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Bible Commentaries
John 7

The Bible Study New TestamentBible Study NT

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Verse 1


After this, Jesus traveled in Galilee. After the events of the last chapter. About six months time passed between the feeding of the Five Thousand and the Feast of Tabernacles.

Verse 2


The Jewish Feast of Tabernacles. One of the three feasts all Jews were expected to attend. It celebrated the time the Jews lived in tents during their travels through the wilderness. It lasted for a week, and came about October 6th.

Verse 3


So Jesus’ brothers said to him. It takes nothing away from the character of Mary the human mother of Jesus, for her to be a wife to Joseph and bear him children. See John 2:12. Alford (Greek Testament) finds strong evidence that these were really and literally brothers [half-brothers] of Jesus, and cites Psalms 69:8 (“I am like a stranger to my brothers, like a foreigner to my family”]. Leave this place and go to Judea. It had been some time since Jesus was at Jerusalem. These brothers of his thought he ought to demonstrate whatever powers he had to the crowds at Jerusalem for the feast.

Verse 4


No one hides what he is doing. He was so different from their idea of the Messiah that they could not understand him.

Verse 5


(Not even his brothers believed in him.) This verse destroys the theory that the “brothers” of Jesus were the sons of Alphaeus, therefore cousins to Jesus. The sons of Alphaeus had long been apostles, while these “brothers” were still unbelievers. Compare note on Mark 3:21.

Verse 6


The right time for me has not yet come. Passover was still six months in the future, and he could not yet fulfill Gods purpose by dying in Jerusalem. His brothers had no such mission, and they could go there at any time.

Verse 7


But it hates me. The world has always hated those who expose its sins. But the world cannot hate itself, and does not hate those who live its life (See 1 Peter 4:3-5).

Verse 8


I am not going to this feast. That is, he is not going just now. He did go after the crowds were already there.

Verse 10


But went secretly. After everyone else was already there, Jesus left Galilee and went to the feast at Jerusalem. But he did not make a display of himself as his brothers wanted him to do. Six months later in the Triumphant Entry, he did as they would have wanted him to do.

Verses 11-13


The Jewish authorities were looking for him. The authorities hated Jesus even more because he was popular with the people. See Matthew 10:34. People “sort themselves out” by their belief or unbelief in Jesus.

Verse 14


The feast was nearly half over. The feast lasted eight days. Jesus “came out of hiding” and began to teach openly in the temple. What he did was unexpected by the authorities.

Verse 15


How does this man know so much? They knew he had not attended their theological schools. But it was plain he knew what he was talking about.

Verse 16


What I teach is not my teaching. This answers the question of John 7:15. His knowledge was from the Father who sent him.

Verse 17


Whoever is willing to do. The basic reason why the Jewish authorities would not accept the teaching of Jesus as divine, was that they did not want to do God’s will. Most unbelief originates in the heart, not the head. The great German poet, Heine, was an unbeliever until aged and tortured with chronic disease. Then he said: “I have discarded my proud philosophy and learned to trust in the consolations of religion.” He had no more evidence than before, but his heart had changed.

Verse 18


For the one who sent him. Christianity is extrinsic [something external, not part of self] in its outlook, because it teaches people to honor God. They do not look within themselves for strength, but raise their eyes to God’s act in Jesus Christ. They do not try to get glory for themselves, but they try to bring honor to God by the life they live and the words which they speak.

Verse 19


Moses gave you the Law. They ignored the Law, yet wanted to kill him on a charge of breaking the Law. The fact they are trying to kill him, is proof they do not obey the Law.

Verse 20


The crowd answered. Did they know the authorities were trying to kill Jesus? Johnson thinks they did not. They say Jesus is possessed by a demon to have such ideas.

Verse 21


I did one great work. The healing of the man at the pool, eighteen months before this (John 5:18). This was the source of their hatred.

