From Heaven With Love


Chapter 50—Among Snares

This chapter is based on John 7:16-36, 40-53; 8:1-11.

All during the feast Jesus was shadowed by spies. Day after day new schemes to silence Him were tried. The priests and rulers were planning to stop Him by violence. On the first day at the feast they demanded by what authority He taught. HLv 306.1

“My teaching is not Mine,” said Jesus, “but His who sent Me; if any man's will is to do His will, he shall know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on My own authority.” John 7:16, 17, RSV. The perception and appreciation of truth, He said, depends less upon the mind than on the heart. Truth claims the homage of the will. It is to be received through the work of grace in the heart; and its reception depends on the renunciation of every sin that the Spirit of God reveals. There must be a conscientious surrender of every habit and practice opposed to its principles. Those who thus yield themselves to God will be able to distinguish between him who speaks for God and him who speaks merely from himself. The Pharisees were not seeking to know the truth, but to find some excuse for evading it; this was why they did not understand Christ's teaching. HLv 306.2

“He who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but he who seeks the glory of Him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood.” RSV. The spirit of self-seeking betrays its origin. But Christ was seeking the glory of God. This was the evidence of His authority as a teacher of the truth. HLv 306.3

Jesus gave the rabbis an evidence of His divinity by showing that He read their hearts. They had been plotting His death, thus breaking the law which they professed to be defending. “Did not Moses give you the law,” He said, “and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill Me?” HLv 306.4

Like a swift flash of light these words revealed the pit of ruin into which they were about to plunge. For an instant they saw that they were in conflict with Infinite Power. But they would not be warned. Their murderous designs must be concealed. Evading the question, they exclaimed, “Thou hast a devil: who goeth about to kill Thee?” HLv 307.1

To the insinuation that His wonderful works were instigated by an evil spirit, Christ gave no heed. He went on to show that His work of healing at Bethesda was justified by the interpretation which the Jews themselves put upon the Sabbath law. According to the law, every child must be circumcised on the eighth day. Should the appointed time fall on the Sabbath, the rite must then be performed. How much more must it be in harmony with the spirit of the law to make a man “every whit whole on the Sabbath day.” He warned them, “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” The rulers were silenced. HLv 307.2