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Friday, May 24th, 2024
the Week of Proper 2 / Ordinary 7
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Bible Commentaries
John 7

Concordant Commentary of the New TestamentConcordant NT Commentary

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Verses 1-15

56 Just as Nicodemus failed to see the figure when our Lord spoke to him about the new birth, so now His followers fail to understand when He speaks of feeding on His flesh and blood. There is a subtle irony here, for their religion was primarily a fleshly one. Their title to blessing from Messiah was based entirely on their blood relationship to Him. In that case, if He is to give Himself to them, He must give His physical flesh and actual blood. They can see how preposterous such an idea is, but do not discern how it cuts from beneath them the whole foundation of blessing through a physical channel. They should have seen that life divine is not transmitted by flesh but by spirit. Not material forms, but spiritual realities count with a God Who is spirit. His thoughts, as conveyed to them by the Lord's declarations, are the vital principle from which all life and felicity flow. .

70 Peter and the rest of the apostles probably had the impression that they had chosen Christ, and in this crisis, they seem to be confirming their choice of Him. With this background, how strange to hear Him reverse their thoughts and emphatically affirm His choice of them! On another occasion He asserted that they had not chosen Him. He reserves the right to choose His own. A realization of this principle gives strength and stability to vacillating mortals, who look within and find no soundness, and look without on turmoil and strife, and fear for the future of which they know nothing. To be chosen by One Who has power to keep and knows all gives satisfaction and rest. It is infinitely more precious to be His choice than to have the questionable satisfaction of feeling that we were free to choose Him. If we were, we would have chosen another. There is none that seeketh after God.

70 Judas was one of "the elect". The Lord "elected" or chose him while fully aware of his future. It was not Judas who chose Christ and then went back on Him. Indeed, he greatly regretted his action and publicly repudiated it. This Peter did not do. He did not betray his

Lord until Satan entered into him.

2 There were seven sacred festivals in Israel: the Passover, First fruits, Pentecost, Blowing of Trumpets, Day of Propitiation, Tabernacles, and Ingathering. The latter two were both held on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, so that both are referred to here as "Tabernacles". These festivals were typical of God's great dealings with His beloved people Israel. The Passover sets before us the death of God's Lamb. Hence Christ could not be killed at the festival of Tabernacles, for it was not the proper time. Firstfruits typifies His resurrection. Pentecost, fifty days afterward, foreshadowed the world so called in the book of Acts. Blowing of Trumpets and the Day of Propitiation will have their antitypes in the dread judgment period before the thousand years. Tabernacles and Ingathering are the happy harvest festivals, picturing their fullness of blessing in the millennial kingdom.

See Lev.23; Num_28:16 ; Num_28:29 ; Deut.16; Neh_8:13-18 ; Zec_14:16-19 .

This was one of the three times in each year that all the males in Israel were required to appear in the temple in Jerusalem. They were to bring a gift on each occasion. This suggests the three great gifts of God for Israel. At the festival of unleavened bread He gave Himself as the Passover Lamb. At the festival of Pentecost He gave the holy Spirit. At the future festival of Tabernacles He will give them the bountiful harvest of His millennial reign.

See Deu_16:15-16 .

6 With the foregoing in view, the action of our Lord is full of meaning. It was not the Passover, hence He could not go up openly and invite death. The time for that had not yet been fulfilled. Still, in obedience to the law, and as a private Israelite, He must go, for in Him must both the letter and the spirit of the law be fulfilled. It is significant that, while we often read of the Passover, only this once is the festival of Tabernacles brought before us, and now He refuses to go. There is no true Tabernacle festival for Israel until after the true Passover has been slain and all the other feasts have had their fulfillment. In all His acts He was consciously in line with God's revelation.

Verses 16-40

16 Here we have the test of a true teacher. The greatest of all Teachers could easily have formulated a philosophy of His own before which all the wisdom of the ages would sink into insignificance. He could have eclipsed Socrates and Plato, discounted Confucius, silenced all the sages. Yet He did not originate a single doctrine, formulate a single principle, invent a single saying of His own. Though the embodiment of truth, He did not claim to be its source, but only its channel. "My teaching is not Mine, but His Who sends Me" is the disclaimer of the only One Who ever was qualified to teach the truth. It is the highest achievement of the truth seeker to discover that there is no truth outside of God, and originality is inevitably false unless it conforms with truth already immanent in God-which destroys its originality. Truth is one. Its source is God. Its expression is found in Him Who is the Word of God. Happy is the teacher who distrusts his own thoughts, and discards his own theories, and seeks to submerge his own personality by a constant and continuous contact with the living oracles of God! "My teaching is not Mine" will not be a reluctant, humiliating admission, but an exultant and eager desire to give God the glory for truth beyond our powers of apprehension and utterly foreign to our native faculties.

19 Sinning men are the same today as ever. The truth is always the signal for strife. This is especially so among those who consider themselves the sole depository of truth. We need not suppose that these Jews had a bad conscience in seeking to kill One Who seemed to be undermining their religion. We know that Saul of Tarsus opposed Him conscientiously. So today, Christendom still crucifies the truth, while loud in its professions of loyalty to the Bible. Indeed, so thoroughly has error saturated the atmosphere that it is practically impossible for anyone to view the truth except through the haze of error with which each is surrounded. Only continual contact with God's Word will avail us. Only a close acquaintance with the facts of the originals will save us from the prevailing apostasy.

