John 7

Jesus Goes to the Festival of Tabernacles

1 After this, Jesus went around in Galilee. He did not want[a] to go about in Judea because the Jewish leaders there were looking for a way to kill him.
2 But when the Jewish Festival of Tabernacles was near,
3 Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Leave Galilee and go to Judea, so that your disciples there may see the works you do.
4 No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.”
5 For even his own brothers did not believe in him.
6 Therefore Jesus told them, “My time is not yet here; for you any time will do.
7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil.
8 You go to the festival. I am not[b] going up to this festival, because my time has not yet fully come.”
9 After he had said this, he stayed in Galilee.
10 However, after his brothers had left for the festival, he went also, not publicly, but in secret.
11 Now at the festival the Jewish leaders were watching for Jesus and asking, “Where is he?”
12 Among the crowds there was widespread whispering about him. Some said, “He is a good man.” Others replied, “No, he deceives the people.”
13 But no one would say anything publicly about him for fear of the leaders.

Jesus Teaches at the Festival

14 Not until halfway through the festival did Jesus go up to the temple courts and begin to teach.
15 The Jews there were amazed and asked, “How did this man get such learning without having been taught?”
16 Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me.
17 Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.
18 Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.
19 Has not Moses given you the law? Yet not one of you keeps the law. Why are you trying to kill me?”
20 “You are demon-possessed,” the crowd answered. “Who is trying to kill you?”
21 Jesus said to them, “I did one miracle, and you are all amazed.
22 Yet, because Moses gave you circumcision (though actually it did not come from Moses, but from the patriarchs), you circumcise a boy on the Sabbath.
23 Now if a boy can be circumcised on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses may not be broken, why are you angry with me for healing a man’s whole body on the Sabbath?
24 Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.”

Division Over Who Jesus Is

25 At that point some of the people of Jerusalem began to ask, “Isn’t this the man they are trying to kill?
26 Here he is, speaking publicly, and they are not saying a word to him. Have the authorities really concluded that he is the Messiah?
27 But we know where this man is from; when the Messiah comes, no one will know where he is from.”
28 Then Jesus, still teaching in the temple courts, cried out, “Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from. I am not here on my own authority, but he who sent me is true. You do not know him,
29 but I know him because I am from him and he sent me.”
30 At this they tried to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come.
31 Still, many in the crowd believed in him. They said, “When the Messiah comes, will he perform more signs than this man?”
32 The Pharisees heard the crowd whispering such things about him. Then the chief priests and the Pharisees sent temple guards to arrest him.
33 Jesus said, “I am with you for only a short time, and then I am going to the one who sent me.
34 You will look for me, but you will not find me; and where I am, you cannot come.”
35 The Jews said to one another, “Where does this man intend to go that we cannot find him? Will he go where our people live scattered among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks?
36 What did he mean when he said, ‘You will look for me, but you will not find me,’ and ‘Where I am, you cannot come’?”
37 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.
38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”[c]
39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.
40 On hearing his words, some of the people said, “Surely this man is the Prophet.”
41 Others said, “He is the Messiah.” Still others asked, “How can the Messiah come from Galilee?
42 Does not Scripture say that the Messiah will come from David’s descendants and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?”
43 Thus the people were divided because of Jesus.
44 Some wanted to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him.

Unbelief of the Jewish Leaders

45 Finally the temple guards went back to the chief priests and the Pharisees, who asked them, “Why didn’t you bring him in?”
46 “No one ever spoke the way this man does,” the guards replied.
47 “You mean he has deceived you also?” the Pharisees retorted.
48 “Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in him?
49 No! But this mob that knows nothing of the law—there is a curse on them.”
50 Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus earlier and who was one of their own number, asked,
51 “Does our law condemn a man without first hearing him to find out what he has been doing?”
52 They replied, “Are you from Galilee, too? Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee.”
53 Then they all went home,

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 65

  • 1. S John 1:19
  • 2. ver 19,25; S Matthew 12:14; John 5:18
  • 3. Leviticus 23:34; Deuteronomy 16:16
  • 4. S Matthew 12:46
  • 5. Psalms 69:8; Mark 3:21
  • 6. S Matthew 26:18
  • 7. John 15:18,19
  • 8. John 3:19,20
  • 9. ver 6; S Matthew 26:18
  • 10. John 11:56
  • 11. ver 40,43
  • 12. John 9:22; John 12:42; John 19:38; John 20:19
  • 13. ver 28; S Matthew 26:55
  • 14. S John 1:19
  • 15. Acts 26:24
  • 16. Matthew 13:54
  • 17. S John 3:11; John 14:24
  • 18. Psalms 25:14; John 8:43
  • 19. John 5:41; John 8:50,54
  • 20. Deuteronomy 32:46; John 1:17
  • 21. ver 1; S Matthew 12:14
  • 22. S Mark 3:22; John 8:48; John 10:20
  • 23. ver 23; John 5:2-9
  • 24. Leviticus 12:3
  • 25. Genesis 17:10-14
  • 26. 1 Samuel 16:7; Isaiah 11:3,4; John 8:15; 2 Corinthians 10:7
  • 27. ver 1; S Matthew 12:14
  • 28. ver 48
  • 29. John 4:29
  • 30. Matthew 13:55; Luke 4:22; John 6:42
  • 31. ver 14
  • 32. John 8:14
  • 33. John 8:26,42
  • 34. S Matthew 11:27
  • 35. S John 3:17
  • 36. ver 32,44; John 10:39
  • 37. S Matthew 26:18
  • 38. John 8:30; John 10:42; John 11:45; John 12:11,42
  • 39. S John 2:11
  • 40. John 12:35; John 13:33; John 16:16
  • 41. Jn 16:5,10,17,28
  • 42. ver 36; John 8:21; John 13:33
  • 43. S James 1:1
  • 44. John 12:20; Acts 17:4; Acts 18:4; 1 Peter 1:1
  • 45. ver 34
  • 46. Leviticus 23:36
  • 47. Isaiah 55:1; Revelation 22:17
  • 48. S John 3:15
  • 49. Isaiah 58:11
  • 50. S John 4:10
  • 51. S John 4:14
  • 52. Joel 2:28; John 1:33; Acts 2:17,33
  • 53. S John 20:22
  • 54. John 12:23; John 13:31,32
  • 55. S Matthew 21:11; John 1:21
  • 56. ver 52; John 1:46
  • 57. S Matthew 1:1
  • 58. Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:5,6; Luke 2:4
  • 59. John 6:52; John 9:16; John 10:19
  • 60. ver 30
  • 61. S Matthew 7:28
  • 62. ver 12
  • 63. John 12:42
  • 64. John 3:1; John 19:39
  • 65. ver 41

Footnotes 3

  • [a]. Some manuscripts "not have authority"
  • [b]. Some manuscripts "not yet"
  • [c]. Or "me. And let anyone drink" 38"who believes in me.” As Scripture has said, “Out of him" (or "them" ) "will flow rivers of living water.”"

John 7 Commentaries