Daily Devotions


Day 102

The astonishing power of Jesus to see the heart

Text: John 7 : 11-43


When God made man, He gave to him a special gift. He made it such that no one can look into his heart. A person could only look on the exterior demeanour of a person but no more than that. This fact was well brought out in a passage in the Old Testament. God highlighted this truth to Samuel who was sent to anoint young David, the son of Jesse, to be the next king of Israel. The Lord spoke to Samuel the prophet and said,

“Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature,
because I have refused him.
For the Lord does not see as man sees;
for man looks at the outward appearance,
but the Lord looks at the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7

The Jews should have realized that there was something totally different about Jesus when He spoke as He did. The earliest disciples of Jesus were astonished that Jesus knew them so well. They recognized that Jesus saw the depths of their heart (John 1:47-51. Note how Nathanael concluded immediately that Jesus was no ordinary person, but the Messianic King of Israel).

The Jews knew that Jesus was right! He saw through them. He surfaced their heart’s intents. He pointedly asked them why they wanted to kill Him. John noted that The Jews wanted to kill Jesus in the following texts.

“For this reason The Jews persecuted Jesus,
and sought to kill Him, because He had done
these things on the Sabbath.

Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him,
because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said
that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.”
John 5:16, 18

The murderous intent of the Jews may not have been too obvious to some. However, their intent was clear and evident to Jesus. Thus He confronted them directly concerning their murderous intent! What honest courage Jesus displayed!


What a contrast we have in The Jews. When confronted by Jesus, they denied vehemently the charge made against them! They thought that they could deny His charge, for who but God could read their hearts, and in their opinion, Jesus wasn’t the Lord! Thus they replied,

“You have a demon. Who is seeking to kill you?”
John 7:20

The Jews countered the charge of Jesus. How did He know what was in their hearts anyway? Did he have a demon guiding him? The Jews would do that. Instead of looking at the possibility of God revealing things to Jesus, they suggested that it was a demon who was doing that. Anyway, they denied that they were seeking to kill Jesus! Denial and dishonesty! What a combination!


Though The Jews did not bring this up, Jesus knew that they were still sore with Him for healing the paralyzed man (John 5) on the Sabbath and allowing him to take up his bed and walk.

Jesus brought up the subject of the Sabbath to the forefront this time round.

“I did one work, and you all marvel.”
John 7:21

The Jews were still thinking about how Jesus broke the Sabbath when He healed the man on the Sabbath. Yes, they griped and rebuked the paralyzed man for carrying his bed on the Sabbath, but deep down they were more furious with Jesus than with the man who was healed. Many months had passed since that incident and The Jews were still “marveling” or “wondering” about the event. Their focus was not on the fact that the man was healed. Their concern was that the healing took place on the Sabbath and that to them constituted “work”. Since “work” was forbidden on the Sabbath, then Jesus was guilty of breaking the holy day set aside by God Himself.

Jesus then raised an awkward question for The Jews to consider. If the Sabbath was to be kept in the absolute sense of the work, how would they go around the practice of Circumcision. The Mosaic Law demanded that a child be circumcised on the eighth day. If a child was born on the Sabbath day, then he must be circumcised at the next Sabbath day – or he would have broken the Law of Moses.

“Moses therefore gave you circumcision
(not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers),
and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath.
If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath,
so that the law of Moses should not be broken,
are you angry with Me because I made a man
completely well on the Sabbath?
Do not judge according to appearance,
but judge with righteous judgment.”
John 7:22-24

There were two laws that must be kept. One was the law of circumcision that antedated Moses’ time. Then there was the Sabbath law. How were both laws to be kept at the same time, if circumcision had to take place on the Sabbath? Would not one law have to be broken in favour of keeping another? If the Sabbath Law was broken because circumcision needed to be performed, why had they judged Jesus when He made a man completely well on the Sabbath? Had they judged Him correctly?