John 7:1-53 - Outline of John (Book Notes menu page)
7:1 After these things Jesus walked in Galilee:
for he would not walk in Jewry
{ie., in Judaea},
because the Jews sought to kill him.
{cp. Joh 5:18}
7:2 Now the Jews' feast of tabernacles was at hand.
after these things- ie., the events of ch. 6, near a Passover (6:4).
feast of tabernacles- occurs in the fall, six months after Passover.
The events recorded in 7:2 through 10:21 took place at this feast.
  • Jesus has been ministering in Galilee for a year or more, since His last recorded visit to Jerusalem (in 5:1).
  • six months have elapsed since ch. 6.
  • six months remain before the Passover at which Jesus would be crucified.
The Feast of Tabernacles (tents), also called the Feast of Booths (HB= Succot), and the Feast of Ingathering (see Lev 23:33-43) is...
  • one of three feasts that all Jewish men were required to attend. Ex 23:14-17; Deu 16:16
  • a harvest celebration at the end of the growing season. Lev 23:39
  • a memorial of Israel's deliverance from Egypt. Lev 23:43
  • prophetic of Israel's future deliverance & restoration by the Messiah. Zech 14:16-19; Rev 21:3-6
    The prophetic significance of this feast may have prompted Peter's reaction when he was given a preview of Christ's kingdom glory, at His Transfiguration. Mat 17:4
the Jews- This term, as used by John, usually refers to the religious leaders
in contrast to the 'Jewish people.' While the religious leaders sought to kill Him, some of the people were seriously considering His claims (cp. v.31).
7:3 His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea,
that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest.
7:4 For [there is] no man [that] doeth any thing in secret,
and he himself seeketh to be known openly.
If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world.
7:5 For neither did his brethren believe in him.
his brethren...- ie., Mary's other children did not believe in Him as the Messiah
(Psa 69:8; Mat 12:46; 13:55; Mark 3:21,31; Joh 1:10,11), until after His death and resurrection (Acts 1:14).
The advice they offered Him may have been given with a measure of sarcasm, but
from the perspective of the natural man, it was sound: If you want your movement to grow...
  • Go into Judaea.- ie., For best advertising exposure,
    go to the population and political center, where crowds are gathering for the feast.
  • Do nothing in secret... Seek to be known openly... Show yourself to the world.
Jesus did not receive their counsel. His actions (eg., v.10 and 18) would be according to God's wisdom, which is foolishness to the world. 1Cor 2:14-16; 3:19
7:6 Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come:
but your time is alway ready.
7:7 The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth,
because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil
{GK= ponera, wicked, pernicious}.
7:8 Go ye up unto this feast:
I go not up yet unto this feast; for my time is not yet full come.
my time is not yet come.- This phrase is distinct from 'My hour is not yet come.'
  • time- GK= kairos, appointed time, season. This word is used 3x in v.6-8. (cp. use in Acts 1:7)
  • hour- GK= hora, a specific time. This word is used wherever Jesus spoke of 'His hour',
    referring to His sacrificial death on the cross. (2:4; 7:30; 8:20; 12:23; 13:1; 17:1)
my time... your time...- Whatever Jesus did was according to the Father's direction. 5:19; 8:28,29
His brothers acted according to their own discretion.
the world cannot hate you... me it hateth...
...because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.-
Thus far, in John's gospel, Jesus has not spoken against any specific sins. Rather, His testimony was that of a life totally devoted to "the will of the Father" (Joh 5:30), by which He condemned the self-serving world (cf. 1Joh 2:15-17). cp. Joh 3:19,20; 15:18,19; 17:14
I go not yet up... - He would go up to Jerusalem, but at the time appointed by the Father.
His worldly brothers were not so constrained and would do what they wanted, when they wanted.
7:9 When he had said these words unto them, he abode [still] in Galilee.
7:10 But when his brethren were gone up,
then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret.
in secret - GK= kruptos, secret, hidden, concealed. (also v.4)
He did not call attention to Himself.
Yet, He did not conceal God's word from the people. cp. v.14; Psa 40:9-10; Joh 18:20
7:11 Then the Jews sought him at the feast, and said, Where is he? {cp. v.25; 11:56}
7:12 And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him:
for some said, He is a good man:
others said, Nay; but he deceiveth the people.
7:13 Howbeit no man spake openly of him for fear of the Jews.
{ie., the religious leaders, cp. 9:22}
murmuring... concerning him- Jesus was 'the issue' at this feast,
even while He was hidden from public view. Popular opinion was widely divided. cp. v.43; Mat 10:32-36
7:14 Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught.
