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Book of John
Chapter 7

The Gospel of John for Youth
Commentary by Pastor Ron Beckham

John Chapter 7

(Words in red in the Scriptures are the words of Jesus)

Verse 1. "After these things Jesus was walking in Galilee, for He was unwilling to walk in Judea because the Jews were seeking to kill Him."

Isn’t this amazing? Here was God the Son, on earth to save us from our sins, and those He came to first (the Jews), wanted to kill Him. Actually, it was the Jewish LEADERS who hated Him, because He is God and they wanted to do things THEIR way, not His.

Verse 2. "Now the feast of the Jews, the Feast of Booths, was near."

"Booths" or "Tabernacles" was a feast of the Jews, in which they remembered the time they (Israel) had lived in tents ("booths") in the desert, after leaving Egypt. They also worshipped God in a tent (called The Tabernacle).

Verse 3. "Therefore His brothers said to Him, ‘Leave here and go into Judea, so that Your disciples also may see Your works which You are doing.’"

"His brothers" were Jesus’ half-brothers, named James, Joseph, Simon and Judas, as we see in Matthew 13:55. They were criticizing Him and telling Him He should to the Feast of Booths in Jerusalem (see verse 2) to show everybody His miracles.

Verse 4. "For no one does anything in secret when he himself seeks to be known publicly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world."

Jesus’ half-brothers were criticizing Him. They had seen Him do miracles but did not trust in Him. They should have, just as we should. They wanted Him to do miracles for "the world", but miracles are not what we need. We need to love the Lord.

Verse 5. "For not even His brothers were believing in Him."

In verses 3 and 4, Jesus’ brothers had been telling Him what they thought He should do, and this is so much like us. We often think God should do something that WE want Him to do, when in fact, we really should just BELIEVE in Him.

Verse 6. "So Jesus said to them, ‘My time is not yet here, but your time is always opportune.’"

Jesus depended completely on the Holy Spirit of God, in what He said and did. He would know in the Spirit when it was time for Him to go to Jerusalem. His brothers wanted Him to be impulsive, but He was faithful to God.

Verse 7. "The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil."

Jesus’ half-brothers wanted Him to do "tricks" (miracles) in front of everybody, so they could say "that’s my brother!" They were embarrassed by Him and did not know Who He was (and is). They needed to see that all people are sinners in need of the Son of God.

Verse 8. "Go up to the feast yourselves; I do not go up to this feast because My time has not yet fully come."

It was not yet time for Jesus to go to the Feast of Booths (verse 2), for the Holy Spirit had not yet revealed to Him it was time to go. He told his half-brothers to go to the Feast without Him.

Verse 9. "Having said these things to them, He stayed in Galilee."

Jesus’ half-brothers went to Jerusalem (verse 10) but Jesus did not go with them. He stayed in the place called "Galilee", which was north of Jerusalem.

Verse 10. "But when His brothers had gone up to the feast, then He Himself also went up, not publicly, but as if, in secret."

After Jesus’ half-brothers had left for the Feast, the Holy Spirit revealed to Him that it was now time for Him to go. He did not make some big announcement about it, but just quietly went.

Verse 11. "So the Jews were seeking Him at the feast and were saying, ‘Where is He?’"

The Jews (the religious people attending the Feast) did not know what Jesus looked like and wondered who (and where) He was. They wanted to see Him, some for good reasons, and others for bad (see the next verse).

Verse 12. "There was much grumbling among the crowds concerning Him; some were saying, ‘He is a good man’; others were saying, ‘No, on the contrary, He leads the people astray.’"

The "Jews" (verse 11) were religious people who were attending the Feast of Booths, and they were arguing among themselves about Jesus. Some thought He was a "good man" and others did not agree. None of them understood that He was God.

Verse 13. "Yet no one was speaking openly of Him for fear of the Jews."

The arguments about Jesus (verse 12), were in whispers, because the people at the Feast were afraid of what the Jewish leaders might say.

Verse 14. "But when it was now the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and began to teach."

The Feast of Booths (verse 2) lasted seven days and now it was right in the middle of that time. The Holy Spirit had indicated to Jesus that "now" was the time, and He began to openly teach the people.

Verse 15. "The Jews then were astonished, saying, ‘How has this man become learned, having never been educated?’"

Can you imagine hearing Jesus teach? Actually, we CAN hear Him – all we have to do is open the Bible and read His words. Jesus had not gone to the same schools as the Jewish leaders. They were amazed at His teaching, for He knew much more than they did.

Verse 16. "So Jesus answered them and said, ‘My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me.’"

Everything Jesus taught during the time He was a man on this earth, came from God the Father, through the Holy Spirit of God. We see in this chapter of John that Jesus did nothing and said nothing, except what He was led to do by the Holy Spirit.

Verse 17. "If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself."

If you are willing to trust in God and look to Him, you will KNOW that the teaching and actions of Jesus, came from God the Father. Nothing He did was of Himself but all was done because He was led by the Holy Spirit.

Verse 18. "He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him."

