-After many were not walking with him anymore (John 6:66) and knowing that He by now had drawn the ire of the Jews because they were actively trying to kill Him, Jesus was unwilling to walk in Judea, at least publicly. Therefore, He walked only in Galilee. The Feast of Booths was near; however, and His brothers told Him He should go into Judea so that His disciples could see His works that He was doing. Actually, they were doubting Him at this point. So Jesus told them plainly, “My time is not yet here, but your time is always opportune. The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil. Go up to the feast yourselves; I do not go up to this feast because My time has not yet fully come.” He stayed in Galilee after this statement, but later changed His mind after His brothers had gone up to the feast. He went secretly, since the Jews were seeking Him and asking as to His whereabouts. In fact, there was much dissension in the crowds concerning Him as some were declaring Him to be good, while others were saying that He led people astray from the Law and the LORD. However, no one was speaking openly about Him for their fear of the religious Jews in leadership positions (John 7:1-13).
-Something astonishing happened amid the feast as Jesus began speaking publicly up in the Temple. He was teaching and wowing all who listened because He had not ever been educated to speak on such things. He was maintaining His position as the one and only Son of God who sent Him into the world. He spoke, “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. 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.” Then He asked an apropos question, “Did not Moses give you the Law, and yet none of you carries out the Law? Why do you seek to kill Me?” The masses accused Him of having a demon and sarcastically wanted to know who sought to kill Him. Jesus continued to expound, “I did one deed, and you all marvel. 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. 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? Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment." It started to dawn on people who this was when He made this statement, and they began to ask if this was not the man whom they were seeking to destroy. He was speaking publicly, and they were saying nothing against Him. This made people wonder if the rulers were coming around to acknowledging Him as the Christ. Again, they thought they knew where He was from (Nazareth), but made the comment that no one would know where the true Messiah would be from. Jesus now 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. I know Him because I am from Him, and He sent Me.” Now they were trying to seize the Son of Man, but no man was able to lay his hand on Him because His time had not yet come. But, many from the throng of people did believe in Him with the exclamation, “When the Christ comes, He will not perform more signs than those which this man has, will He (John 7:14-31)?”
-The Pharisees got wind of the crowd’s mutterings about Him being the Messiah, and the chief priests and Pharisees sent officers out to seize Him there in Jerusalem. Jesus began to prophesy again, “For a little while I am with you, then I go to Him who sent Me. You will seek Me, and will not find Me; and where I am going, you cannot come.” By this saying, the Jews speculated that He might be going to the dispersed Jews among the Greeks, or even teach the Gentile Greeks. Now on the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and publicly cried out once more, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scriptures said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water (Isaiah 44:3; 58:11).’” The Lord was speaking of the Holy Spirit, “whom those who believed in Him were to receive,” post resurrection when He was glorified (Joel 2:28). Again, some believed, and claimed that certainly He was the Prophet, spoken of from ages past (Deuteronomy 18:15). But again, there was debate because He was known to have come from Galilee. They didn’t perceive that He was from the house of David, and that He had actually been born in Bethlehem according to the prophetic word (2 Samuel 7:1-17, Psalm 89:3-4, Micah 5:2, Matthew 2:1, Luke 2:1-20). The division was real, with many wanting to take Him into custody, but no one was able to lay hands on Him. Now when the officers returned to the high priests and ruling Pharisees, they were asked why He was not brought. The officers answered, “Never has a man spoken the way this man speaks.” This made the religious leaders scoff, “You have not also been led astray, have you? No one of the rulers or Pharisees has believed in Him, has he?” They went on to state that this crowd, which they maintained did not know the Law, should be accursed. However, the astute and truth seeking Nicodemus, who had come to Jesus previously (John 3:1-21), rises and corrects them, “Our Law does not judge a man unless it first hears from him and knows what he is doing, does it?” This angered the Pharisees, and they accused him of being from Galilee himself. They arrogantly postulated that no prophet ever arose out of Galilee (John 7:32-51). The wisdom of God was destroying the pseudo-wisdom of religious man-made and demonic pride.
-*Application*- God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace and truth to the humble who live by faith (Habakkuk 2:4, Zephaniah 3:11-13, James 1:9; 4:6, 1 Peter 5:5). He confounds the wise of this age to display His glory over and above man-made religious systems that promote power and wealth in this temporary realm (1 Corinthians 2). His cross, while low, makes the path to Heaven sustainable and obtainable. Refuse the puffed-up attitudes and let the honesty of Christ indwell our faith.
Verse to Memorize: John 7:18