“Here he is, speaking publicly, and they are not saying a word to him. Have the authorities really concluded that he is the Christ? But we know where this man is from; when the Christ comes, no one will know where he is from.” (John 7:26, 27 NIV)
Forward Friday, growing spiritually- we must be cautious not to be deceived. These people from Jerusalem sound like gossipers in today’s church. They were completely blinded to Jesus’ identity, because reality did not fit with their assumptions. Many times making assumptions can land us in false territory. Jesus, flesh and bones, teaching right in front of them and they completely missed him.
I was in a Bible store yesterday and the sweetest gesture was being made by an elderly father purchasing Bibles. Making assumptions, I asked if he was purchasing for his grandchildren. I was wrong, these were for his children. Making more assumptions…I began thinking his children were close to my age, I noticed they were KJV. I loved my KJV as my first Bible. Yet, when I began studying, I dug deep into my NIV. I suggested the ESV might be an easier version to help their desire to read/study God’s Word. Wrong again, this gentleman’s helper assured me they only read KJV, because it’s all they could trust to be right. At this point, I smiled and went about purchasing my book.
We do have to be careful with versions of God’s Word. I do not like the new NIV version. I love the 1984 NIV version. Yet, we can trust the ESV, which I understand to be closest to KJV. Even for my catholic friends- there are firm believers to trusted versions- newer and old. Most important, we don’t want to miss the opportunity to help others engage into reading/studying their Bibles. A trusted version that can be easier to understand, may make a better choice. If not reading/studying our Bible, we are completely missing Jesus. Sermons once a week run out of fuel quickly.
Becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ, which every true believer becomes, we interact daily with Jesus through time spent praying, studying God’s Word, and worship. In the car, find CD’s or connect w/phone Bible apps. At home, designate a quiet area seeking Jesus and finding His Word to be true. If believers do not seek and grow- how can we ever lead others to Christ? The alternative- misleading others into false security- where sin is justified sprinkled with truth. Deception allows all sin to look appealing and justifiable.
Let’s move forward, recognizing Jesus in our midst, nudges toward divine appointments, and Biblical Truth. There is no room for assumptions, even though so easily done. Being the hands and feet of Jesus- we’re trusted by God as He directs our paths, as we trust Him. Are we ready to make sure no deception has entered our life- avoiding missed opportunities or Jesus moments in our midst? Move forward friends- let’s keep moving forward!