John 7#Joh 7:1| LXV. JESUS FAILS TO ATTEND THE THIRD PASSOVER: SCRIBES REPROACH HIM FOR DISREGARDING TRADITION. (Galilee, probably Capernaum, Spring A.D. 29.) #Mt 15:1-20 Mr 7:1-23 Joh 7:1| And after these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Judaea, because the Jews sought to kill him. John told us in his last chapter that the passover was near at hand (#Joh 6:4|). He here makes a general statement which shows that Jesus did not attend this passover. The reason for his absence is given at #Joh 5:18|. (TFG 393) #Joh 7:2| LXXV. JESUS' BROTHERS ADVISE HIM TO GO TO JERUSALEM. (Galilee, probably Capernaum.) #Joh 7:2-9| Now the feast of the Jews, the feast of tabernacles, was at hand. #Joh 7:1| tells us that Jesus kept away from Judaea because the Jews sought for his life. See TFG "#Joh 7:1|". This keeping away or seclusion began at the Passover season, and led Jesus not only to keep away from Judaea, but even to hover upon the outskirts of Galilee itself. This seclusion is described in Sections LXV-LXXI. We now turn back to take up with John the narrative which tells how, after his six months' retirement, Jesus prepared to appear once more in Judaea. The Feast of Tabernacles began on the fifteenth day of the month Tisri, which answers to our September-October, and consequently came six months after and six months before the Passover. It was the most joyous of the two great feasts, and not only commemorated the time when Israel dwelt in the wilderness in tents, but also celebrated the harvest home. It was, therefore, a thanksgiving both for permanent abodes and for the year's crops. As the people dwelt in booths, the feast partook much of the form and merriment of a picnic. (TFG 439-440) #Joh 7:3,4| Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may behold thy works which thou doest. When we consider how Jesus had withdrawn into the regions of Tyre, Sidon, Decapolis, and Caesarea Philippi, and with what assiduity he had avoided crowds and concealed miracles, these words become very plain. The twelve had been instructed sufficiently to confess his Messiahship, but thousands of his disciples had not seen a miracle in six months. (TFG 440) #Joh 7:4| If thou doest these things, manifest thyself to the world. To his brothers such secrecy seemed foolish on the part of one who was ostensibly seeking to be known. They were not disposed to credit the miracles of Jesus, but insisted that if he could work them he ought to do so openly. (TFG 440) #Joh 7:5| For even his brethren did not believe on him. This verse explodes the idea that the parties known in the New Testament as our Lord's brothers were the sons of Alphaeus and cousins to Jesus. The sons of Alphaeus had long since been numbered among the apostles, while our Lord's brothers were still unbelievers. As to his brothers, see #Mr 6:3|. (TFG 440) #Joh 7:6| My time is not yet come: but your time is always ready. Jesus is answering a request that he manifest himself. The great manifestation of his cross and resurrection could not properly take place before the Passover, which was still six months distant. But his brothers, having no message and no manifestation, could show themselves at Jerusalem any time. (TFG 440) #Joh 7:7| The world cannot hate you. The world can not hate you because you are in mind and heart a part of it, and it can not hate itself. But me it hateth, because I testify of it, that its works are evil. It hates those who are not of it, and who rebuke its sins and oppose its ways. (TFG 440-441) #Joh 7:8| I go not up unto this feast; because my time is not yet fulfilled. He did go to the feast, but he did not go up to manifest himself, as his brothers asked, and hence, in the sense in which they made the request, he did not go up. Six months later, at the Passover, he manifested himself by the triumphal entry somewhat as his brothers wished. (TFG 441) #Joh 7:10| LXXVI. THE PRIVATE JOURNEY TO JERUSALEM. (Through Samaria. Probably September, A.D. 29.) #Lu 9:51-56 Joh 7:10| Then went he also up, not publicly, but as it were in secret. The secrecy of this journey consists in the fact that Jesus did not join the caravans or pilgrim bands, and that he did not follow the usual Peraean route, but went directly through Samaria. (TFG 441) #Joh 7:11| LXXVIII. IN THE TEMPLE AT THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES. (October, A.D. 29.) #Joh 7:11-52| The Jews therefore sought him at the feast. It was now eighteen months since Jesus had visited Jerusalem, at which time he had healed the impotent man at Bethesda. His fame and prolonged obscurity made his enemies anxious for him to again expose himself in their midst. John here used the word "Jews" as a designation for the Jerusalemites, who, as enemies