7:15 And the Jews marvelled, saying,
How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?
the midst of the feast - The Feast of Tabernacles extends for 7 days and concludes with an eighth day.
On or about day 4, Jesus 'suddenly appeared' in the temple. cp. Mal 3:1
He... taught.- His priority was on the Word of God (not on works, cf. v.3,4).
He did not come to prove Himself, but rather to present the Messiah (Himself) who was sent by God, and described by the scriptures. Joh 5:39
never learned.- ie., in a rabbinical school [cf. the credentials of Paul (Acts 22:3), Peter & John (Acts 4:13)]
However, from His youth, Jesus was taught of God. Isa 50:4,5; Psa 119:97-104; Luk 2:42-52
Likewise, His disciples must learn of Him. eg., Joh 6:45; Mat 11:28-30
7:16 Jesus answered them, and said,
My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.
7:17 If any man will do his will
{lit., if any man wills to do His will},
he shall know of the doctrine,
whether it be of God, or [whether] I speak of
{from} myself.
7:18 He that speaketh of
{from} himself seeketh his own glory:
but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true,
and no unrighteousness is in him.
7:19 Did not Moses give you the law, and [yet] none of you keepeth the law?
Why go ye about to kill me?
my doctrine is not mine...- See Deu 18:15,18,19, "...I will put my words in his mouth..."
cp. Joh 8:28,47; 12:49,50; 14:10,24; 17:8
if any man wills to do... he shall know...- God reveals His will to those who desire to obey Him.
The scribes of Jesus' day missed this important key to understanding God's Word (Luk 11:52).
Obedience, to God's will, begins with believing in Jesus Christ. Joh 6:29,40
Understanding, of God's will, grows in those who sincerely follow Him. cp. 8:31,32; Psa 25:9-14
he that seeks {not his own glory} but the glory of Him that sent Him... is true.- cp. Joh 8:50
Jesus was fully focused on fulfilling the purpose for which the Father commissioned Him.
He taught only the Father's message. He sought only to do the Father's will.
He stood in stark contrast to the religious leaders...
none of you...- ie., you religious leaders,
who have received the Law of Moses (v.19a),
who consider yourselves experts in the law (v.15, 48,49), and
who are responsible to teach it and to live according to it (cp. Mat 23:2,3; Mal 2:7,8)...
none of you keepeth {GK=poieo, does, fulfills} the law...- (cp. Rom 2:17-24)
In fact, they were actively planning to violate the sixth commandment: Ex 20:13.
Their will was far from alignment with God's will (v.17).
If they would not heed Moses' Law, how could they recognize the One sent by God? Joh 5:46,47; Gal 3:24
7:20 The people answered and said,
Thou hast a devil: who goeth about to kill thee?
the people answered...-
The crowd at large, which included many from other cities, may have been...
-- unaware of the leaders' plot to kill Jesus, or
-- unaware that the teacher to whom they were listening was Jesus. cp. v.25
you have a devil {demon}- in other words, 'You are crazy (or, paranoid)...' cp. Joh 10:20
7:21 Jesus answered and said unto them,
I have done one work, and ye all marvel.
7:22 Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision;
(not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers;)
{Gen 17:9,10}
and ye on the sabbath day circumcise a man.
7:23 If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision,
that the law of Moses should not be broken;
are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath day?
7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
I have done one work...- He refers to the healing at Bethesda, during His prior visit to Jerusalem.
Following that incident, the leaders sought to slay Him for violation of the sabbath (5:1-16).
ye on the sabbath day circumcise a man...- The argument, here, is as follows...
  • The covenant given to Abraham (who predates Moses) requires
    that an infant boy be circumcised on the eighth day after birth. Gen 17:8-14
    Moses included circumcision on the eighth day as a requirement of the law. Lev 12:3
  • Moses' law also requires that the sabbath be kept.
  • If the 'eighth day' falls on a sabbath, circumcision takes precedence over the sabbath,
    because it is 'lawful to do good' or 'to save life' on the sabbath. Mark 3:4
  • How, then, is healing, which makes a body whole, a violation of the sabbath?
    Circumcision (which cuts off a small portion of flesh) is allowed on the sabbath.
    Therefore, it was proper to heal the impotent man on the sabbath, for in doing so, Jesus had made his body "every whit whole" {completely healthy in every part}.
judge not according to 'appearance' {GK= opsis, that which meets the eye, face value}.-
In other words, Do not prejudge a case. cp. Deu 1:17; 16:18,19
Do not decide a matter for political advantage.
The 'appearance' of the Messiah would not favorably impress men. Isa 53:2
judge righteous judgment.- cp. v.51; Isa 11:1-4
The religious leaders had misjudged Him for healing on the sabbath.
