John 7

Jesus’ Brothers Do Not Believe in Him

1 And after these [things] Jesus was going about in Galilee. For he did not want to go about in Judea, because the Jews were seeking to kill him.
2 Now the feast of the Jews--the [feast of] Tabernacles--was near.
3 So his brothers said to him, "Depart from here and go to Judea, so that your disciples also can see your works that you are doing.
4 For no one does anything in secret and [yet] he himself desires to be {publicly recognized}. If you are doing these [things], reveal yourself to the world!"
5 (For not even his brothers believed in him.)

Jesus at the Feast of Tabernacles

6 So Jesus said to them, "My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready.
7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates me, because I am testifying about it, that its deeds are evil.
8 You go up to the feast. I am not going up to this feast, because my time is not yet completed.
9 And [when he] had said these [things], he remained in Galilee.
10 But when his brothers had gone up to the feast, then he also went up, not openly, but (as it were) in secret.
11 So the Jews were looking for him at the feast, and were saying, "Where is he?"
12 And there was a lot of grumbling concerning him among the crowds; some were saying, "He is a good [man]," but others were saying, "No, but he deceives the crowd."
13 However, no one was speaking openly about him for fear of the Jews.
14 {Now when the feast was already half over}, Jesus went to the temple [courts] and began to teach.
15 Then the Jews were astonished, saying, "How does this man {possess knowledge}, [because he] has not been taught?"
16 So Jesus answered them and said, "My teaching is not mine, but [is] from the one who sent me.
17 If anyone wants to do his will, he will know about my teaching, whether it is from God or I am speaking from myself.
18 The one who speaks from himself seeks his own glory. But the one who seeks the glory of the one who sent him--this one is true, and there is no unrighteousness in him.
19 Has not Moses given you the law, and none of you carries out the law? Why do you seek to kill me?"
20 The crowd replied, "You have a demon! Who is seeking to kill you?"
21 Jesus answered and said to them, "I performed one work, and you are all astonished.
22 Because of this Moses has given you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath.
23 If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses would not be broken, are you angry with me because I made a whole man well on the Sabbath?
24 Do not judge according to outward appearance, but judge according to righteous judgment!"

Is Jesus the Christ?

25 Then some of the inhabitants of Jerusalem began to say, "Is this not [the one] whom they are seeking to kill?
26 And behold, he is speaking openly and they are saying nothing to him! Can it be that the rulers truly know that this man is the Christ?
27 Yet we know where this man is from, but the Christ, whenever he comes--no one knows where he is from!"
28 Then Jesus cried out in the temple [courts], teaching and saying, "You both know me and you know where I am from! And I have not come from myself, but the one who sent me is true, whom you do not know.
29 I know him, because I am from him and he sent me."
30 So they were seeking to seize him, and no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come.
31 But from the crowd many believed in him and were saying, "Whenever the Christ comes, he will not perform more signs than this man has done, [will he]?"
32 The Pharisees heard the crowd murmuring these [things] about him, and the chief priests and the Pharisees sent officers in order {to take him into custody }.
33 Then Jesus said, "Yet a little time I am with you, and I am going to the one who sent me.
34 You will seek me and will not find [me], and where I am, you cannot come."
35 So the Jews said to one another, "Where [is] this one going to go, that we will not find him? He is not going to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks and teach the Greeks, [is he]?
36 What is this saying that he said, 'You will seek me and will not find [me], and where I am, you cannot come'?"

The Promise of the Spirit

37 Now on the last day of the feast--the great [day]--Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me, and let him drink,
38 the one who believes in me. Just as the scripture said, 'Out of his belly will flow rivers of living water.'"
39 Now he said this concerning the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were about to receive. For the Spirit was not yet [given], because Jesus had not yet been glorified.)

