BIBLE: John Chapter 7 – Headline “Brothers Seek Death of Oldest”

Words in italic type have been added for clarity. They are not found in the original Hebrew or Aramaic.

John 7

What should I learn from this chapter?

  • The Unforgivable sin
  • The hatred of Jesus’ brothers toward Him
  • The analogy between Jesus and Joseph

Jesus’ Brothers Disbelieve

John 7:1 After these things Jesus walked in Galilee; for He did not want to walk in Judea, because the (ruling authorities) Jews sought to kill Him.

Note: Jerusalem and the temple are in Judea. Jerusalem in a hilly country with valleys surrounding it.

 John 7:Now the Jews’ Feast of Tabernacles was at hand.

The Feast of Tabernacles is one of three annual feast days that all Jewish adult males were required to attend.

“Three times a year all your males shall appear before the LORD your God in the place which He chooses: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Tabernacles; and they shall not appear before the LORD empty-handed.” Deuteronomy 16:16

The Feast of Tabernacles in Ancient Times

  • Personal Application: Let us not appear before the Lord empty handed. When we pray let us offer our thanksgiving and praise. At the end, when all things are completed let us offer our good works. Not for salvation, because salvation only comes by faith, but for our path in becoming more Christ-like.

Many Christians today believe the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles signifies a time when God will be dwelling with men during the millennium in the future. The angels called Jesus “Immanuel” at His birth meaning “God dwells with man”.

Ironically, at this event, Jesus (God Immanuel) is indeed “dwelling with man” both then and in the future.

  • Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel (which translated means “God with Us”, like the Feast of Tabernacles)
  • Isaiah 8:8 He will pass through Judah, He will overflow and pass over, He will reach up to the neck; and the stretching out of his wings (influence) will fill the breadth of Your land, O Immanuel.
  • Zechariah 2:10 “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion! For behold, I am coming and I will dwell in your midst,” says the Lord.
  • Matthew 1:23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” (Like the Feast of Tabernacles)
  • Zechariah 2:10 “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion! For behold, I am coming and I will dwell in your midst,” says the Lord.
John 7:His brothers (Joseph and Mary’s biological sons) therefore said to Him, “Depart from here and go into Judea, that Your disciples also may see the works that You are doing.

Jesus brothers knew the Jewish leaders were seeking Jesus’ life, and yet they encourage Him to go openly to the Feast. They were mocking him.

Why did they resent Him? It raises speculations:
1. Earlier they and their mother were trying to see Him and He replied that the crowd was His mother and brothers.

  • Luke 8:21 But He answered and said to them, “My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.”

2. Growing up with the “Son of God” created a division between them. They resented Him just as Joseph’s brothers resented Joseph. Joseph “ratted” his brothers out and told their father Jacob what they were doing. Likewise, Jesus made them feel as though they were being “ratted” out exposing their sins. They believed He (Jesus) was seeking His own glory.

  • Like Joseph:
    Jesus’ brothers mocked him.
    They were envious
    They set Him up to be killed.
    Like any sinner, they were ratted out whenever He spoke the truth.

3. The absence of Joseph is a “screaming silence” in scripture. The last mention of Joseph is when Joseph and Mary had to go back to Jerusalem when Jesus was 12 years old. Luke 2:41-50. The family dynamics are not completely known. Mary typically is mentioned with Jesus but there is no mention of His brothers. Most notably, the brothers are not at the cross when Jesus gives His mother to the disciple John. One thing is for sure: Herod the Great, although not alive at this time, was on the fast track to execute anyone in line to the Davidic throne and who might threaten the Herodian rule. Those in line to the Davidic throne were called the “Nasi”, or “Princes”. This was Joseph’s lineage.

John 7:For no one does anything in secret while he himself seeks to be known openly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.”

In human terms, they probably also resented Him because He may be putting them in danger if the Jewish leaders were seeking to kill Jesus, they might also be brought under suspicion by these leaders.

They said “If you do these things.” “If” was Satan’s word in the wilderness: “If you are the Son of God” repeated three times.

►If they didn’t believe Jesus was who He said He was – then what did they believe about their mother, Mary? The Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians, Scribes, and Priests certainly did not believe in Jesus as the Son of God. They wanted to kill Him.