Jesus’ brothers had wanted Him to do things for "his own glory" (see verse 4), but Jesus always sought to glorify God the Father who sent Him. God is simply the TRUTH – and there is no sin in Him. We are sinners but He is not.

Verse 19. "Did not Moses give you the Law, and yet none of you carries out the Law? Why do you seek to kill Me?"

The Law of God was given through Moses, as we see in the Old Testament Book of Exodus (and in other Scriptures). The Jewish leaders were pretending to keep the Law but they did not. Jesus now suddenly asked them, "Why do you want to kill Me?" (for if they wanted to kill Him, they broke the Law).

Verse 20. "The crowd answered, ‘You have a demon! Who seeks to kill You?’"

Those who were listening to Him, started shouting, "You’re nuts! You’re possessed by some kind of demon! We’re not Lawbreakers!" They did not want to be sinners, and so they started blaming HIM for who and what they were.

Verse 21. "Jesus answered them, ‘I did one deed, and you all marvel.’"

The "deed" they were all talking about, was the healing of the man at the Pool of Bethesda, in Chapter 5. Jesus had healed him on the Sabbath (Saturday – the "day of rest") and He was thought by the Jewish leaders to be a Lawbreaker. They were amazed by what had happened.

Verse 22. "For this reason Moses has given you circumcision (not because it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and on the Sabbath you circumcise a man."

A Jewish boy was to be circumcised when he was 8-days old, and it would be done even when the 8th day was on the Sabbath. Jesus told them it was for that very reason circumcism had been given – that we might understand it is always right to do good, and when we do it is less important.

Verse 23. "If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath so that the Law of Moses will not be broken, are you angry with Me because I made an entire man well on the Sabbath?"

Jesus continues to teach them that doing something good for another person is always a good thing to do. If it’s OK to circumcise a child on the Sabbath, He was telling them, why were they upset that He healed a man on the Sabbath? It is better to follow God than just the commands of men.

Verse 24. "Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment."

All people are judges because all of us make decisions by what we see. The best way to judge is to look to God. He is righteous and He will help us to understand.

Verse 25. "So some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, ‘Is this not the man whom they are seeking to kill?’"

Jesus’ teaching was really wonderful and they were amazed by what He said. In spite of what they had said in verse 20, the people knew that the Jewish leaders wanted to kill Jesus. They now noticed that Jesus spoke openly and the leaders did nothing to Him.

Verse 26. "Look, He is speaking publicly, and they are saying nothing to Him. The rulers do not really know that this is the Christ, do they?"

The people had noticed that Jesus was teaching openly, in front of everybody, and the leaders, who were stunned by His teachings, did nothing to stop Him. The people were wondering, "do the leaders know He is the Christ but they are just not telling us?"

Verse 27. "However, we know where this man is from; but whenever the Christ may come, no one knows where He is from."

The people were troubled about Jesus. They wanted the Christ, the Messiah, to be someone mysterious and amazing; but they knew that Jesus was from the area of Galilee. They thought they knew where He was from, but they did not – He was sent to them (and to you and me) from God the Father.

Verse 28. "Then Jesus cried out in the temple, teaching and saying, ‘You both know Me and know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know.’"

Jesus knew their thoughts, and shouted, "You only think you know Me and where I am from. There’s so much more you don’t understand. I was sent by the Father, and He is true. You don’t know Him and that is why you don’t understand."

Verse 29. "I know Him, because I am from Him, and He sent Me."

We need to listen to Jesus, because He is the Son of God, sent to us by God the Father, and He is the One who has been with God and has come to tell of Him.

Verse 30. "So they were seeking to seize Him; and no man laid his hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come."

Some think Jesus’ death was an "accident", something out of His control. But that’s not true. They could do NOTHING to Him, until it was His "hour" when He was to die for our sins.

Verse 31. But many of the crowd believed in Him; and they were saying, ‘When the Christ comes, He will not perform more signs than those which this man has, will He?’"

Many of the people at the Feast really LISTENED to Him and believed in Him. They saw that what He had done was WONDERFUL, and they had seen all they needed in order to trust in Him. We should trust in Him, too.

Verse 32. "The Pharisees heard the crowd muttering these things about Him, and the chief priests and the Pharisees sent officers to seize Him."

The Pharisees were religious leaders among the Jews. They saw that the people were trusting in Jesus, and they did not want the people to believe, so they sent men to arrest Him.

Verse 33. "Therefore Jesus said, ‘For a little while longer I am with you, then I go to Him who sent Me.’"

Jesus knew it would soon be time for Him to die for our sins, and then He would go back to His home with God the Father.

Verse 34. "You will seek Me, and will not find Me; and where I am, you cannot come."

Jesus, God the Son, was openly here on earth, speaking with people. But He would soon leave, and He would be gone. Then the only way they would be able to find Him would be to trust in Him, for He is the way (John 14:6). The Jewish leaders would not believe in Jesus, and therefore they could never be with Him.

