John 7* Christ goes to the feast of tabernacles. (1-13) His discourseat the feast. (14-39) The people dispute concerning Christ.(40-53)1-13 The brethren or kinsmen of Jesus were disgusted, when theyfound there was no prospect of worldly advantages from him.Ungodly men sometimes undertake to counsel those employed in thework of God; but they only advise what appears likely to promotepresent advantages. The people differed about his doctrine andmiracles, while those who favoured him, dared not openly to avowtheir sentiments. Those who count the preachers of the gospel tobe deceivers, speak out, while many who favour them, fear to getreproach 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 disputeswhich disturb the world, if any man, of any nation, seeks to dothe will of God, he shall know whether the doctrine is of God,or whether men speak of themselves. Only those who hate thetruth shall be given up to errors which will be fatal. Surely itwas as agreeable to the design of the sabbath to restore healthto the afflicted, as to administer an outward rite. Jesus toldthem to decide on his conduct according to the spiritual importof the Divine law. We must not judge concerning any by theiroutward appearance, but by their worth, and by the gifts andgraces of God's Spirit in them. 25-30 Christ proclaimed aloud, that they were in error in theirthoughts about his origin. He was sent of God, who showedhimself true to his promises. This declaration, that they knewnot God, with his claim to peculiar knowledge, provoked thehearers; and they sought to take him, but God can tie men'shands, though he does not turn their hearts. 31-36 The discourses of Jesus convinced many that he was theMessiah; but they had not courage to own it. It is comfort tothose who are in the world, but not of it, and therefore arehated by it and weary of it, that they shall not be in italways, 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 notlast long; and sinners, when in misery, will be glad of the helpthey now despise. Men dispute about such sayings, but the eventwill explain them. 37-39 On the last day of the feast of tabernacles, the Jewsdrew water and poured it out before the Lord. It is supposedthat Christ alluded to this. If any man desires to be truly andfor 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 andcomforting influences of the Holy Spirit, were intended by thewaters which Jesus called on them to come to Him and drink. Thecomfort flows plentifully and constantly as a river; strong as astream to bear down the opposition of doubts and fears. There isa fulness in Christ, of grace for grace. The Spirit dwelling andworking in believers, is as a fountain of living, running water,out of which plentiful streams flow, cooling and cleansing aswater. The miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit we do not expect,but for his more common and more valuable influences we mayapply. These streams have flowed from our glorified Redeemer,down to this age, and to the remote corners of the earth. May webe 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. Neverany man spake with that wisdom, and power, and grace, thatconvincing clearness, and that sweetness, wherewith Christspake. Alas, that many, who are for a time restrained, and whospeak highly of the word of Jesus, speedily lose theirconvictions, and go on in their sins! People are foolishlyswayed by outward motives in matters of eternal moment, arewilling even to be damned for fashion's sake. As the wisdom ofGod often chooses things which men despise, so the folly of mencommonly despises those whom God has chosen. The Lord bringsforward his weak and timid disciples, and sometimes uses them todefeat the designs of his enemies.
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