Verses 22-24


You will circumcise a boy on the Sabbath. His reasoning goes like this: “You are angry with me because I healed a man on the Sabbath; yet you yourself violate the Sabbath to circumcise a boy when the eighth day falls on the Sabbath. You say because circumcision came from Abraham, it has priority over the Sabbath. The law of love and mercy is older yet; why be angry if it is obeyed on the Sabbath?” External standards. They went by how things looked, not by how they really were.

Verses 25-29

25–29. Some of the people of Jerusalem said. The visitors did not know this, but some of the local residents did. Can it be that the authorities really know? Had the authorities changed their minds? Why didn’t they seize him? No one will know where he Is from. The Jews believed that when the Messiah came, no one would know his origin, and they thought they knew Jesus’ origin. Do you really know me? They knew his earthly origin, but they refused to know his supernormal origin. He was God, the Eternal Logos, come in human form! They did not know God; how could they know whom God had sent?

Verse 30


Then they tried to arrest him. Johnson thinks this was the action of the citizens of Jerusalem, rather than an official act by the authorities.

Verse 31


But many in the crowd believed in him. They believed he was a teacher sent by God, and that he might be the Messiah. Compare John 3:1-2.

Verses 33-36


I shall be with you a little while longer. He predicts his death and his return to heaven. Because where I shall be you cannot go. They cannot go with him, either on earth, or after death, if they die in their sins (John 8:21-24). What he said is clear to us, because we look back in time.

Verse 37


Whoever is thirsty should come to me and drink. Jewish writers tell us that each of the first seven days, there was a jubilant procession to the pool of Siloam, from which water was brought in a gold jar, to be poured out on the altar in the temple. This honored the water which Moses brought from the rock in the wilderness, which was symbolic of Christ himself (1 Corinthians 10:4).

Verse 38


Whoever believes in me. “Come,” “believes,” all point to faith as the means which brings us to Christ. See note on Acts 2:38. [The exact wording of this quotation is not found, but gives the “spirit” of Isaiah 58:11; Psalms 36:8-9. Compare John 4:14.) Will pour out from his heart. John 7:39 gives the inspired interpretation of this,

Verse 39


Jesus said this about the Spirit. This makes Acts chapter two the best explanation of this section of verses. The fountain of living water which each Christian has, is the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:22; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20). [The one indispensable condition of receiving the Holy Spirit is perfect obedience to God’s Law. Christ has fulfilled that condition for us (Romans 8:4). The sacrifice of Christ which makes us God’s friends (the atonement) fulfilled every condition for God to pour out his Spirit upon all men. Therefore, Christ has qualified everyone for the Holy Spirit as a gift. But we must reach out through faith to seize his sacrifice and make ourselves part of it. See John 3:3-8 and notes.] The Spirit had not yet been given. First, Jesus had to die, be raised from death, and go back to the Father. Then, as he sits at the right side of the Father, he sent the Spirit to his disciples on the day of Pentecost. This was the official beginning of the preaching of the Good News.

Verses 40-44


Others said. Who is he??? On their thinking, compare the questions they asked John the Baptist (John 1:19-25). They thought he was a native of Galilee. Will be born in Bethlehem. See notes on Matthew 2:5-6.

Verse 45


The guards went back. They had been sent to arrest Jesus (John 7:32).

Verse 46


Nobody has ever talked the way this man does! McGarvey thinks the Council was in session, expecting them to bring in Jesus. The guards had not carried out their orders, and this is the only reason they can give.

Verses 47-48


Did he fool you, too? The Jewish authorities think Jesus is a deceiver. Have you ever known one? What they believe, is made the standard. [At least two of the Council did believe: Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea.]

Verse 49


This crowd does not know the Law of Moses! Their reasoning was: “it is only these ignorant people who believe in this Jesus. They are easily fooled, and they are cursed by God anyway.”

Verses 50-52


According to our Law. The Law required justice. Nicodemus uses it to try to help Jesus. No prophet ever comes from Galilee. Their anger makes them tell a lie. Jonah, Elijah, and Nahum were all from Galilee.

Bibliographical Information
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on John 7". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ice/john-7.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.
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