He explained their error, and gave them an opportunity to reconsider.
7:25 Then said some of them of Jerusalem,
Is not this he, whom they seek to kill?
7:26 But, lo, he speaketh boldly, and they say nothing unto him.
Do the rulers know indeed that this is the very Christ
{truly the Christ}?
7:27 Howbeit we know this man whence he is:
but when Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence he is.
some... of Jerusalem...- At least, some of the residents of Jerusalem
were aware of their rulers' plot against Jesus. cp. v.20
he speaks boldly...- cp. v.14; Psa 40:9,10
they say nothing...- The people wondered:
Did the inaction of the leaders suggest that they had reconsidered Jesus' claims, and actually knew that He really was the Messiah?
when Christ comes, no man knows {from where he comes}-
On the other hand, some people thought that their knowledge of Jesus' origins (as having come from Nazareth) disqualified Him as the Messiah.
"The rabbis taught that the Messiah would come from Bethlehem, and then be hidden, no one knew where [as King Joash had been hidden, to protect him from a wicked ruler]. 2Chr 22:11; 23:11" [GWms]
Of course, these things were true of Him, but they had not searched out the facts. Mat 2:1-16
7:28 Then cried Jesus in the temple as he taught, saying,
Ye both know me, and ye know whence I am:
and I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true,
whom ye know not.
7:29 But I know him: for I am from him, and he hath sent me.
7:30 Then they sought to take him:
but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come.
ye know... ye know not...-
"Ye know Me as Jesus of Nazareth;
and yet you do not know Me, for you do not know Him that sent Me;
but I am from Him, and He that sent Me is true." [paraphrase by GWms]
he that sent me is true {ie., trustworthy, reliable} - in contrast to the ambivalent leaders.
he hath sent me.- Jesus is...
  • the One sent out from the Father {GK= pempo, v.28, cp. Joh 5:23}, and
  • the One sent on a mission by the Father {GK= apostello, v.29, cp. 5:36}.
they sought to take him.- 'take' is GK= piazo, to apprehend, to arrest (also used in v.32,44).
no man laid hands on him... his hour was not yet come.-
The hour of His sacrifice would not be determined by man. cp. 10:17,18
7:31 And many of the people believed on him, and said,
When Christ cometh, will he do more miracles than these which this [man] hath done?
7:32 The Pharisees heard that the people murmured such things concerning him;
and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take him.
The leaders could not tolerate public opinion in favor of Jesus. They took action.
7:33 Then said Jesus unto them,
Yet a little while am I with you, and [then] I go unto him that sent me.
7:34 Ye shall seek me, and shall not find [me]:
and where I am, [thither] ye cannot come.
7:35 Then said the Jews among themselves,
Whither will he go, that we shall not find him?
will he go unto the dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles?
7:36 What [manner of] saying is this that he said,
Ye shall seek me, and shall not find [me]: and where I am, [thither] ye cannot come?
yet a little while am I with you.- For a limited time, and in spite of their desire to destroy Him,
the One sent from the Father (v.28,29; cp. 5:23) would continue to tabernacle with His people.
cp. "...the Word...dwelt {lit., tabernacled, tented} among us..." (1:14)
(Remember, this chapter is set in the context of the Feast of Tabernacles. v.2)
[then] I go to Him that sent me.-
Jesus is speaking of His death and ascension. cp. 13:33; 16:19-22; 17:11
ye shall seek me, and shall not find me...-
After His departure, Israel would earnestly search {enquire}, but would not discover...
  1. His body, to disprove His resurrection.-
    "After His death on the cross, none but loving hands touched Him,
    none but loving eyes saw Him." [McGee]
  2. their Messiah, for national & personal deliverance. cp. 8:21,24; 12:35,36; Hos 5:5,6
will he go unto the dispersed...? - ie., to the Jewish people, who were scattered
among the Gentile nations, by the historic captivities of Israel. cp. James 1:1
They doubted that He would be able to hide from them. Yet, He was hidden already from their eyes.
7:37 In the last day, that great [day] of the feast,
Jesus stood and cried, saying,
If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
7:38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said,
out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
7:39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive:
for the Holy Ghost was not yet [given]; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
the great day of the feast - The seventh day, of the Feast of Tabernacles, is called
the 'Great Hosanna' (HB, Hoshanna Rabba) because of the use of prayers beginning with the word 'Hosanna' (meaning 'save now') and the singing of 'the Hallel' (Psalms 113 through 118; see Psa 118:25-29).
     On this seventh day, the celebrations reached their high point of significance and joy (the number 7 speaks of completion and fulfillment).