Different Opinions About Jesus

40 Then, [when they] heard these words, [some] from the crowd began to say, "This man is truly the Prophet!"
41 Others were saying, "This man is the Christ!" But others were saying, "No, for the Christ does not come from Galilee, [does he]?
42 Has not the scripture said that the Christ comes from the descendants of David, and from Bethlehem, the village where David was?"
43 So there was a division in the crowd because of him.
44 And some of them were wanting to seize him, but no one laid hands on him.
45 So the officers came to the chief priests and Pharisees. And they said to them, "{Why} did you not bring him?"
46 The officers replied, "Never has a man spoken like this!"
47 Then the Pharisees replied to them, "You have not also been deceived, [have you]?
48 {None} of the rulers or of the Pharisees have believed in him, [have they]?
49 But this crowd who does not know the law is accursed!"
50 Nicodemus, the one who came to him previously--who was one of them--said to them,
51 "Our law does not condemn a man unless it first hears from him and knows what he is doing, [does it]?"
52 They answered and said to him, "You are not also from Galilee, [are you]? Investigate and see that a prophet does not arise from Galilee!" [[
53 And each one went to his [own] house.

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.

Footnotes 33

  • [a]. Literally "with openness"
  • [b]. Most manuscripts read "not yet" here, but this is obviously an easier reading intended to reconcile the statement with Jesus' later actions
  • [c]. Or "fulfilled"
  • [d]. *Here "[when]" is supplied as a component of the participle ("had said") which is understood as temporal
  • [e]. Literally "now it being already in the middle of the feast"
  • [f]. *Here "[courts]" is supplied to distinguish this area from the interior of the temple building itself
  • [g]. *The imperfect tense has been translated as ingressive here ("began to teach")
  • [h]. Literally "know letters"
  • [i]. *Here "[because]" is supplied as a component of the participle ("been taught") which is understood as causal
  • [j]. *Literally "the"; the Greek article is used here as a possessive pronoun
  • [k]. Or "a man entirely well"
  • [l]. *The imperfect tense has been translated as ingressive here ("began to say")
  • [m]. *Here "[courts]" is supplied to distinguish this area from the interior of the temple building itself
  • [n]. *The negative construction in Greek anticipates a negative answer here, indicated in the translation by the phrase "[will he]"
  • [o]. Literally "that they could seize him"
  • [p]. *Here the direct object is supplied from context in the English translation
  • [q]. Some manuscripts explicitly state "me"
  • [r]. *The negative construction in Greek anticipates a negative answer here, indicated in the translation by the phrase "[is he]"
  • [s]. *Here the direct object is supplied from context in the English translation
  • [t]. Some manuscripts explicitly state "me"
  • [u]. An alternative punctuation of vv. 37-38 reads: "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and let him drink. 38 The one who believes in me, just as the scripture said, 'Out of his belly will flow rivers of living water.'"
  • [v]. A quotation from the Old Testament of uncertain origin; texts most often suggested are Isa 44:3; 55:1; 58:11; Zech 14:8
  • [w]. A few manuscripts supply the participle "given" here; while it is unlikely this represents the original reading, many English versions nevertheless supply "given" to avoid the impression that the Spirit did not exist prior to this point
  • [x]. *Here "[when]" is supplied as a component of the participle ("heard") which is understood as temporal
  • [y]. *The imperfect tense has been translated as ingressive here ("began to say")
  • [z]. *The negative construction in Greek anticipates a negative answer here, indicated in the translation by the phrase "[does he]"
  • [aa]. Literally "because of what"
  • [ab]. *The negative construction in Greek anticipates a negative answer here, indicated in the translation by the phrase "[have you]"
  • [ac]. Literally "not anyone"
  • [ad]. *The negative construction in Greek anticipates a negative answer here, indicated in the translation by the phrase "[have they]"
  • [ae]. *The negative construction in Greek anticipates a negative answer here, indicated in the translation by the phrase "[does it]"
  • [af]. *The negative construction in Greek anticipates a negative answer here, indicated in the translation by the phrase "[are you]"
  • [ag]. John 7:53-8:11 is not found in the earliest and best manuscripts and was almost certainly not an original part of the Gospel of John; one significant group of Greek manuscripts places it after Luke 21:38

John 7 Commentaries