John 10:22-24 Can't See The Forest For The Trees

15 February 2017

“And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. 23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch. 24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.” John 10:22-24

Are you too religious? Does your practice of religion blind you to the true nature of God and the truth revealed in His word?

That is the exact situation described here in John’s gospel. They were so involved in religion that they missed the Messiah. They “couldn’t see the forest for the trees.” They missed the big picture by focusing on the wrong, insignificant trees.

The Feast of Dedication commemorates the time when Judas Maccabeus led a revolt. The legend states that there was only enough oil for one night to light the lamp but it lasted for eight. Today, this celebration is known as Hanukkah.

Even though this is a very popular celebration, we must examine the facts surrounding it. First of all, there is no INSPIRED writing that testifies to the account. This occurred during the time between the two Testaments when God Himself swore He would not speak to Israel until He sent John the Baptist. This should cast some doubt on the validity of the story, or at least show that this celebration is not appointed by God.

My point is this. The Jews were VERY religious with their ceremonies and celebrations. This particular celebration is not appointed by God but is widely accepted and practiced. But what good did it do for the Jews? While they celebrated, the Messiah Himself was standing among them and they don’t even recognize Him! In fact, the most zealous leaders among the Jews who promoted the man-made celebration were actually trying to discredit Jesus.

Our practice of religion should never interfere with our understanding of the true nature of God. Our worship should be simple enough so that we are not distracted by the practice and lose focus from our Object of worship.

Bryce Lowrance

Elder Bryce Lowrance

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