►With the elders hating Jesus as much as they did wouldn’t they look into Jesus’ family, history, and reputation? They must have known about Mary’s reputation.

► The sons of Mary and Joseph have the same legal right to the Davidic throne Jesus had. But Jesus was the first born and the one with the birthright.

►The family, religious, legal waters are boiling. How long can Jesus avoid these leaders and yet speak to the crowds? Can He also maneuver around His own family of brothers? He even wanted His miracles hidden. The more miracles He performed, the greater the crowds became, the more exposed He was to their threats. Betrayal was around every corner; those who were healed and yet went and told the Pharisees about Him, His brothers who encouraged Him to go openly to the Feast of Tabernacles, and His own disciple, Judas who betrayed Him with a kiss.

Who is behind the waters of people boiling? None other than the serpent, Satan, also called the Leviathan (sea monster/dragon) who lives in the sea of people. The Leviathan is waiting to devour Mary’s first born male, the one who is holy to the Father.

  • Revelation 12:4 His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born.

Joseph must have been pierced through the heart when he found out Mary was pregnant. Did he sit down on his haunches and cry out knowing the child wasn’t his? Did he get up, turn his back on Mary and walk away. Did she cry out to him to believe her? All her dreams of a pending marriage was fading away before her eyes and she was in danger of being stoned for adultery. The pain for everyone was keen, like a sharp knife of the unknown future, waiting to rip them apart. But an angel appeared in a dream to Joseph to reassure him, and they proceeded forward to navigate a path that had never been walked before.

John 7:For even His brothers did not believe in Him.

Of the family, only Jesus’ mother Mary was at the foot of the cross. She, alone, knew without question, who her son was.

  • Luke 1:35 And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.

All she had to do to get Him off the cross is to tell them it wasn’t true, that she had lied and she wasn’t really a virgin…but those words never came out of her mouth because she knew it was truth. Instead, broken-hearted, she wept for her Son on the cross, perhaps thinking back on the days when she held His tiny fingers in her hand.

His brothers did not believe in Him, but this will change. His brother James will become a believer after Jesus’ resurrection. The epistle of James is traditionally attributed to James the brother of Jesus (James the Just).

James, Joseph (Joses), Judas (Jude), and Simon are brothers of Jesus. Also mentioned, but not named, are the sisters of Jesus.

John 7:Then Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready.

What does that mean: “your time is always ready”? The door is always open to the unbeliever.

John 7:The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil.

His brothers are of the world … and their works are evil.

John 7:You go up to this feast. I am not yet going up to this feast, for My time has not yet fully come.”

Jesus’ agenda was not his brother’s agenda. He went to the feast halfway through the seven feast days.

John 7:When He had said these things to them, He remained in Galilee.

Note: His brothers knew his life was in jeopardy but they mocked the fact that He wasn’t showing Himself to the Jews … Yet, He claimed to be “the Son of God”! If you are the Son of God, why would you have to hide?

Their thoughts did not comprehend that He was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the earth, as John the Baptizer said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.”

  • Revelation 13:8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

The Heavenly Scholar

John 7:10 But when His brothers had gone up, then He also went up to the feast (of Tabernacles), not openly, but as it were in secret.

                “But” means “The flip side is” ….

John 7:11 Then the Jews sought Him at the feast, and said, “Where is He?”

There were both those who wanted to kill Him and those who believed in Him and wanted to see Him. One way or another, they all wanted to see Him.

John 7:12 And there was much complaining among the people concerning Him. Some said, “He is good”; others said, “No, on the contrary, He deceives the people.”
John 7:13 However, no one spoke openly of Him for fear of the Jews (Jewish leaders).
  • Because of the Jewish leaders they did not openly confess their beliefs. The moral of the story is: DO NOT BE AFRAID.
    • John 9:22 His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had agreed already that if anyone confessed that He was Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue.
    • John 19:38 Jesus Buried in Joseph’s Tomb – After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took the body of Jesus.
    • John 20:19 The Apostles Commissioned – Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

They feared the Jewish leaders: the priests, the Sadducees, the elders, the Pharisees, the Herodians, the Scribes, and the Sanhedrin as a whole.

