John 7

1 After this, Jesus traveled in Galilee; he did not want to travel in Judea, because the Jewish authorities there were wanting to kill him.
2 The time for the Festival of Shelters was near, 1
3 so Jesus' brothers said to him, "Leave this place and go to Judea, so that your followers will see the things that you are doing.
4 People don't hide what they are doing if they want to be well known. Since you are doing these things, let the whole world know about you!
5 (Not even his brothers believed in him.)
6 Jesus said to them, "The right time for me has not yet come. Any time is right for you.
7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates me, because I keep telling it that its ways are bad.
8 You go on to the festival. I am not going to this festival, because the right time has not come for me."
9 He said this and then stayed on in Galilee.
10 After his brothers had gone to the festival, Jesus also went; however, he did not go openly, but secretly.
11 The Jewish authorities were looking for him at the festival. "Where is he?" they asked.
12 There was much whispering about him in the crowd. "He is a good man," some people said. "No," others said, "he fools the people."
13 But no one talked about him openly, because they were afraid of the Jewish authorities.
14 The festival was nearly half over when Jesus went to the Temple and began teaching.
15 The Jewish authorities were greatly surprised and said, "How does this man know so much when he has never been to school?"
16 Jesus answered, "What I teach is not my own teaching, but it comes from God, who sent me.
17 Whoever is willing to do what God wants will know whether what I teach comes from God or whether I speak on my own authority.
18 Those who speak on their own authority are trying to gain glory for themselves. But he who wants glory for the one who sent him is honest, and there is nothing false in him.
19 Moses gave you the Law, didn't he? But not one of you obeys the Law. Why are you trying to kill me?"
20 "You have a demon in you!" the crowd answered. "Who is trying to kill you?"
21 Jesus answered, "I performed one miracle, and you were all surprised.
22 Moses ordered you to circumcise your sons (although it was not Moses but your ancestors who started it), and so you circumcise a boy on the Sabbath. 2
23 If a boy is circumcised on the Sabbath so that Moses' Law is not broken, why are you angry with me because I made a man completely well on the Sabbath? 3
24 Stop judging by external standards, and judge by true standards."
25 Some of the people of Jerusalem said, "Isn't this the man the authorities are trying to kill?
26 Look! He is talking in public, and they say nothing against him! Can it be that they really know that he is the Messiah?
27 But when the Messiah comes, no one will know where he is from. And we all know where this man comes from."
28 As Jesus taught in the Temple, he said in a loud voice, "Do you really know me and know where I am from? I have not come on my own authority. He who sent me, however, is truthful. You do not know him,
29 but I know him, because I come from him and he sent me."
30 Then they tried to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come.
31 But many in the crowd believed in him and said, "When the Messiah comes, will he perform more miracles than this man has?"
32 The Pharisees heard the crowd whispering these things about Jesus, so they and the chief priests sent some guards to arrest him.
33 Jesus said, "I shall be with you a little while longer, and then I shall go away to him who sent me.
34 You will look for me, but you will not find me, because you cannot go where I will be."
35 The Jewish authorities said among themselves, "Where is he about to go so that we shall not find him? Will he go to the Greek cities where our people live, and teach the Greeks?
36 He says that we will look for him but will not find him, and that we cannot go where he will be. What does he mean?"
37 On the last and most important day of the festival Jesus stood up and said in a loud voice, "Whoever is thirsty should come to me, and 4
38 whoever believes in me should drink. As the scripture says, "Streams of life-giving water will pour out from his side.' " 5
39 Jesus said this about the Spirit, which those who believed in him were going to receive. At that time the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not been raised to glory.
40 Some of the people in the crowd heard him say this and said, "This man is really the Prophet!"
41 Others said, "He is the Messiah!" But others said, "The Messiah will not come from Galilee!
42 The scripture says that the Messiah will be a descendant of King David and will be born in Bethlehem, the town where David lived." 6
43 So there was a division in the crowd because of Jesus.
44 Some wanted to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him.
45 When the guards went back, the chief priests and Pharisees asked them, "Why did you not bring him?"
46 The guards answered, "Nobody has ever talked the way this man does!"
47 "Did he fool you, too?" the Pharisees asked them.
48 "Have you ever known one of the authorities or one Pharisee to believe in him?
49 This crowd does not know the Law of Moses, so they are under God's curse!"
50 One of the Pharisees there was Nicodemus, the man who had gone to see Jesus before. He said to the others, 7
51 "According to our Law we cannot condemn people before hearing them and finding out what they have done."
52 "Well," they answered, "are you also from Galilee? Study the Scriptures and you will learn that no prophet ever comes from Galilee."

