John 7

It is the comfort of those who embrace Christ’s doctrine that it is a divine doctrine, proven so by the blessed experience of what He promises. He is the source of the refreshing fountain of the Holy Spirit, which comes to replenish the soul that thirsts for Him, and to supply a fullness of life that overflows in blessing to other lives.

1 After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him.

2 Now the Jews’ feast of tabernacles was at hand.

3 His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest.

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.

5 For neither did his brethren believe in him.

6 Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is alway ready.

7 The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.

8 Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast; for my time is not yet full come.

9 When he had said these words unto them, he abode still in Galilee.

10 ¶ But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret.

11 Then the Jews sought him at the feast, and said, Where is he?

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.

13 Howbeit no man spake openly of him for fear of the Jews.

14 ¶ Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught.

15 And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?

16 Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.

17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.

18 He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.

19 Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me?

20 The people answered and said, Thou hast a devil: who goeth about to kill thee?

21 Jesus answered and said unto them, I have done one work, and ye all marvel.

22 Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision; (not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers;) and ye on the sabbath day circumcise a man.

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?

24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

25 Then said some of them of Jerusalem, Is not this he, whom they seek to kill?

26 But, lo, he speaketh boldly, and they say nothing unto him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is the very Christ?

27 Howbeit we know this man whence he is: but when Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence he is.

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.

29 But I know him: for I am from him, and he hath sent me.

30 Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come.

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?

32 ¶ The Pharisees heard that the people murmured such things concerning him; and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take him.

33 Then said Jesus unto them, Yet a little while am I with you, and then I go unto him that sent me.

34 Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come.

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?

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?

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.

38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

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.)

40 ¶ Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet.

41 Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee?

42 Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?

43 So there was a division among the people because of him.

44 And some of them would have taken him; but no man laid hands on him.

45 ¶ Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him?

46 The officers answered, Never man spake like this man.

47 Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived?

48 Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him?

49 But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed.

50 Nicodemus saith unto them, (he that came to Jesus by night, being one of them,)

51 Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth?

52 They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet.

53 And every man went unto his own house.

John 7:1-13 – ​Known by Our Attitude toward Jesus

   This feast was celebrated in October. Six entire months had elapsed between this and the preceding chapter. During the Feast of Tabernacles the people dwelt in tents made of boughs, on the roofs of the houses, and in the open places in or around Jerusalem. The rites of the feast recalled the miraculous interpositions of the Exodus. Water was poured forth each morning in the Temple to recall the smiting of the rock. Two candelabra, lighted each evening, represented the luminous cloud which lighted the Israelites by night. The brethren of Jesus are named in Matthew 13:55, of whom James afterward became chief pastor of the Jerusalem church. They could not deny His miracles; could not understand why he did not lead the popular movement that was ready to follow; and urged that he should at least give the authorities at the capital an opportunity of examining His claims. They felt that things had reached a point where there ought to be no standing still. Jesus could not explain the reasons that actuated Him. He knew that His open challenge to Jerusalem would mean His death; but there was yet further work to be done before His time should come. Let us use our time according to the divine plan. —Through the Bible Day by Day

John 7:14-24 – ​How to Know the Truth of Jesus’ Word

   Jesus now went up to the feast, not because he was prompted by the worldly policy suggested by His brethren, but because He was led by His Father’s will. We must be on our guard against unspiritual advisers, and must wait till the hour and the minute-hands of the clock have reached the precise moment of the Father’s appointment.
   Here is an easy method of ascertaining whether our Lord’s words about God, Himself, and the future are merely the words of a human teacher, or are really God’s. Be willing to do as He says! Stand prepared to fulfill whatever is revealed to your mind and witnessed to by the inner voice! Live with your face toward the dawn, for though it tarry long it will certainly break. See John 3:21. Faith in the gospel does not come by logic, but as the result of obeying the highest truth that you know. Follow on and your path will lead you out to where Jesus stands, the revealed Son of God and the Savior of men. The old quarrel as to the miracle wrought at Bethesda on the Sabbath was still alive, John 7:22-23. His critics did not hold that the Mosaic law was violated if a child’s submission to the Jewish initiatory rite was performed on the Sabbath. How foolish, then, to blame Jesus for an act of mercy and healing! —Through the Bible Day by Day

John 7:17 – ​It requires a well-kept life to do the will of God, and even a better kept life to will to do His will. To be willing is a rarer grace than to be doing the will of God. For he who is willing may sometimes have nothing to do, and must only be willing to wait; and it is easier far to be doing God’s will than to be willing to have nothing to do – it is easier far to be working for Christ than it is to be willing to cease. (Drummond)