John 7:14 Now about the middle of the feast (of Tabernacles) Jesus went up into the temple and taught.
  • The feast lasted 7 days. The middle of the feast would occur on the 4th day.
  • See Topic: the Mimic Messiah – There is a pattern of Satan doing that which Jesus does but in a perverse way: Jesus is the branch (Isaiah 4:2) but Satan is the abominable branch (Isaiah 14:19), Jesus is the good Shepherd (John 10:11) but Satan is the worthless shepherd (Zechariah 11:17). In this case, since the feast lasts seven days, it is in the middle of the seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles that Jesus appears to declare He is the Son of God. In the middle of Daniel’s “week” the Antichrist will appear to declare he is god. (Daniel 9:27)
John 7:15 And the Jews (Jewish scholars) marveled, saying, “How does this Man know letters, having never studied?”
John 7:16 (So) Jesus answered them and said, “My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me.
John 7:17 If anyone wills to do His (God’s) will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I (Jesus) speak on My own authority.
John 7:18 He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him.
John 7:19 Did not Moses give you the law, yet none of you keeps the law? Why do you seek to kill Me?”

An abrupt statement of Jesus’ righteousness and their unrighteousness.

John 7:20 The people answered and said, “You have a demon. Who is seeking to kill You?”

Who are “the people”? The crowd is made up of many people, some of whom are from Jerusalem who know the leaders are trying to kill Him, see verse 25.

John 7:21 Jesus answered and said to them, “I did (only) one work, and you all marvel.

The work He did was to heal a man (on the Sabbath).

  • It meant more to the man who was healed than those who were not hurting. There is a adage: “What’s the difference between ‘Major’ surgery and ‘minor’ surgery? Minor surgery is if it is someone else and Major surgery is if it is me.”
John 7:22 Moses therefore gave you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and you (are willing to) circumcise a man on the Sabbath.
John 7:23 If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath, so that the Law of Moses should not be broken, are you angry with Me because I made a man completely well on the Sabbath?
  • Circumcision represents the cutting off of the foreskin of the heart, (the foreskin depicts worldly pleasures).
John 7:24 Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”

He confronts them with their hypocrisy. The Hebrew word for hypocrite is “actor”.

Could This Be the Christ?

John 7:25 Now some of them from Jerusalem said, “Is this not He whom they seek to kill?

Note: It wasn’t a secret their intention was to kill Him. Yet they not only deny it but accuse Him of having demons. This is the definition of evil, deny your sin and blame others for it.

John 7:26 But look! He speaks boldly, and they say nothing to Him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is truly the Christ?
John 7:27 However, we know where this Man is from; but when the Christ (the looked for Savior, the Messiah) comes, no one knows where He is from.”

It also wasn’t a secret the Jews were expecting their Messiah at that time.

John 7:28 Then Jesus cried out, as He taught in the temple, saying, “You both know Me, and you know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know.
John 7:29 But I know Him (the Father God), for I am from Him, and He sent Me.”
John 7:30 Therefore they sought to take Him (Have him killed, after denying it); but no one laid a hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come.
John 7:31 And many of the people believed in Him, and said, “When the Christ comes, will He do more signs than these which this Man has done?”

They were amazed at His miracles, His signs, and His speech.

Jesus and the Religious Leaders

John 7:32 The Pharisees heard the crowd murmuring these things concerning Him, and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take Him.
John 7:33 Then Jesus said to them, “I shall be with you a little while longer, and then I go to Him who sent Me.

Note: He is predicting his death.

John 7:34 You will seek Me and not find Me, and where I AM you cannot come.”

God told Moses His name was “I AM that I AM” meaning I always have been, I Am, and I always will be, eternally the same. Jesus uses this same name repeatedly for Himself because He IS God:

  • John 18:6 Now when He (Jesus) said to them, “I AM,” they drew back and fell to the ground.
John 7:35 Then the Jews said among themselves, “Where does He intend to go that we shall not find Him? Does He intend to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks and teach the Greeks?

There were Jews dispersed after the destruction of Solomon’s temple as well as Jewish captives who were dispersed after Cyrus’ release.

John 7:36 What is this thing that He said, ‘You will seek Me and not find Me, and where I am you cannot come’?”

The Promise of the Holy Spirit

John 7:37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.

