John 7

* Christ goes to the feast of tabernacles. (1-13) His discourse

at the feast. (14-39) The people dispute concerning Christ.

(40-53)

1-13 The brethren or kinsmen of Jesus were disgusted, when they

found there was no prospect of worldly advantages from him.

Ungodly men sometimes undertake to counsel those employed in the

work of God; but they only advise what appears likely to promote

present advantages. The people differed about his doctrine and

miracles, while those who favoured him, dared not openly to avow

their sentiments. Those who count the preachers of the gospel to

be deceivers, speak out, while many who favour them, fear to get

reproach by avowing regard for them.
14-24 Every faithful minister may humbly adopt Christ's words.

His doctrine is not his own finding out, but is from God's word,

through the teaching of his Spirit. And amidst the disputes

which disturb the world, if any man, of any nation, seeks to do

the will of God, he shall know whether the doctrine is of God,

or whether men speak of themselves. Only those who hate the

truth shall be given up to errors which will be fatal. Surely it

was as agreeable to the design of the sabbath to restore health

to the afflicted, as to administer an outward rite. Jesus told

them to decide on his conduct according to the spiritual import

of the Divine law. We must not judge concerning any by their

outward appearance, but by their worth, and by the gifts and

graces of God's Spirit in them.
25-30 Christ proclaimed aloud, that they were in error in their

thoughts about his origin. He was sent of God, who showed

himself true to his promises. This declaration, that they knew

not God, with his claim to peculiar knowledge, provoked the

hearers; and they sought to take him, but God can tie men's

hands, though he does not turn their hearts.
31-36 The discourses of Jesus convinced many that he was the

Messiah; but they had not courage to own it. It is comfort to

those who are in the world, but not of it, and therefore are

hated by it and weary of it, that they shall not be in it

always, that they shall not be in it long. Our days being evil,

it is well they are few. The days of life and of grace do not

last long; and sinners, when in misery, will be glad of the help

they now despise. Men dispute about such sayings, but the event

will explain them.
37-39 On the last day of the feast of tabernacles, the Jews

drew water and poured it out before the Lord. It is supposed

that Christ alluded to this. If any man desires to be truly and

for ever happy, let him apply to Christ, and be ruled by him.

This thirst means strong desires after spiritual blessings,

which nothing else can satisfy; so the sanctifying and

comforting influences of the Holy Spirit, were intended by the

waters which Jesus called on them to come to Him and drink. The

comfort flows plentifully and constantly as a river; strong as a

stream to bear down the opposition of doubts and fears. There is

a fulness in Christ, of grace for grace. The Spirit dwelling and

working in believers, is as a fountain of living, running water,

out of which plentiful streams flow, cooling and cleansing as

water. The miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit we do not expect,

but for his more common and more valuable influences we may

apply. These streams have flowed from our glorified Redeemer,

down to this age, and to the remote corners of the earth. May we

be anxious to make them known to others.
40-53 The malice of Christ's enemies is always against reason,

and sometimes the staying of it cannot be accounted for. Never

any man spake with that wisdom, and power, and grace, that

convincing clearness, and that sweetness, wherewith Christ

spake. Alas, that many, who are for a time restrained, and who

speak highly of the word of Jesus, speedily lose their

convictions, and go on in their sins! People are foolishly

swayed by outward motives in matters of eternal moment, are

willing even to be damned for fashion's sake. As the wisdom of

God often chooses things which men despise, so the folly of men

commonly despises those whom God has chosen. The Lord brings

forward his weak and timid disciples, and sometimes uses them to

defeat the designs of his enemies.

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