John 7:1-44 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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Jesus, the Streams of Living Water
Comments for Study 9

John 7:1-44
Key verse: 7:38

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I. My Time has not yet Come (1-10)

>1. Why did Jesus avoid going to Judea?

* John 7:1 "After this, Jesus went around in Galilee, purposely staying away from Judea because the Jews there were waiting to take his life."

* "After this" -The feeding of the five thousand and Jesus' teaching that he is the bread of life. It was around six months before Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection.

* "Jesus went around in Galilee" -Chapter six was around the Passover (spring) (6:4) and this chapter is during the Feast of Tabernacles (fall); so six months had passed. John does not record what happened between to two feasts keeping with his "mostly around Jerusalem" theme. However, Matthew 15-18, Mark 7-9 and Luke 9 do record some of Jesus' activities in Galilee.

* "purposely staying away from Judea" -Jesus lived according to God's will. He had come to fulfill the word or God.

* "because the Jews there were waiting to take his life" -Jesus' death had to happen at the correct time and three of them had to be celebrated in Jerusalem. God had instituted the Israelites to keep feasts, three of which had to be celebrated in Jerusalem. (Lev. 23, Ex. 34:22-24, Num. 9, 28, Deut. 16) These feasts were foreshadows of the Messiah's work. Passover, The Feast of Unleavened Bread, the First Fruit Wave Sheave, and Pentecost concern his first coming. They were spring feasts with set days.

>What had happened there before? (See chapter 5)

* John 5:16-18 "So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jews persecuted him. Jesus said to them, "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working." For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God."

* Jesus healed on the Sabbath in Jerusalem in chapter 5.

* Jesus called God his own Father in Jerusalem in the hearing of the Jewish religious and political leaders.

>2. What did the Feast of Tabernacles celebrate?

* To remind the Israelites of their life in tents in the wilderness and how God was with them and to give thanks to God for the harvest. (Lev. 23:33-43, Duet. 16:13-16, Num. 29:12-40)

>Why did everyone go to Jerusalem to celebrate it? (Deuteronomy. 16:13-16; Lev. 23:33-43)

* Lev 23:33-43 "The LORD said to Moses, "Say to the Israelites: 'On the fifteenth day of the seventh month the LORD'S Feast of Tabernacles begins, and it lasts for seven days. The first day is a sacred assembly; do no regular work. For seven days present offerings made to the LORD by fire, and on the eighth day hold a sacred assembly and present an offering made to the LORD by fire. It is the closing assembly; do no regular work. ("'These are the LORD'S appointed feasts, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies for bringing offerings made to the LORD by fire--the burnt offerings and grain offerings, sacrifices and drink offerings required for each day. These offerings are in addition to those for the LORD'S Sabbaths and in addition to your gifts and whatever you have vowed and all the freewill offerings you give to the LORD.) "'So beginning with the fifteenth day of the seventh month, after you have gathered the crops of the land, celebrate the festival to the LORD for seven days; the first day is a day of rest, and the eighth day also is a day of rest. On the first day you are to take choice fruit from the trees, and palm fronds, leafy branches and poplars, and rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days. Celebrate this as a festival to the LORD for seven days each year. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come; celebrate it in the seventh month. Live in booths for seven days: All native-born Israelites are to live in booths so your descendants will know that I had the Israelites live in booths when I brought them out of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.'"

* Deuteronomy 16:13-16 "Celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days after you have gathered the produce of your threshing floor and your wine press. Be joyful at your Feast--you, your sons and daughters, your men servants and maidservants, and the Levities, the aliens, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns. For seven days celebrate the Feast to the LORD your God at the place the LORD will choose. For the LORD your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete. Three times a year all your men must appear before the LORD your God at the place he will choose: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks and the Feast of Tabernacles. No man should appear before the LORD empty-handed:"

* Nehemiah 8:13-18 "On the second day of the month, the heads of all the families, along with the priests and the Levites, gathered around Ezra the scribe to give attention to the words of the Law. They found written in the Law, which the LORD had commanded through Moses, that the Israelites were to live in booths during the feast of the seventh month and that they should proclaim this word and spread it throughout their towns and in Jerusalem: "Go out into the hill country and bring back branches from olive and wild olive trees, and from myrtles, palms and shade trees, to make booths"--as it is written. So the people went out and brought back branches and built themselves booths on their own roofs, in their courtyards, in the courts of the house of God and in the square by the Water Gate and the one by the Gate of Ephraim. The whole company that had returned from exile built booths and lived in them. From the days of Joshua son of Nun until that day, the Israelites had not celebrated it like this. And their joy was very great. Day after day, from the first day to the last, Ezra read from the Book of the Law of God. They celebrated the feast for seven days, and on the eighth day, in accordance with the regulation, there was an assembly."

* The three fall feasts are celebrated in the seventh month; Feast of Trumpets, Feast of Weeks, and Feast of Tabernacles. They foreshadow Jesus' second coming. Jesus' will come again, landing and standing on the Mount of Olives. Many believe it will be at this time.