John 7 Commentary

Chapter 7

Christ goes to the feast of tabernacles. (1-13) His discourse at the feast. (14-39) The people dispute concerning Christ. (40-53)

Verses 1-13 The brethren or kinsmen of Jesus were disgusted, when they found there was no prospect of worldly advantages from him. Ungodly men sometimes undertake to counsel those employed in the work of God; but they only advise what appears likely to promote present advantages. The people differed about his doctrine and miracles, while those who favoured him, dared not openly to avow their sentiments. Those who count the preachers of the gospel to be deceivers, speak out, while many who favour them, fear to get reproach by avowing regard for them.

Verses 14-24 Every faithful minister may humbly adopt Christ's words. His doctrine is not his own finding out, but is from God's word, through the teaching of his Spirit. And amidst the disputes which disturb the world, if any man, of any nation, seeks to do the will of God, he shall know whether the doctrine is of God, or whether men speak of themselves. Only those who hate the truth shall be given up to errors which will be fatal. Surely it was as agreeable to the design of the sabbath to restore health to the afflicted, as to administer an outward rite. Jesus told them to decide on his conduct according to the spiritual import of the Divine law. We must not judge concerning any by their outward appearance, but by their worth, and by the gifts and graces of God's Spirit in them.

Verses 25-30 Christ proclaimed aloud, that they were in error in their thoughts about his origin. He was sent of God, who showed himself true to his promises. This declaration, that they knew not God, with his claim to peculiar knowledge, provoked the hearers; and they sought to take him, but God can tie men's hands, though he does not turn their hearts.

Verses 31-36 The discourses of Jesus convinced many that he was the Messiah; but they had not courage to own it. It is comfort to those who are in the world, but not of it, and therefore are hated by it and weary of it, that they shall not be in it always, that they shall not be in it long. Our days being evil, it is well they are few. The days of life and of grace do not last long; and sinners, when in misery, will be glad of the help they now despise. Men dispute about such sayings, but the event will explain them.

Verses 37-39 On the last day of the feast of tabernacles, the Jews drew water and poured it out before the Lord. It is supposed that Christ alluded to this. If any man desires to be truly and for ever happy, let him apply to Christ, and be ruled by him. This thirst means strong desires after spiritual blessings, which nothing else can satisfy; so the sanctifying and comforting influences of the Holy Spirit, were intended by the waters which Jesus called on them to come to Him and drink. The comfort flows plentifully and constantly as a river; strong as a stream to bear down the opposition of doubts and fears. There is a fulness in Christ, of grace for grace. The Spirit dwelling and working in believers, is as a fountain of living, running water, out of which plentiful streams flow, cooling and cleansing as water. The miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit we do not expect, but for his more common and more valuable influences we may apply. These streams have flowed from our glorified Redeemer, down to this age, and to the remote corners of the earth. May we be anxious to make them known to others.

Verses 40-53 The malice of Christ's enemies is always against reason, and sometimes the staying of it cannot be accounted for. Never any man spake with that wisdom, and power, and grace, that convincing clearness, and that sweetness, wherewith Christ spake. Alas, that many, who are for a time restrained, and who speak highly of the word of Jesus, speedily lose their convictions, and go on in their sins! People are foolishly swayed by outward motives in matters of eternal moment, are willing even to be damned for fashion's sake. As the wisdom of God often chooses things which men despise, so the folly of men commonly despises those whom God has chosen. The Lord brings forward his weak and timid disciples, and sometimes uses them to defeat the designs of his enemies.

Cross References 7

  • 1. 7.2Leviticus 23.34;Deuteronomy 16.13.
  • 2. 7.22 aLeviticus 12.3; bGenesis 17.10.
  • 3. 7.23John 5.9.
  • 4. 7.37Leviticus 23.36.
  • 5. 7.38Ezekiel 47.1;Zechariah 14.8.
  • 6. 7.42 2 S 7.12;Micah 5.2.
  • 7. 7.50John 3.1, 2.

Footnotes 4

  • [a]. I am not going; [some manuscripts have] I am not yet going.
  • [b]. [Jesus' words in verses 37-38 may be translated:] "Whoever is thirsty should come to me and drink. +V38+WAs the scripture says, "Streams of life-giving water will pour out from within anyone who believes in me.' "
  • [c]. the prophet: [See 1.21.]
  • [d]. no prophet ever comes; [one manuscript has] the Prophet will not come.

John 7 Commentaries