John 7:7 "The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil.
We identify three discrete groups of unbelievers in John 7 and then another.
The Apostle John makes it clear that not even Jesus' own family members believed in Him, at least not until after His resurrection. Their words were dripping with sarcasm when they advised Him to go to Jerusalem for one of the major annual festivals. "You want to be famous, don't You? You can't be famous if you hide at home. This is a great opportunity for Your devoted disciples and everyone else to watch You in action, so take your little magic show down to Jerusalem." The God-Man lived with them for over 30 years and they still didn’t get it!
2. The Jews (i.e. Pharisees and Chief Priests)
Usually in the Gospel of John the Jews refer to the religious leaders and their devoted disciples, not to the entire populace. They were the Lord's most hostile opponents, having so much power and influence that the ordinary people were frightened to say anything openly about Jesus (especially anything positive) for fear of punishment. Just a few verses later they even shut down one of their own, Nicodemus, when he asked a rather benign question about Jesus (7:50-52).
3. The Crowd
The crowd was a strange mixture of those who were basically clueless, confused, or conflicted about Jesus as evidenced by their questions and comments: “There was much complaining among the people concerning Him. Some said, ‘He is good’; others said, ‘No, on the contrary, He deceives the people.’” (7:12) Elsewhere, "Is this not He whom they seek to kill? But look! He speaks boldly, and they say nothing to Him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is truly the Christ? However, we know where this Man is from; but when the Christ comes, no one knows where He is from." (7:25-27). These comments and conjectures were based on rumors and stories in circulation about the Messiah, including His "unknown" origins (in ignorance of Scripture, Micah 5:2).
Despite the opposition the Lord speaks boldly about Himself and His mission and "many of the people believed in Him" (7:31).
This cross-section of different types of people also applies today. There are family members who reject Him, those who are quite hostile, and large masses who are confused, conflicted, clueless--and let me add--complacent. Then, finally, and thankfully, there are believers.
Each one is personally responsible for deciding about Jesus, and no one can remain neutral. In fact, “Not to decide about Jesus IS to decide.”
The folks who enter our doors or contact us online are in one of these groups. Our desire at Christian Rights Ministries and the Alliance Legal Group is to reach all of them!