At that point some of the people of Jerusalem began to ask, “Isn’t this the man they are trying to kill? Here he is, speaking publicly, and they are not saying a word to him. Have the authorities really concluded that he is the Messiah? But we know where this man is from; when the Messiah comes, no one will know where he is from.”
Then Jesus, still teaching in the temple courts, cried out, “Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from. I am not here on my own authority, but he who sent me is true. You do not know him, but I know him because I am from him and he sent me.”
The Gospel of John is filled with paradoxes, and this passage is no exception. Here, the crowd is confused about Jesus' identity. Certain groups believed that the Messiah would come suddenly and mysteriously, so some people began to say, "When the Messiah comes, no one will know where he is from, but we know where this man is from" (John 7:25-26).
The people are baffled. They think they know Jesus. He is the carpenter's son from Nazareth. Yet, the profoundness of his teachings and the audacity of his public appearances, even when there's a threat to his life, make them question their own assumptions. This is the paradox: Jesus was both known and unknown to them.
Jesus, fully aware of their confusion, doesn't sidestep it. Instead, he confronts it head-on: "Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from, but you do not know the one who sent me." Jesus is saying they might know Jesus the man, but they do not recognize Jesus the Messiah. He has been sent by his Father — God — but they don't know him.
This passage challenges us today just as it challenged its first listeners. We might think we know Jesus based on our academic knowledge, religious upbringing, or cultural references. But the question is: Do we really know him personally? Our journey of faith is not just about knowing Jesus, the historical figure, but about encountering Jesus personally.
How can we get to know Jesus better? Here are some simple steps: Be sincere in your search. Read the Bible. Pray. Worship. Follow spiritual practices. Ask for guidance from spiritual leaders. Be open to the Holy Spirit. Know that it's okay to have doubts and questions. Try to live as Jesus did. And remember, understanding God's grace is a journey, not a destination.
It takes time and effort to truly know Jesus, but it is time and effort well spent.
God bless you.