of Christ, were to be distinguished from the multitudes who were in doubt about him, and who are mentioned in #Joh 7:12|. (TFG 443) #Joh 7:12| There was much murmuring among the multitudes concerning him. The use of the plural, "multitudes," suggests that the vast crowd disputed as groups rather than individuals. The inhabitants of some towns were disposed to unite in his defense, while those from other towns would concur in condemning him. (TFG 444) #Joh 7:13| Yet no man spake openly of him for fear of the Jews. They would not commit themselves upon a question so important until the Sanhedrin had given its decision. (TFG 444) #Joh 7:14| But when it was now the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught. As the feast lasted eight days, the middle of it would be from the third to the fifth day. Though Jesus had come up quietly to prevent public demonstrations in his favor, he now taught boldly and openly in the very stronghold of his enemies. His sudden appearance suggests the fulfillment of #Mal 3:1|. (TFG 444) #Joh 7:15| How knoweth this man letters, having never learned? The enemies of Christ were content to know but little about him, and now when they heard him they could not restrain their astonishment at his wisdom. By "letters" was meant the written law and the unwritten traditions which were taught in the great theological schools at Jerusalem. The same word is translated "learning" at #Ac 26:24|. No one was expected to teach without having passed through such a course. Skeptics of our day assert that Jesus derived his knowledge from the schools, but the school-teachers who are supposed to have taught him complained of him that he was not their scholar, and surely they ought to have known. (TFG 444) #Joh 7:16| My teaching is not mine, but his that sent me. Seeing the Jews inquiring as to the source of his wisdom, Jesus explains that it was given him of God, and was therefore not derived from any school. (TFG 444) #Joh 7:17| If any man willeth to do his will, he shall know of the teaching, whether it is of God, or whether I speak from myself. Those who would test the divinity of the doctrine of Christ can not do so by rendering a mere mechanical obedience to his teaching. A willing, heartfelt obedience is essential to a true knowledge of his doctrine. Such a disposition makes a good and honest heart in which the seeds of his kingdom must inevitably grow. But a spirit of disobedience is the general source of all skepticism. (TFG 444-445) #Joh 7:18| He that speaketh from himself seeketh his own glory. Those who bear their own message seek their own glory. Those who bear God's message seek God's glory, and such seeking destroys egotism. (TFG 445) #Joh 7:19| Why seek ye to kill me? The point he makes here is, that their seeking to kill him was proof that they were not keeping the law. (TFG 445) #Joh 7:20| Thou hast a demon: who seeketh to kill thee? The multitude had sought to kill him at his last visit (#Joh 7:1|), and it now affects to deny it. Wild notions and extraordinary conduct indicated insanity, and insanity was usually attributed to demoniacal possession. Compare #Mt 11:18|. Their meaning therefore was that the words of Jesus were insanely preposterous, and their words savored more of roughness and irreverence than of malignant unkindness. (TFG 445) #Joh 7:21| I did one work, and ye all marvel because thereof. Jesus forbears to speak further as to the plot to murder him, knowing that time would reveal it; but refers to the miracle performed on the Sabbath day at Bethesda eighteen months before, which gave rise to the plot to murder him (#Joh 5:16-18|). A reference to the excitement at that time would recall to the thoughtful the evidence and bitter hostility which the Jerusalemites had then manifested. (TFG 445) #Joh 7:22| And on the sabbath ye circumcise a man. The law which said that no work must be done on the Sabbath day was in conflict with the law which said that a child must be circumcised on the eighth day, whenever that eighth day happened to fall on the Sabbath. It was a case of a specific command making exception to the general law (#Ex 20:10 Le 12:3|). (TFG 446) #Joh 7:23| If a man receiveth circumcision on the sabbath, that the law of Moses may not be broken; are ye wroth with me, because I made a man every whit whole on the sabbath? Circumcision was great because it purified legally a portion of the body. But the healing worked by Jesus was greater, for it renewed the whole man. (TFG 446) #Joh 7:24| Judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment. If the act of Christ in healing a man were judged as a mere act, it might be considered a breach of the Sabbath. But if the nature of the act be taken into account and all the