* The Feast of Tabernacles will be when the whole world will gather in Jerusalem after the seven years of Tribulation at the beginning of the Millennium.

* During the Feast they ate and slept in "flimsy shelters" that they made out of psalm branches and sticks. They offered bulls, blew trumpets and rams horns, and poured lots of water in the temple, with a double portion on the last day reminding them that God gave them water from rock while in the desert. During the feast they illuminated the inner court with a very large joyous torch parade and Menorahs. There was singing, celebrating, eating, and dancing. It was a very joyful feast.

>3. What did Jesus' brothers want him to do?

* John 7:2-4 "But when the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles was near, Jesus' brothers said to him, "You ought to leave here and go to Judea, so that your disciples may see the miracles you do. No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.""

* "Jesus' brothers" -not the apostles nor any of the other disciples. These are Jesus' half brothers, born to Mary and Joseph after Jesus was born. Matthew 13:55 records their names: James, Joses, Simon, and Judas.

* "leave here" -the area around the Sea of Galilee.

* "and go to Judea" -a few days journey to the south. Following the Jordan River was the usual route.

>Why?

* "your disciples may see the miracles you do" -John pointed out in the previous chapter that many of Jesus' disciples left him. Many must have been from Judea.

* "No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret" -Their statement shows some resentment. Jesus was the oldest son. It is assumed that Joseph is dead by this time. In Jewish society at the time the oldest male assumed the responsibility of his deceased father's house. Jesus, however was engaged in the work of the Lord, fulfilling God's purpose for his life. To his brothers Jesus was wanted to become "a public figure."

* "show yourself to the world" -They wanted Jesus' power to be displayed so people would follow him. Therefore he would grow in power, riches, and influence and they would too.

>What does the author say about Jesus brothers? (5)

* John 7:5 "For even his brothers did not believe in him."

* When believers spend time, money, and effort in the work of God often family members and those who are close to us do not understand. They may even become resentful and hateful. Jesus is recorded saying, "Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved." (Matt. 10:21-22) And, "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn "'a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law-- a man's enemies will be the members of his own household." (Matt. 10:34-36)

>What does this mean?

* They didn't see that he was the Messiah.

* They didn't understand what Jesus' purpose in life was.

* They thought he wanted to be a public figure.

* They only saw Jesus from a worldly point of view.

>4. Why did Jesus say, "My time has not yet come?"

* John 7:6-8 "Therefore Jesus told them, "The right time for me has not yet come; for you any time is right. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that what it does is evil. You go to the Feast. I am not yet going up to this Feast, because for me the right time has not yet come.""

* "the time for me has not yet come" -He worked on God's time not his families time schedule. God's time for him to be arrested and killed was during the Passover, not during the Feast of Tabernacles.

* "I am not yet" -He would go. As a Jew and and Israelite he had to go by the Mosaic law.

* "this Feast" -Jesus was fully aware of the timing of his death and resurrection.

>What kind of opportunity was Jesus waiting for?

* "this Feast" -Jesus was fully aware of the timing of his death and resurrection.

>Why does the world hate Jesus?

* "the Jews" -John's term for the religious leaders and those who had left him in the previous chapter.

* "because I testify to the truth" -This is in reference to the religious leaders hatred toward him and their rejection of him.

>Why did He first stay in Galilee, then later go to the Feast?

* John 7:9-10 "Having said this, he stayed in Galilee. However, after his brothers had left for the Feast, he went also, not publicly, but in secret."

* "in secret" -There are times that we do not make known what we are doing. Like Jesus we reveal the truth at the right time.

II. My Teaching is from God (11-24)

>5. Who was watching for him in Jerusalem? (11)

* John 7:11 "Now at the Feast the Jews were watching for him and asking, "Where is that man?""

* "the Jews" -John's term for the religious leaders and those who had left him in the previous chapter.

* "watching for him" -Deliberate.

* 'Where is that man?" -Hate is in their statement. They would not even use his name.

>What conflicting things did the people say about Jesus? (12-13)

* John 7:12-13 "Among the crowds there was widespread whispering about him. Some said, "He is a good man." Others replied, "No, he deceives the people." But no one would say anything publicly about him for fear of the Jews."

* "widespread whispering about him" -They feared the religious leaders and yet couldn't stop talking about Jesus. The religious leaders had stated that anyone who confessed to be Jesus' disciple would be thrown out of the synagogues and temple. The synagogues were the center of Jewish life, religion, and culture.

* Even to this day people have varying opinions of Jesus.

>When did he make a public appearance?

* John 7:14 "Not until halfway through the Feast did Jesus go up to the temple courts and begin to teach."

* Mal. 3:1 said that he will come suddenly, not just at this temple appearance, but when he comes again; soon, very soon.

* "up to the temple courts and begin to teach" -Jesus taught publicly, exposing himself to all at the threat of physical endangerment.

* Although it does not say, it is implied that the apostles were always with Jesus.

>What was the Jews' response to his teaching?

