I believe that the Word is not only interpretational, but I believe that it is also applicational. By that I mean that the Scriptures have a meaning, they have one meaning and as a Pastor it is my job to find out that singular meaning. I do not buy into the notion of what is being taught today as the "Hermenutics of Humility". That basically says that "I am far to humble to think that I could ever really know the truth of God's Word." To the person buying into that; they believe that it is pride and arrogance to say that I know what the Bible says. To get up and say that I have the meaning of the Scripture is the height of arrogance.
But isn't that the job of a Pastor? Anyone who gets up in the pulpit and preaches anything but the truth, is preaching their opinion. And there opinions are like noses; everybody has one. But opinion does not necessarily mean truth. It is the Pastor's responsibility before God and his congregation to study, to find and know the truth.
With that being said, I believe that John 7:5 is a very sad verse. It speaks about the brothers of Jesus "not believing on Him (Jesus)." I spoke on this passage in last nights service at my Church. I spoke on Divine Timetables. Even Christ, in His humanity, humbled Himself to the Divine timetable of the Father. All people, to the most holy to the most diobolical, are under the restraint of the Sovereign timetable of God.
But as I was studying verse 1-13, I came across verse 5; I stopped for a moment and thought. We do not know a lot about the life of Joseph. We know nothing about him after the incident at the temple when Christ was twelve.
Now, understand me please, I am not making any accusations about the way that Joseph raised his children and I am not saying that this is the proper interpretational view of this verse; however, I do believe that looking at this verse, at least for me, brought about a reminder. What could have happened in the home of Jospeh that caused his four sons not to believe on Christ as the Messiah until so late in life. Accoprding to Acts 1, it wasn't until the resurrection that they did believe. In fact, in John 7, they were the four that were trying to push Christ to go, prematurely, to Jerusalem to show His power and they did this with the word "if". As if they were questioning whether or not He was genuine.
Listen, Joseph may have taught his sons about the Messiah and that their half-brother was the anoited one of God and they reacted like Joseph's brothers did in the book of Genesis. However, we do not know that to be the fact. The fact that they did finally believe in Acts 1, may indicate that all that their father taught them finally produced fruit, we just do not know for sure.
But all of this is a reminder to us that it is possible that from the brothers original reaction, Jospeh MAY NOT have done his job in teaching his children. This is a challenge to us to make sure that our children are taught about the Lord and then, and this is just as vital, that we live before them the message that we teach. That we are faithful to God in our personal service, speaks volumes more than what we say. If we are not faithful in our service (Bible study, Church Attendance, etc.), then our message is just hypocrisy to our Children. What are you teaching your Children; both in your words and in your actions. If everything comes before Church attendance in your life, then do not be suprised when it is the same way with your Children. If we allow sports and other activites to come before Church or other services to God, your children's devotion to the holy things will be worse. Your children will always fall below your standards, so set your standards ultra-high to protect their future.