laws relative to it be considered--in short, if it be judged righteously in all bearings--it would be amply justified. (TFG 446) #Joh 7:25| Is not this he whom they seek to kill? Thus, by referring to the miracle at Bethesda, Jesus not only brought to mind the former opposition of the Jewish rulers, but he started the people of Jerusalem (who were acquainted with the present tempter of the hierarchy) to talking about the intention to kill him, thus warning the people beforehand that they would be called upon to assist in his crucifixion. (TFG 446) #Joh 7:26| Can it be that the rulers indeed know that this is the Christ? The men of Jerusalem spoke more freely because the present boldness of Jesus led them to think that maybe the rulers were changing their attitude toward him. (TFG 446) #Joh 7:27| Howbeit we know this man whence he is: but when the Christ cometh, no one knoweth whence he is. Jerusalem shared the prejudice of its rulers: its citizens felt sure that the rulers could not accept Jesus as Christ because his manner of coming did not comply with accepted theories. Prophecy fixed upon Bethlehem as the birthplace and the line of David as the family of the Christ, but the Jews, probably influenced by #Isa 53:8|, appear to have held that there would be a mystery attached to the immediate and actual parentage of the Messiah. Surely there could have been no greater mystery than the real origin of Jesus as he here outlines it to them, and as they might have fully known it to be had they chosen to investigate the meaning of his words. (TFG 446-447) #Joh 7:28| And I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true, whom ye know not. Our Lord here asserts their ignorance as to his divine origin. Since he came from God, and they did not know God, they consequently did not know whence he came. (TFG 447) #Joh 7:29| I know him; because I am from him, and he sent me. As they expected a Messiah who would be supernaturally sent, they ought to have been satisfied with Jesus. But they had no eyes with which to discern the supernatural. (TFG 447) #Joh 7:30| They sought therefore to take him. Because they understood his language as referring to God and were incensed that he should so openly declare them ignorant of God. And no man laid his hand on him, because his hour was not yet come. Because it was not the will of God that he should be arrested at this time. (TFG 447) #Joh 7:31| When the Christ shall come, will he do more signs than those which this man hath done? Their question was an argument in favor of the Messiahship of Jesus. (TFG 447) #Joh 7:32| And the chief priests and the Pharisees. That is, the Sanhedrin, described by its constituent classes. Sent officers to take him. When the Sanhedrin heard the people expressing their faith in Jesus they felt that it was time to take action. (TFG 447) #Joh 7:33| Yet a little while am I with you, and I go unto him that sent me. Knowing their attempt to arrest him, Jesus tells them that it is not quite time for them to accomplish this purpose. (TFG 447) #Joh 7:34| Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, there ye cannot come. They would soon destroy Jesus; after which they would seek him in vain. Their violence would result in his return to his Father. In the dark days which were about to come, the Jews would long for a Messiah, for the Christ whom they had failed to recognize in Jesus. They, too, would desire the heavenly rest and security of a better world, but their lack of faith would debar them from entering it. See comment at #Joh 8:21|. (TFG 447-448) #Joh 7:35| Whither will this man go that we shall not find him? Will he go unto the Dispersion among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks? The words of Jesus were plain enough, but the assertion that he would return to God, and that such a return would be denied to them was, in their ears, too preposterous to be entertained. They therefore made light of it by construing it nonsensically. They asked if he would go among the Jews who had been dispersed or scattered by the captivity and who had never returned to Palestine, and if, when so doing, he would teach the heathen among whom these dispersed were scattered, assuming that such teaching would certainly frustrate and render absurd his claims to be a Jewish Messiah. They little suspected that Jesus, through his apostles, would do this very thing and thereby vindicate his claim as the true Messiah of God. (TFG 448) #Joh 7:37| On the last day. The eighth day. If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. If we may trust the later Jewish accounts, it was the custom during the first seven days for the priests and people in joyful procession to go to the pool of Siloam with a golden pitcher and