John 7

Jesus Goes to the Feast of Booths

1 After this, Jesus went around in Galilee. He stayed away from Judea on purpose. He knew that the Jews there were waiting to kill him.
2 The Jewish Feast of Booths was near.
3 Jesus' brothers said to him, "You should leave here and go to Judea. Then your disciples will see the kinds of things you do.
4 No one who wants to be well known does things in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world."
5 Even Jesus' own brothers did not believe in him.
6 So Jesus told them, "The right time has not yet come for me. For you, any time is right.
7 The people of the world can't hate you. But they hate me. This is because I give witness that what they do is evil.
8 "You go to the Feast. I am not yet going up to this Feast. For me, the right time has not yet come."
9 After he said this, he stayed in Galilee.
10 When his brothers had left for the Feast, he went also. But he went secretly, not openly.
11 At the Feast the Jews were watching for him. They were asking, "Where is he?"
12 Many people in the crowd were whispering about him. Some said, "He is a good man." Others replied, "No. He fools the people."
13 But no one would say anything about him openly. They were afraid of the Jews.

Jesus Teaches at the Feast

14 Jesus did nothing until halfway through the Feast. Then he went up to the temple courtyard and began to teach.
15 The Jews were amazed. They asked, "How did this man learn so much without studying?"
16 Jesus answered, "What I teach is not my own. It comes from the One who sent me.
17 Anyone who chooses to do what God wants him to do will find out whether my teaching comes from God or from me.
18 Someone who speaks on his own does it to get honor for himself. But someone who works for the honor of the One who sent him is truthful. There is nothing false about him.
19 "Didn't Moses give you the law? But not one of you keeps the law. Why are you trying to kill me?"
20 "You are controlled by demons," the crowd answered. "Who is trying to kill you?"
21 Jesus said to them, "I did one miracle, and you are all amazed.
22 Moses gave you circumcision, and so you circumcise a child on the Sabbath day. But circumcision did not really come from Moses. It came from Abraham.
23 You circumcise a child on the Sabbath day. You think that if you do, you won't break the law of Moses. Then why are you angry with me? I healed a whole man on the Sabbath!
24 "Stop judging only by what you see. Judge correctly."

Is Jesus the Christ?

25 Then some of the people of Jerusalem began asking questions. They said, "Isn't this the man some people are trying to kill?
26 Here he is! He is speaking openly. They aren't saying a word to him. Have the authorities really decided that he is the Christ?
27 But we know where this man is from. When the Christ comes, no one will know where he is from."
28 Jesus was still teaching in the temple courtyard. He cried out, "Yes, you know me. And you know where I am from. I am not here on my own. The One who sent me is true. You do not know him.
29 But I know him. I am from him, and he sent me."
30 When he said this, they tried to arrest him. But no one laid a hand on him. His time had not yet come.
31 Still, many people in the crowd put their faith in him. They said, "How will it be when the Christ comes? Will he do more miraculous signs than this man?"
32 The Pharisees heard the crowd whispering things like this 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. Then I will go to the One who sent me.
34 You will look for me, but you won't find me. You can't come where I am going."
35 The Jews said to one another, "Where does this man plan to go? Does he think we can't find him? Will he go where our people live scattered among the Greeks? Will he go there to teach the Greeks?
36 What did he mean when he said, 'You will look for me, but you won't find me'? And, 'You can't come where I am going'?"
37 It was the last and most important day of the Feast. Jesus stood up and spoke in a loud voice. He said, "Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.
38 Does anyone believe in me? Then, just as Scripture says, streams of living water will flow from inside him."
39 When he said this, he meant the Holy Spirit. Those who believed in Jesus would receive the Spirit later. Up to that time, the Spirit had not been given. This was because Jesus had not yet received glory.
40 When some of the people heard his words, they said, "This man must be the Prophet we've been expecting."
41 Others said, "He is the Christ." Still others asked, "How can the Christ come from Galilee?
42 Doesn't Scripture say that the Christ will come from David's family? Doesn't it say that he will come from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?"
43 So the people did not agree about who Jesus was.
44 Some wanted to arrest him. But no one laid a hand on him.

The Jewish Leaders Do Not Believe

45 Finally the temple guards went back to the chief priests and the Pharisees. They asked the guards, "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 fooled you also?" the Pharisees asked.
48 "Have any of the rulers or Pharisees believed in him?
49 No! But this mob knows nothing about the law. There is a curse on them."
50 Then Nicodemus, a Pharisee, spoke. He was the one who had gone to Jesus earlier. He asked,
51 "Does our law find someone guilty without hearing him first? Doesn't it want to find out what he is doing?"
52 They replied, "Are you from Galilee too? Look into it. You will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee."
53 Then each of them 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.

John 7 Commentaries