meet him at which point they can go, here you go.

Here's the Shepard's crook, lord Jesus. You're the true shepherd. You're the head shepherd. You carry on the work. We're very glad you're here.

And here are the people we've been looking after for you, by the way. We hope that you find them in good condition. Instead, they're fleecing and neglecting the sheep. They're the wolves, actually. They're the wolves looking down on the sheep saying we're better than you.

And don't you dare start to get any funny ideas? We do need to be aware of this reality of the Christian life because this type of opposition has not gone anywhere today. It's just changed its face slightly. That's all. These are the influencers the culture shavers of this world.

Did did you see how the people parrot them? The people parrot them. Is he from Galile? He can't be from Galile. The Messiah doesn't come from Galile.

The people say exactly the same thing. They're just feeding on the junk of the chief priests and pharisees. They're feeding on their propaganda, and they're just repeating it, pushing it, pushing it out there. We're gonna come across those people who know better Oh, you believe in Jesus, how ridiculous? We know better than that now.

We're gonna come across those propagandists who wanna throw false rumors and accusations against Christians. Are they all they hate all homosexuality? They hate them. They despise and hate them. There's no love for them in a church.

There's no place for them in a church. They're lies. These are lies designed to draw people away from the thing that really matters, and that's the truth of the lord Jesus Christ to get people off of the only thing that matters. But there's a sad irony to all of this. And the way John writes it is it's it's almost tongue in cheek, the whole way through, and I don't know if he picked up on any of it.

But John's actually quite brilliant here. Everything that they say, everything that they say is immediately ripped down. It's amazing. So look, have any of the rulers or of the pharisees believed in him? Oh, nicodemus.

Very next paragraph, nicodemus. Okay? But this mob that knows nothing of the law yet they quote the same scriptures as the pharisees. And actually, they quote them in more detail. The pharisees just go, Messiah, I won't come from Galile.

The people, on the other hand, are like, won't come from Galile, comes from Bethlehem, line of David. They actually seem to know more, if anything. Look into it. You will find that the profit does not come from Galiley, correct yet whilst telling someone to look into it, they have failed to look into it. They failed to look into Jesus' origins themselves, it would have been very easy for them to do that.

Very, very easy. And in not doing so, well, there's a curse on them. They bring a curse down on their own heads. The irony of it all is is quite staggering. It's quite ridiculous.

This is a reality of preaching a gospel into this world. It doesn't mean it's not working, in fact, quite the opposite. If there is this much opposition, then clearly, the opposition are worried. Frankly, what these people do not realize is that they're just unwitting pawns of Satan in his doomed war against Christ's followers. That's basically what's going on.

His brothers and sisters let me let me finish by encouraging you to be thirsty for God's word. To be thirsty for Jesus. To drink deeply of him and of his word, so that when we go out into the world, when we go out into these situations that God has called us to and put us in, that we're rivers of living water. As we go into those dry and dusty dead fields. There are there are gonna be those who immediately say yes.

There are gonna be those who need a little bit more help to get over the finishing line. There are gonna be those who oppose, and there are gonna be those who are just stone cold dead. But we keep on going out and spreading that living water and preaching the word There will always be those who stop turn and believe, and God will build his kingdom through this simple work. Let me encourage you with that. Let me pray.

Father we thank you, for the lord Jesus. We thank you that he is the rock in the desert from which pours the water of life, and we thank you that those who drink from it themselves turn into a rock from which pours the water of life. We thank you that you send your holy spirit. To work inside of us, to work in our hearts, in our minds, to to help us preach the word of Christ into a into a dead dying dust the dried up world, a world that so desperately needs this message. This message that actually, if all adhere to it, would solve all wrongs.

As simple as that, it's the answer, and yet a world that's so opposed to it, father help us to keep doing this Give us boldness. Give us the courage to do this. Help us not to be disheartened. When we are reposed, when we are belittled, when we are ridiculed, Help us to have a heart for the lost. Help us to have a heart for those people who are led astray.

Help us to have a heart for those enemies that opposed so staunchly. Father we do pray that you would use us in this work, to help build your kingdom so that your name would be glorified, amen.

Preached by Chris Tilley
Chris Tilley photo

Chris is an Elder at Cornerstone. He is married to Bernadette, who is part of our safeguarding team, and they live in New Malden.

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