John 7

1 After this Jesus went about in Galilee. He did not wish to go about in Judea because the Jews were looking for an opportunity to kill him.
2 Now the Jewish festival of Booths was near.
3 So his brothers said to him, "Leave here and go to Judea so that your disciples also may see the works you are doing;
4 for no one who wants to be widely known acts in secret. If you do these things, show yourself to the world."
5 (For not even his brothers believed in him.)
6 Jesus said to them, "My time has not yet come, but your time is always here.
7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify against it that its works are evil.
8 Go to the festival yourselves. I am not going to this festival, for my time has not yet fully come."
9 After saying this, he remained in Galilee.
10 But after his brothers had gone to the festival, then he also went, not publicly but as it were in secret.
11 The Jews were looking for him at the festival and saying, "Where is he?"
12 And there was considerable complaining about him among the crowds. While some were saying, "He is a good man," others were saying, "No, he is deceiving the crowd."
13 Yet no one would speak openly about him for fear of the Jews.
14 About the middle of the festival Jesus went up into the temple and began to teach.
15 The Jews were astonished at it, saying, "How does this man have such learning, when he has never been taught?"
16 Then Jesus answered them, "My teaching is not mine but his who sent me.
17 Anyone who resolves to do the will of God will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own.
18 Those who speak on their own seek their own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and there is nothing false in him.
19 "Did not Moses give you the law? Yet none of you keeps the law. Why are you looking for an opportunity to kill me?"
20 The crowd answered, "You have a demon! Who is trying to kill you?"
21 Jesus answered them, "I performed one work, and all of you are astonished.
22 Moses gave you circumcision (it is, of course, not from Moses, but from the patriarchs), and you circumcise a man on the sabbath.
23 If a man receives circumcision on the sabbath in order that the law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with me because I healed a man's whole body on the sabbath?
24 Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment."
25 Now some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, "Is not this the man whom they are trying to kill?
26 And here he is, speaking openly, but they say nothing to him! Can it be that the authorities really know that this is the Messiah?
27 Yet we know where this man is from; but when the Messiah comes, no one will know where he is from."
28 Then Jesus cried out as he was teaching in the temple, "You know me, and you know where I am from. I have not come on my own. But the one who sent me is true, and you do not know him.
29 I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me."
30 Then they tried to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him, because his hour had not yet come.
31 Yet many in the crowd believed in him and were saying, "When the Messiah comes, will he do more signs than this man has done?"
32 The Pharisees heard the crowd muttering such things about him, and the chief priests and Pharisees sent temple police to arrest him.
33 Jesus then said, "I will be with you a little while longer, and then I am going to him who sent me.
34 You will search 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 will not find him? Does he intend to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks and teach the Greeks?
36 What does he mean by saying, "You will search for me and you will not find me' and "Where I am, you cannot come'?"
37 On the last day of the festival, the great day, while Jesus was standing there, he cried out, "Let anyone who is thirsty come to me,
38 and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, "Out of the believer's heart shall flow rivers of living water.' "
39 Now he said this about the Spirit, which believers in him were to receive; for as yet there was no Spirit, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
40 When they heard these words, some in the crowd said, "This is really the prophet."
41 Others said, "This is the Messiah." But some asked, "Surely the Messiah does not come from Galilee, does he?
42 Has not the scripture said that the Messiah is descended from David and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?"
43 So there was a division in the crowd because of him.
44 Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him.
45 Then the temple police went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, "Why did you not arrest him?"
46 The police answered, "Never has anyone spoken like this!"
47 Then the Pharisees replied, "Surely you have not been deceived too, have you?
48 Has any one of the authorities or of the Pharisees believed in him?
49 But this crowd, which does not know the law—they are accursed."
50 Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus before, and who was one of them, asked,
51 "Our law does not judge people without first giving them a hearing to find out what they are doing, does it?"
52 They replied, "Surely you are not also from Galilee, are you? Search and you will see that no prophet is to arise from 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.

Footnotes 17

  • [a]. Other ancient authorities read [was not at liberty]
  • [b]. Or [Tabernacles]
  • [c]. Other ancient authorities read [wants it]
  • [d]. Other ancient authorities add [yet]
  • [e]. Other ancient authorities lack [as it were]
  • [f]. Or [this man know his letters]
  • [g]. Or [the Christ]
  • [h]. Or [the Christ]
  • [i]. Or [the Christ]
  • [j]. Other ancient authorities read [is doing]
  • [k]. Or [come to me and drink. +V38+WThe one who believes in me, as]
  • [l]. Gk [out of his belly]
  • [m]. Other ancient authorities read [for as yet the Spirit] (others, [Holy Spirit]) [had not been given]
  • [n]. Or [the Christ]
  • [o]. Or [the Christ]
  • [p]. Or [the Christ]
  • [q]. Gk [him]

John 7 Commentaries