"I did one miracle, and you are all astonished ..." (John 7:21-24)

"I did one miracle, and you are all astonished. Yet, because Moses gave you circumcision - though actually it did not come from Moses, but from the patriarchs - you circumcise a child on the Sabbath. Now if a child can be circumcised on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses may not be broken, why are you angry with me for healing the whole man on the Sabbath? Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment." (John 7:21-24) 

What does healing on the Sabbath have to do with circumcision?

Jesus is arguing the logic of institutional temple officials who were criticizing Jesus for healing a person on the Sabbath. Jesus is questioning them: Why do they permit circumcision on the Sabbath but not healing?

Both healing and circumcision are activities that relate to the physical body. In the case of circumcision, the issue is cleanliness. Circumcision during a time when bathing was not as available helped save men from getting infected.

This is now a proven part of the scientific record. Men who are circumcised tend to get fewer genital infections.

Healing is not that different because it also has to do with the health of the physical body. Jesus was healing people's physical bodies. This can be comparable to circumcision because of its positive effect on the health of the body.

Where does circumcision come from?

Jesus also points out that the instruction to circumcise came not from Moses, but from the patriarchs. Who are the patriarchs?

The patriarchs are Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. These are considered the preeminent messengers of God prior to Moses.

Jesus was right. We find these verses in the Book of Genesis:
[God speaking to Abraham]"This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you." (Genesis 17:10-11)
This indicates that Jesus was well-versed in the scriptures we now describe as the Old Testament. While the teachers at the Temple referred to circumcision in relation to Moses, Jesus knew the teaching preceded Moses.

Was Jesus disavowing Moses?

Jesus was in no way indicating a lack of deference to Moses. He was stating a fact, that the teaching of circumcision did not originate with Moses.

Jesus acknowledged Moses' position as God's representative repeatedly. In fact, Jesus' central teaching was also the central teaching of Moses. Here is Jesus quoting Moses:
"'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment." (Matt. 22:37-38)
Moses' student, Joshua, after Moses passed, also taught the same message:
"But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you: to love the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, to obey His commands, to hold fast to Him and to serve Him with all your heart and all your soul." (Jos 22:5)
In fact, all of the bona fide prophets and teachers of the Bible taught the same basic instruction, even though they also had specific instructions intended for their particular students, time and circumstance.

Why did Jesus heal people?

Jesus performed a minimal number of healings. He didn't heal everyone. He didn't open a hospital and take on the responsibility of healing everyone that was sick.

Rather, Jesus' healings were intended to increase people's faith in God. The purpose was to focus their attention on the power and authority of the Supreme Being. Jesus used his healings to project this instruction.

This is why his healings would be acceptable activities during the Sabbath. There was a spiritual purpose for them. They were not rituals.

Jesus is pointing out that these institutional temple authorities had put ritual ahead of purpose. They were not cognizant of the purpose of the instructions and the service of God's representatives.

The various rules and regulations given by the messengers of God (such as Moses, Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon, Jonah and Jesus) are meant to ultimately bring their followers closer to God. 

Yet we can easily see that some of those instructions were specific to a time and circumstance, and others were not. We can see this throughout the Bible, from the Old Testament leading up to the days of Jesus, and then amongst Jesus' disciples.

What is the purpose of God's messengers?

We can see from this chronology of teachers that the Bible is a history of the lives and teachings of God's messengers and their followers.

We can also see from the examples of Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Jacob, Isaac, Eli, David, Solomon and so many other great messengers from the Bible that each held in the highest regard, the instructions of their teacher, their teacher's teacher and so on.

Even Jesus illustrated this as he accepted initiation (baptism) from John the Baptist.

Each of these messengers from God, after receiving instructions from their teacher, presented instructions to their students, as God had empowered them to.

This is because following the teachings of God's messengers is critical to the success of our spiritual lives.

Not doing so can and has resulted in many speculative interpretations.

Hypocrisy in the name of Jesus?

The prime example of this sort of speculation is that today, many ecclesiastical sectarian teachers are teaching that we don't need a teacher because we can go directly to Jesus. Yet isn't it interesting that they need to teach us this? If they are teaching this, then they are a teacher. 

It is hypocritical to teach that a person does not need a teacher. It is also hypocritical to teach without having first been a student.

We can tell immediately that a person does not know Jesus or represent God when he gives this contradictory teaching. It means their teachings make no sense. Can we trust any other statement they may make about Jesus?

It might be said that a person with an official title of priest, minister, reverend, bishop, cardinal, or even pope should be authorized to represent Jesus and God because they were a student attended an official school and that school maintained teachers. However, are those teachers representing God or representing their respective ecclesiastical organizations?

The crux of the matter is how those teachers gained their positions of authority. These official seminaries and Bible colleges select their teachers by committee: A committee of men. This selection by committee is a political process (ecclesiastical). 

The candidate must impress the committee with their resume, credentials, reputation, interview and recommendations (who they know, in other words). This is no different from a candidate running for political office. It has nothing to do with representing God.

This is also how priests, reverends, ministers, bishops, cardinals, and popes are chosen for their respective titles or positions as teachers within a church. They are chosen by an election of a committee. In the case of Protestant churches, there is typically a church committee called the deacons. 

Once again, the candidate must impress the committee with their resume, credentials, reputation, interview and recommendations. This is a political process that does not represent God's empowerment.

Can God's representatives be elected by people?

A central reason why these sectarian organizations are hypocritical is that their teachers and officials are elected using a political process. Regardless of the type of committee, politics is always involved when a person must impress a group of people.

Again, this has nothing to do with representing the Supreme Being. For example, if a prime minister was elected by the people of Spain, could that leader represent the people of England? No. 

The elected leader can only represent those who elected him or her. In the same way, sectarian officials elected or appointed by people can only represent those who elected or appointed them. They can not represent the Supreme Being unless God chose them to represent Him.

But can't those officials elected by these committees also be chosen by God? No. Why? Because the Supreme Being is offended by a person who pretends to be His representative when they are not. 

A person who puts on the big robes, the crown, or whatever dress, and then accepts the title given by men cannot be in a position as God's representative without being empowered by the Supreme Being.

Such a person elected by men may well be a kind and considerate person. But God will never empower that person unless they abandon their fake position and go through the heart-changing process of developing a relationship with Him.

This is only logical. Let's say a person pretends they are an employee of a company when he is not. Say he goes out and sells the company's product, collects people's money, and then cannot ship the product. 

He is basically stealing the money while pretending to be part of the company. Will the company's management then hire him while he is stealing from their potential customers? Certainly not. The company would have the person arrested.

What if the fake employee quit the scam and came to the company and asked for a job? Would the company hire him? Think again. The only way they would hire him is on the condition that he gave back all the money and rectified all the lying and stealing they had done first.

As Jesus identified in a previous statement, the only way we can see who is empowered by God is if we sincerely want to do God's will. We must have the desire to do God's will in order to see who is doing God's will, as did Jesus, his disciples, John the Baptist, David, Isaac, Moses, Abraham, Solomon, Jacob, Jonah and so many others depicted in the scriptures.

This is why Jesus said:
"For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of Him who sent me." (John 6:38)"