     While the second Temple stood, a special ceremony took place on each of the 7 days of the Feast of Tabernacles: A priest, in procession with trumpeters and singers, went from the temple to the Pool of Siloam (cp. the significance of this name, Joh 9:7, with v.28,29). From this pool, the priest filled a ceremonial pitcher with water and then returned to the temple, where the water was poured out at the altar of sacrifice, as the singers voiced the words of Isa 12:1-6.
This ceremony...
It was, as this ceremony came to its climactic conclusion, that Jesus' voice resounded in the temple courts:
if any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink...- cp. Isa 44:3; 55:1
He was announcing Himself as the Rock and Fountain of Israel. cp. Isa 32:1,2; Jer 2:13; 1Cor 10:1-4
His invitation includes the themes of...
  • election ('if any man thirst...'), v.37a; cp. Joh 6:37a
  • freewill ('let him come...'), v.37b; cp. 6:37b,40
  • personal participation ('...and drink. He that believeth...' v.37c,38).
    To truly trust in Him is to drink of Him. cp. 6:47
out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.- The source of this flow is not the believer,
but it is the Lord, from Whom the believer drinks, and by Whom the believer is continually supplied. cp. 4:14. See also Isa 12:3; 55:1; 58:11.
the Holy Spirit... was not yet given...-
The Holy Spirit was given to believers by Christ after His ascension into glory at God the Father's right hand. cp. Joh 16:7; Acts 2:33; Psa 68:18
7:40 Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying,
said, Of a truth this is the Prophet.
{Deu 18:15,18,19; Acts 3:19-23}
7:41 Others said, This is the Christ.
But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee?
7:42 Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh
of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?
7:43 So there was a division among the people because of him.
7:44 And some of them would have taken him; but no man laid hands on him.
hath not the scripture said...- Some of the people appealed to the authority of scripture.
But they failed to search out His credentials. Jesus was, in fact...
-- of the seed of David. Isa 11:1; Mat 1:1-17; Luk 3:23-38
-- of Bethlehem. Mic 5:2; Luk 2:1-6; Mat 2:1-12
a division among the people...- His outcry in the temple demanded a response.
Either, He is the Messiah, God's Anointed One, or He is a blasphemer worthy of death.
7:45 Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees;
and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him?
{cp. v.32}
7:46 The officers answered, Never man spake like this man.
Never man spake like this man.- lit., 'Never so spake man--as this man.' [YLT] -
Their report implies...
7:47 Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived?
7:48 Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him?
7:49 But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed.
the rulers and the Pharisees -
  • were educated in the scriptures (cp. v.15),
  • were charged with teaching the law to the people (cp. v.49),
  • dangerously elevated their own authority above that of scripture. cp. v.48; Isa 29:11-19
have any of the rulers... believed...?- Some had, many would. cp. Joh 12:42; 19:38,39; Acts 6:7
7:50 Nicodemus saith unto them, (he that came to Jesus by night, being one of them,)
7:51 Doth our law judge [any] man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth?
7:52 They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee?
Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet.
Nicodemus- who had gone to Jesus with questions (Joh 3:1-f), and had taken time to 'hear Him,'
suggested that the assembly of rulers do the same, in keeping with the law (cp. v.24; Deu 1:16,17; Prov 18:13).
search and look... out of Galilee ariseth no prophet.- They dismissed Jesus' claims out of hand.
He was disqualified according to their 'superior knowledge' of scripture.
     But in truth, they neither knew God's Word, nor His sent One (cp. v.16,17; cp. Isa 9:1,2 with Mat 4:13-16). Jesus had made Himself available (v.33), but they did not want to know Him (v.28,29). Any of them could have enquired of Him privately (as Nicodemus had once done). Yet, they refused their own counsel to "search and look" {GK=eido, to discern, to discover, to perceive} (cp. Joh 5:39). Therefore, He would remain unknown to them.
     The truth concerning Him, like His presence at the feast, was not presented ostentatiously, but "as it were in secret" (v.10), to be discovered by those who thirsted for it (v.37).
7:53 And every man went unto his own house.
8:1 Jesus went unto the mount of Olives.
Note the movement here:
  • they, away from Him.
    He, away from them.
  • they, to their private lives.
    He, to the mount of Olives, a place central to the purpose for which the Father had sent Him (v.28,29):
    1. where, six months later, when His 'hour' came, He would be pressed beyond measure in Gethsemane. Luk 22:39-42
    2. where, at His second coming, He will be recognized and received as Israel's Deliverer. Zech 12:10; 13:1; 14:1-4,9

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