28 Perhaps nowhere is the utter futility of human efforts to frustrate God's plans so evident as in this scene. It was God's definite counsel that they should slay Him. This they were all too eager to do. But the feast of Tabernacles was not the fit time for His sacrifice. So He boldly enters the sanctuary, the stronghold of His enemies. The Pharisees send deputies to arrest Him, but they simply do not do it, being restrained by an irresistible reluctance which they could not account for themselves. Like Daniel, He was in the lions' den, but God had shut the lions' mouths. God uses human wrath for His own ends and restrains its activities to accord with His purpose. He has all his enemies on a leash beyond which they cannot range. Satan himself is limited, and allowed to do only that which will eventuate in good. So it proved in the case of Job, and who can doubt that his case was typical?

33 When the deputies come to arrest Him, He is not disturbed, but calmly gives an outline of what will happen to Him in the future. It was still six months until the Passover, and He knew they could not arrest Him till then. So He says "Still a little time am I with you." Nor does He acknowledge that they will be successful in taking Him then, for it is His permission, not their power, that accomplishes it. So He simply says "and I am going away to Him Who sends Me."

34 The statement "where I am, there you cannot be coming" cannot be taken as their everlasting reprobation, for He uses the very same words to His disciples on a later occasion ( Joh_13:33 ). Indeed, the form of the verb is the present active "be coming", not the indefinite

"come". Even the unbeliever enters the presence of Christ in the resurrection of judgment.

35 The Jews, in our Lord's day, were scattered all over the known earth, but were especially numerous in Egypt. Alexandria rivalled Jerusalem as a center of Jewry, but its culture was strongly Greek.

37 This last day concluded the cycle of yearly festivals and was a fitting time to foretell the fullness of spiritual blessing which it prefigured.

Verses 41-53

41 Ever since the days of Moses the nation of Israel has been waiting for the Prophet Who was to be like him, and lead the nation out of worse than Egyptian bondage into the heritage of the kingdom. Those who knew Him for that promised Prophet little realized that, as Moses was rejected by his brethren when he first came to deliver them, so the great Antitype of Moses must also be rejected by them. A prophet, in the Scriptures, is not primarily one who predicts the future, but one who has a message from God. It is a well-nigh universal rule that God's message and its bearer must first be refused. Indeed, the "Prophet like Moses" must follow the footsteps of the type, and, in his first efforts to save His people He must be opposed by the people themselves. This shows us that we must not lay too much stress on human "responsibility" (a term unknown to the Scriptures), for, if the Jews had received the Lord, He would not have been the true Prophet. They were obliged to reject Him!

41 "Galilee of the nations" and especially the town of Nazareth, were held in contempt by pious Jews. The term "Nazarene" is a term of reproach, never used by His friends. From it could come no Christ. Messiah must be born in Bethlehem, the city of King David, and as they should have known, the birthplace of his greater Son. Let us never be guilty of calling Him a Nazarene, and thus class ourselves with His worst enemies and murderers.

46 Throughout this account it is the incarnate Word which is before us. The testimony of the deputies is a notable tribute to the supernal nature of that which came from His lips. How lame their excuse must have seemed to the hard-hearted Pharisees! Why do they not arrest Him? Why do they not do the duty assigned them? "No man ever speaks thus!" Not His superb looks, or august appearance, but His utterances arrest them, and all power to perform their part vanishes.

50 Nicodemus, the half-hearted disciple' is afraid to champion His cause boldly, so he seeks to hinder them in their lawless act. But such a weak supporter is soon silenced, and by the very law to which he appealed.

53-11 As this passage is not contained in any of the three manuscripts on which the Concordant Version is based, it was not included in our Greek text. Two leaves of Alexandrinus are lost at this point, but a careful calculation of the number of lines shows that the lost leaves did not contain this story. Besides, the evidence of ancient versions and other manuscripts is so much against its retention in the text that no editor gives it a place, unless within brackets. Nevertheless, the story is so fully In harmony with the grace of Christ that we question whether it could have any other source. Hence we are constrained to class it among the many things which He did of which there is no inspired record. The Greek text of Joh_7:53 ; Joh_8:1-11 , together with an English sublinear, is available from the publishers on request. A literal translation follows: [And they went each to his home. Yet Jesus went to the mount of Olives. Now early He again came along into the sanctuary, and the entire people came to Him. And, being seated, He taught them. Now the scribes and Pharisees are leading a woman who has been overtaken in adultery, and, standing her in the midst, they are saying to Him, "Teacher, this woman has been overtaken and detected committing adultery. Now in the law, Moses directs us that such are to be stoned. You then, what are you saying?" Now this they said to try Him, that they may have something to accuse Him of. Now Jesus, stooping down, wrote down something with a finger in the earth. Now as they persisted asking Him, He unbends and said to them, "Let the sinless one of you first cast a stone at her. And, again stooping down, He wrote in the earth. Now those hearing it came out one by one, beginning with the elders, to the last. And Jesus was left alone, the woman also being in the midst. Now, unbending, Jesus said to her, "Woman, where are they? Does no one condemn you?" Now she said, "No one, Lord!" Now Jesus said, "Neither am I condemning you! Go! From now on by no means any longer be sinning."]

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on John 7". Concordant Commentary of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/aek/john-7.html. 1968.
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