Sermon Response

TOO SMART TO BELIEVE

The Text: Read John 7:32-52

On the last and greatest day of the Festival of Tabernacles Jesus stands up and makes one of the most direct claims to his Messiahship. As the priest marched into the temple courts carrying a pitcher full of water and as the crowd chanted Isaiah 12:3 With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. Jesus declares 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.” Two thirds of the crowd respond with statements of faith toward Jesus, while one third of the crowd says the Messiah will come from Bethlehem and this guy is from Galilee. Therefore he can’t be the Messiah. The last group was too smart to believe. Their statement was true but they didn’t have all the facts and unfortunately this misinformation stood in the way of them following Jesus.

Discuss:

  1. Why do you think Jesus played off the imagery of water to make his declaration?

  2. How does the Holy Spirit flow through a believer like water? What characteristics do the Holy Spirit and water share?

  3. Why do you think the temple guards disobeyed their orders and failed to take Jesus into custody?

Respond:

To smart to believe... I think sometimes we miss huge God moments and opportunities in our life because we allow our logic to get in the way.

  1. Have you ever used your “reason” to avoid obeying God’s commands? Explain.

  2. Do you know someone who “knows” a ton about God, but despite their knowledge doesn’t believe in Jesus? How can you best reach someone like this for Christ?

  3. What are several of the most common “logical” reasons that people use to not follow Jesus? How can you address these?

  4. Is there any area of your life where you are currently allowing your knowledge to stand in the way of you living for Jesus?

Prayer

God give us grace to know you more. We desire to faithfully follow and serve you. May nothing ever stand in the way of our doing this. When we allow our own logic or knowledge to keep us from doing your will, please reveal this act of disobedience and give us grace to follow you all the more.