bring water thence to pour out before the altar, in commemoration of the water which Moses brought from the rock and which typified the Christ (#1Co 10:4|). If this is so, it is likely that the words of Jesus have some reference to this libation, and are designed to draw a contrast between the earthly water which ceases and the spiritual water which abides, similar to the contrast which he presented to the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well. (TFG 448) #Joh 7:38| As the scripture hath said. In such passages as #Isa 58:11 Zec 14:8|, etc. From within him shall flow rivers of living water. For comment on similar expressions see TFG "Joh 4:13". (TFG 448-449) #Joh 7:39| But this spake he of the Spirit. The first and second chapters of the Book of Acts is the best comment upon this passage. When Jesus ascended to the right hand of the Father and was glorified, he sent forth the Spirit upon his apostles on the day of Pentecost, and the apostles in turn promised the gift of the Spirit to all who would believe, repent, and be baptized. (TFG 449) #Joh 7:40| This is of a truth the prophet. Some of the well disposed toward Jesus, seeing the boldness with which he proclaimed himself, asserted that he was the prophet spoken of by Moses (#De 18:15|), which prophet was thought by some to be the Messiah himself, and by others to be no more than the Messiah's forerunner. (TFG 449) #Joh 7:41| Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, What, doth the Christ come out of Galilee? Still others of the multitude went further and asserted that he was the Christ. These latter were confronted by those who contended that Jesus was not born in the right place nor of the right family. These did not know that he had satisfied the very objections which they named. (TFG 449) #Joh 7:42| Hath not the scripture said that the Christ cometh of the seed of David. See #2Sa 7:16 Isa 11:1 Jer 23:5 Ps 89:36|. And from Bethlehem, the village where David was? See #Mic 5:2|. #Joh 7:44| And some of them would have taken him; but no man laid hands on him. We note here that the enmity of the rulers which had been taken up by the men of Jerusalem (#Joh 7:30|) had now reached a faction even of the multitude, so that it desired his arrest, but was restrained from acting. (TFG 449) #Joh 7:45| The officers therefore came to the chief priests and Pharisees. That is, to those that had sent them (#Joh 7:32|). And they said unto them, Why did ye not bring him? These officers were temple police or Levites, under direction of the chief priests. The words suggest that the Sanhedrin was assembled and waiting for the return of the officers. An extraordinary proceeding for so great a day, but no more extraordinary than that assembly at the feast of the Passover which met and condemned Jesus six months later. (TFG 449-450) #Joh 7:46| Never man so spake. Their report has passed into a saying, which is as true now as when first spoken. (TFG 450) #Joh 7:47-49| Are ye also led astray? This rebuke to the officers may be paraphrased thus: You are to respect the authority of the officers and the judgment of the Pharisees, but you have permitted yourselves to be influenced by a multitude which rests under a curse because of its ignorance. (TFG 450) #Joh 7:50| Nicodemus . . . being one of them. Therefore able to speak from a position of equality. See TFG "#Joh 3:1|". (TFG 450) #Joh 7:51| Doth our law judge a man, except it first hear from himself and know what he doeth? Nicodemus bids these proud rulers note that they were breaking the very law which they extolled (#De 1:16 Ex 23:1|). (TFG 450) #Joh 7:52| Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and see that out of Galilee ariseth no prophet. They laid the lash to the pride of Nicodemus by classing him with the Galileans who formed the main body of Jesus' disciples, thus separating him from the true Jews. There is no clear evidence that any of the prophets save Jonah was from the district at this time called Galilee, and this fact would justify the hasty demand of the objectors, who were not very scrupulous as to accuracy. (TFG 450) #Joh 7:53| LXXIX. THE STORY OF THE ADULTERESS. (Jerusalem.) #Joh 7:53-8:11| This section is wanting in nearly all older manuscripts, but Jerome (A.D. 346-420) says that in his time it was contained in "many Greek and Latin manuscripts," and these must have been as good or better than the best manuscripts we now possess. But whether we regard it as part of John's narrative or not, scholars very generally accept it as a genuine piece of history. And they went every man unto his own house. Confused by the question of Nicodemus, the assembly broke up and each man went home. (TFG 451)
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