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Youth Devotional



Video Host: Charlie Allo, Louisiana DYD

Big Scripture: John 7:14–24 (NLT)

14 Then, midway through the festival, Jesus went up to the Temple and began to teach. 15 The people were surprised when they heard him. “How does he know so much when he hasn’t been trained?” they asked. 16 So Jesus told them, “My message is not my own; it comes from God who sent me. 17 Anyone who wants to do the will of God will know whether my teaching is from God or is merely my own. 18 Those who speak for themselves want glory only for themselves, but a person who seeks to honor the one who sent him speaks truth, not lies. 19 Moses gave you the law, but none of you obeys it! In fact, you are trying to kill me.” 20 The crowd replied, “You’re demon possessed! Who’s trying to kill you?” 21 Jesus replied, “I did one miracle on the Sabbath, and you were amazed. 22 But you work on the Sabbath, too, when you obey Moses’ law of circumcision. (Actually, this tradition of circumcision began with the patriarchs, long before the law of Moses.) 23 For if the correct time for circumcising your son falls on the Sabbath, you go ahead and do it so as not to break the law of Moses. So why should you be angry with me for healing a man on the Sabbath? 24 Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly.”

Big Idea:

The Jewish people would gather in Jerusalem several times a year for special religious celebrations. This story takes place during one of those holidays: the Feast of Booths or also known as the Feast of Tabernacles. The Feast of Booths was a time of remembering the faithfulness of God to His people, the Israelites, during their wilderness wanderings. When the people in the temple heard Jesus teaching, they were shocked because they knew He hadn’t received any formal training to be a rabbi (teacher). Jesus took the opportunity to explain how His teaching was different from the teaching of others. He pointed out three main differences. 

  1. He was sent by God with a message. He wasn’t making up His own message or teaching His own opinions. What Jesus taught was a direct revelation from the heart of God to His people.

  2. His teaching requires a response. He said that only those who desire to DO the will of God will be able to accurately understand and receive His teachings. He wasn’t looking to just fill the people’s heads with more information; He was calling them to action!

  3. The truth of His teaching could be trusted because the motivation of His heart wasn’t selfish. He wasn’t speaking for His own glory or fame, but for the glory of God the Father. 

Big Questions:

Who is/was your favorite teacher? Why? 
Why was the crowd surprised by Jesus’ teaching?
Why is it important that we don’t just hear teaching, but we act on what we hear?
In your own words, what does it mean to live for the glory of God? 

Big Prayer:

You that Jesus came to teach us the truth. Thank You that when we know the truth, it can set us free. Thank You that Jesus is truth, and in knowing Him we experience real freedom. Help me to be a good student and a good learner. Help me to appreciate knowledge. Help me, in Your grace and by Your Spirit, to move beyond knowledge to action. Show me any area in my life where I am living for my own glory and help me to give You all the glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.