* John 7:15 "The Jews were amazed and asked, "How did this man get such learning without having studied?""

* "amazed" -Jesus had not been taught by any of the religious leaders. He was taught by God because he was full of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit descended on him in a dove when he was baptized by John the baptist nearly three years earlier. Similarly, all believers now have the Holy Spirit. Jesus said the Holy Spirit teaches and reminds us of him. (John 14:15-17, 26; 16:5-16)

* "without having studied" -with them. Jesus did study the word of God from a very young age. (Lk. 2:52)

>6. What evidence did Jesus give to prove that his teachings was from God? (16-18)

* John 7:16-18 "Jesus answered, "My teaching is not my own. It comes from him who sent me. If anyone chooses to do God's will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself, but he who works for the honor of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him."

* "My teaching is not my own" -Anyone who rejects Jesus and his teaching is rejecting God. Jesus here equates himself with God and he does elsewhere.

* "chooses" -The offer is out. We must choose if we will obey or not.

>How can one know the will of God?

* "he will find out" -Study Jesus' teachings in the Bible and obey them. we can know for sure. God will reveal himself to us more and more as we obey.

* Psalm 34:8

* Jesus invites us to test God at his word. Scientists make test and experiments to prove a theory. Teachers make test to see how their teaching is going. Why not test God at this word?

* I am often amazed how so many people have comments and judgements about Jesus without reading the Bible and testing its validity. The more I study and practice the word of God the more I am amazed at its truth. However, this must be done in love. The Pharisees and teachers of the law studied the word not of love, but out of obligation.

>What shows that Jesus himself chose to do God's will?

* "God's will" -Jesus did God's will. He obeyed God's will. We must do God's will.

* "man of truth" -Jesus defines the man of God.

>What shows that Jesus was a man of truth?

* He did not speak on his own. He spoke only what he was told to say.

>7. How did Jesus show the Jews their own inconsistency in keeping the law?

* John 7:19-20 "Has not Moses given you the law? Yet not one of you keeps the law. Why are you trying to kill me?" "You are demon-possessed," the crowd answered. "Who is trying to kill you?""

* "Yet not one of you keepts the law" -Keeping the law is impossible for fallen sinful man. We can not keep the law. So why did God give it? First it points to the fact that we have a sinful nature and need God to change that sinful nature. Second, it does teach us what God desires and has planned for us. Thirdly and most importantly it points to Jesus, the Messiah.

>(Who do the Jews refer to in this Gospel of John? Is John anti-Jews?)

* The Jews refers to the religious leaders, those who worked hard to try to keep the letter of the law. They thought they did and were thus special to God. This pride caused them to look down on everyone else. Their love for themselves grew and their love for their fellow man diminished until they loved neither God, others, and themselves..

* John was not anti-Jew. He was pointing out the difference between them and the apostls, who were also Jew.

>How did Jesus practice what he taught? (21-24)

* John 7:21-24 "Jesus said to them, "I did one miracle, and you are all astonished. Yet, because Moses gave you circumcision (though actually it did not come from Moses, but from the patriarchs), you circumcise a child on the Sabbath. Now if a child can be circumcised on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses may not be broken, why are you angry with me for healing the whole man on the Sabbath? Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment.""

* "I did one miracle" -the feeding of the five thousand. Many religious leaders must have been there.

* "Moses gave you circumcision" -Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible; Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. (Ex. 24:4, 33:7-11, 34:28; Num. 7:89; Duet. 31:9) Thus, he taught them the history behind circumcision.

* "but from the patriarchs" -Genesis 17 contains the account of God giving Abraham and his descendants the rite of circumcision.

* Jesus healed the whole man.

III. Is Jesus The Christ (25-36)

>8. What was the people's real controversy about Jesus? (25-26; 30-31; 41-43)

* John 7:25-26 "At that point some of the people of Jerusalem began to ask, "Isn't this the man they are trying to kill? Here he is, speaking publicly, and they are not saying a word to him. Have the authorities really concluded that he is the Christ?"

* John 7:30-31 "At this they tried to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his time had not yet come. Still, many in the crowd put their faith in him. They said, "When the Christ comes, will he do more miraculous signs than this man?""

* John 7:41-43 "Others said, "He is the Christ." Still others asked, "How can the Christ come from Galilee? Does not the Scripture say that the Christ will come from David's family and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?" Thus the people were divided because of Jesus."

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>What did Jesus say about himself?

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IV. Is Jesus the Christ? (37-44)

>9. What did Jesus stand and say on the last day of the Feast?

* John 7:37-39 "On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified."

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>Why are his words appropriate to the people who are remembering their experiences in the desert wilderness?

* There was not much water in the desert. The people were thirsty and God gave them water. All people throughout history are spiritually thirsty, which can be quenched by Jesus.

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>10. What is he offering to those who are not satisfied with superficial judgment or superficial relationship?

* John 7:39 "By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified."

* To have a spiritual relationship with him.

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>How can we accept his offer practically?

* By faith

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