​John 7:17 – Life fellowship with Jesus is the only school for the science of heavenly things. (Andrew Murray)

John 7:25-31 – ​The Unavoidable Christ

   The freedom with which Jesus preached arrested the attention of the people in Jerusalem, and many wondered whether the cessation of hostility indicated a tacit admission on the part of the authorities that Jesus was what He claimed to be. But they were deferred in arriving at this final conclusion by the consideration that the origin of the Messiah would be unknown, John 7:27. Jesus answered this objection in John 7:28-29. He says in effect: “What you say is true: the Messiah’s origin is not known: but my origin is unknown, because it is from God, whom you, notwithstanding your profession, do not know. I know Him, but to you He is only a venerable Name.” The knowledge of the birth at Bethlehem and the lowly family of Jesus, will not explain the mystery of His Person or the secret of His influence on men. All that can only be accounted for by His divine glory as the Only-Begotten of the Father. His hearers immediately recognized the greatness of these claims, which appeared to them blasphemous, though to us they are the literal truth. While the adversaries of Jesus were strengthened in their purpose, His friends were confirmed in their faith. John 7:31 is a decided advance upon John 7:12. See II Corinthians 2:16. —Through the Bible Day by Day

John 7:32-39 – ​A Spring of Life-giving Water

   “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God” (1 Corinthians 2:14). The truth of that saying clearly appears in the earlier part of this section. When the Lord spoke of returning to the Father His hearers supposed that He was proposing to visit the Jews of the Dispersion. But how profound are these words of promise to those who come to Him! He is not content with speaking of a river. He uses the plural–rivers shall flow from Him. Add stream to stream, torrent to torrent, river to river, and these will barely suffice to set forth the freshness and abundance of life that shall proceed from the soul that previously had been thirsty for its own personal supply.
   When our Lord ascended he received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, and then a new era broke on the world. The life of the believer was no longer only an imitation of obedience. It was the uprising and outpouring of the Holy Spirit from within. We become strengthened with might in the inner man and Christ dwells in our hearts by faith. Thereupon we not only are infilled of the Spirit, but it is His gracious ministry to mankind through us that makes the desert rejoice and blossom. —Through the Bible Day by Day

John 7:39—The Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.

​   Calvary must precede the Ascension, and both must come before Pentecost. The glorified Lord was the text on which the Spirit was to discourse, and the text must be complete before the sermon can commence. Moreover, it was only when our Lord had ascended to the right hand of the Father, that He could receive or transmit the Divine Comforter. It was needful for Him to be by the right hand of God exalted, before He could ask for and receive, and shed forth the Holy Spirit of promise. The one Paraclete must finish his work, and be withdrawn, ere the other could come to take up and finish his work on earth. The Son must sit down on the throne, or the Spirit could not descend to sit on each of the disciples.
   But there is a deep inner lesson for us all in these words. We sometimes wonder why we have not received the Spirit, and why our lives are not channels through which He pours in mighty rivers to make desert hearts and lives blossom and sing. How gladly would we part with all beside, if we might be conscious that not tiny streamlets, not one river of holy influence merely, but that rivers were issuing from us as the waters from the temple threshold!
   Is not the reason to be sought in our neglect to glorify Christ? We have never yet abandoned ourselves to Him, content to live the branch-life, with no other aim than to realize the one purpose of his most blessed life, the glorifying of the Father. We have never seriously made it our life-purpose to glorify the Lord Jesus. There has been no triumphal entry into our hearts, no enthronisation, no challenge to the gates of our soul that they should lift themselves up to admit the King of Glory. —Our Daily Homily

John 7:40-53 – ​The Blindness of Prejudice

   These short descriptions of the impressions made on His hearers by the discourses of Jesus indicate the double development which was resulting from His ministry. Those in favor spoke of the Prophet and the Christ. Compare John 1:21; 6:14. Others raised objections, John 7:41-42. Others again desired to take action, John 7:44.
   Though it was a holy day, the Sanhedrin was in session to receive the report of their officers. These, by their candid statement, unconsciously passed a strange criticism on the religious speakers to whom they were wont to listen. Compare John 7:48 with John 7:50 and John 3.
   How greatly Nicodemus had grown since his night-visit to Jesus! And he was to advance still further, John 19:39. The appeal to history was apparently true. Jonah is the only prophet who might have been quoted as an apparent exception, but he may only have been a resident in Galilee when the summons came to him. The reasoning of John 7:52, however, was not conclusive. Even if none had arisen, it was the more likely that the Divine Spirit should choose the most humble origin; and the one most in keeping with the peasant-birth of the manger-bed. —Through the Bible Day by Day