Verse 35. "The Jews then said to one another, ‘Where does this man intend to go that we will not find Him? He is not intending to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks, is He?’"

The Jewish leaders did not understand Jesus. They thought He might mean He would go to other Jews who were in different countries, and teach them. It never occurred to them He was going to die for our sins.

Verse 36. "What is this statement that He said, ‘You will seek Me, and will not find Me; and where I am, you cannot come’?"

Jesus correctly taught them that, after His death and resurrection, they would no longer be able to find Him. For they did not believe. The only way to find God, is to trust in Jesus. There is no other way.

Verse 37. "Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.’"

Do you "thirst" deep inside? Do you want something in life and do not know what it is? Your deepest need will be met in Christ Jesus. You will no longer be "thirsty" when you trust in Him. To believe in Him is very much like a drink of water to a thirsty man.

Verse 38. "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’"

Something happens to us when we believe (trust) in Christ. The Holy Spirit, who is like "living water" to a dead, thirsty world, comes and lives in us. He is the source of this "living water" that flows out of ordinary people, like you and me.

Verse 39. "But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified."

Jesus was speaking of the Holy Spirit, who is given to those that believe in God through the Son. This would happen on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:2-4). It had not yet happened because Jesus had not yet been "glorified" (He had not yet died for our sins).

Verse 40. "Some of the people therefore, when they heard these words, were saying, ‘This certainly is the Prophet.’"

Hundreds of years before, Moses had told the people, "The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren, Him you shall hear" (Deuteronomy 18:15). Some of the people were saying, "This is Him" and they were right.

Verse 41. "Others were saying, ‘This is the Christ.’ Still others were saying, ‘Surely the Christ is not going to come from Galilee, is He?’"

The Jews who lived in the area of Judea, around Jerusalem, did not like the people that lived near Lake Galilee. They knew Jesus was from that place, and some did not want to believe, because of their prejudice. They just did not LIKE the people of Galilee.

Verse 42. "Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the descendants of David, and from Bethlehem, the village where David was?"

They knew the Scriptures to some extent and understood that the Christ (the "Anointed One" or "Messiah") would be descended from King David. They knew that the Christ was to be born in Bethlehem just like it says in Micah 5:2. But Jesus WAS born in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:1) and He IS the Christ.

Verse 43. "So a division occurred in the crowd because of Him."

The people started arguing because of Jesus. And that’s still true today. Some like Him and some don’t. But the truth is – He IS the Son of God.

Verse 44. "Some of them wanted to seize Him, but no one laid hands on Him."

There were some who were so angry they wanted to grab Him and hurt Him. But "His hour had not yet come" and they were unable to touch Him.

Verse 45. "The officers then came to the chief priests and Pharisees, and they said to them, ‘Why did you not bring Him?’"

The "officers" were men sent by the religious leaders to arrest Jesus (verse 32). They came back to the leaders empty handed. They had not arrested Him. The priests and Pharisees asked, "Why didn’t you grab Him?"

Verse 46. "The officers answered, ‘Never has a man spoken the way this man speaks.’"

The officers had been told to arrest Jesus but they did not. They were filled with wonder at Him and His words. They could not and would not touch Him.

Verse 47. "The Pharisees then answered them, ‘You have not also been led astray, have you?’"

The answers of the "officers" (verse 46) made the Pharisees (Jewish leaders) worry and wonder if the men (the officers) had believed in Jesus.

Verse 48. "No one of the rulers or Pharisees has believed in Him, has he?"

The Pharisees (religious leaders) wanted to make sure these "officers" had not believed in Jesus. They said, "WE haven’t believed, and the Chief Priests haven’t believed, so you shouldn’t, either.

Verse 49. "But this crowd which does not know the Law is accursed."

The Pharisees did not like the people they were supposed to lead. They called them "accursed", sneering that they did not "know the Law." Actually, it was the Pharisees themselves who did not know the Law – their hatred showed they did not know God, who created the Law.

Verse 50. "Nicodemus (he who came to Him before, being one of them) said to them,"

Nicodemus was one of the leaders of the Pharisees, and we first saw him in John Chapter 3. He was the one who came to Jesus by night and asked Him a lot of questions.

Verse 51. "Our Law does not judge a man unless it first hears from him and knows what he is doing, does it?"

Nicodemus was telling them that it was unlawful for them to condemn Jesus without first giving Him a fair trial in court.

Verse 52. "They answered him, ‘You are not also from Galilee, are you? Search, and see that no prophet arises out of Galilee.’"

The other leaders sneered at Nicodemus, accusing him of being a "Galilean". And they were wrong, for the Christ WOULD come from Galilee. Isaiah (9:1-2) said, hundreds of years before, that "In Galilee of the Gentiles, the people who walked in darkness, have seen a great light…" The Messiah would come from Galilee.

Verse 53, "(Everyone went to his home)."

The people and leaders didn’t know what else to do, for the Feast was over, Jesus had left, and they had jobs and families. So they all went home.

Ron Beckham, Pastor
Friday Study Ministries

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