On the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles there is a water ceremony in which the priests parade with pitchers of water. This Feast is about Jesus and Jesus uses it to teach about Himself as their Messiah by crying out that He is the living water.

You can lead a man to “the Living Water” but you can’t make him think.

The last day is the 7th of 7, similar to the seals, trumpets, and bowls in Revelation each one being the 7th of 7 resulting in a trinity of 7s.

At the culmination of the 7s in Revelation, Jesus returns to earth to set up His kingdom, signified by the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles when God dwells with men.

John 7:38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”

It is an appropriate way for Jesus to introduce Himself through the Jewish Feasts God gave to Moses. The feasts were prophetic of their coming Messiah, which Jesus was…and is today.

Jesus is declaring “I AM your feast”.

Scripture mentions both bread and water as something spiritual:

  • John 4:10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”
  • Revelation 7:17 for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
  • Isaiah 55:1 An Invitation to Abundant Life – “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters; And you who have no money, Come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk Without money and without price.
  • John 6:35 And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.
John 7:39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those (would be) believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified (crucified and risen from the dead with a glorified body).

Living water is the Holy Spirit delivering eternal life to those who believe.

Who Is He?

John 7:40 Therefore many from the crowd, when they heard this saying, said, “Truly this is THE Prophet.”

Note: The crowd is not saying “a prophet”, they are saying “THE Prophet” from Deuteronomy 18:18.

  • Deuteronomy 18:18 I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him.

A Prophet Like Moses

When Jesus began performing miracles in the sight of all who were watching they said, This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.” What did they mean, “The Prophet who is to come into the world?” (Not just “A” Prophet) They were referring to the prophet that Moses spoke of, with an expectation among the people in Israel that this prophet was about to appear. Moses spoke an amazing prophecy about the Messiah in the Book of Deuteronomy where he reminded Israel all God had done for them, and encouraged them to be faithful. The prophecy goes like this:  

Moses said to Israel: “The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear.

And then God spoke to Moses regarding the prophecy:

* Deuteronomy 18:18 God said to Moses – “I will raise up for them a Prophet like you (Moses) from among their brethren, and I will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. `And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him.”

God told Moses the Messiah would be a prophet – like Moses. The LORD previously said that when He speaks to the prophets he speaks to them in a vision or in a dream, but that’s not how He spoke to Moses. The LORD said He spoke to Moses “face to face as a man speaks to his friend.”

If we look more closely at this prophecy:

* First, the Messiah would be a prophet like Moses. 
* Second, The Messiah would be from among their brethren. Moses said the Messiah would be a Jew. 
* Third, God said “I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him.” The LORD basically said that the words coming out of the Messiah’s mouth would be the very word of God. 
* Fourth, whoever will not hear God’s words, which the Messiah will speak in God’s name, God will judge him and hold him accountable, whomever it may be. And the judgement will be because they chose not to hear the words that came out of the Messiah’s mouth.

All this was written way back into the time of Moses

Now if we examine the words of Jesus carefully we will find striking similarities, Jesus said, “For I have not spoken this of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.”

* Jesus also said: “He that rejects me, and receives not my words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” – John 12:47-50

Sound familiar? This statement corresponds exactly to the prophecy in Deuteronomy 18:18

When Jesus was in a discussion with the Pharisees He said to them, “I have come in my Father’s name, and you receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him you will receive.” – John 5:43 This also corresponds with the prophecy in Deuteronomy 18:18

The Pharisees made an interesting statement:

  • “we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses.” John 9:28-29

    Jesus summed it all up for the Pharisees. He said, “Don’t think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is already one who accuses you, even Moses, on whom you have set your hope. For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote about me. But if you don’t believe his writings, how will you believe my words?” – John 5:45-47

    The ancient prophecies spoke about Jesus. All the events in Jesus’s life, His words, the places he went, the people he spoke with, the miracles, and everything about his character, and even his death and resurrection, were all in fulfillment of what was written about him by the prophets. ~Bible History Online: 3/23/19
John 7:41 Others said, “This is the Christ.”
But some said, “Will the Christ come out of Galilee?
John 7:42 Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the seed of David and from the town of Bethlehem, where David was?”
John 7:43 So there was a division among the people because of Him.
John 7:44 Now some of them wanted to take Him, but no one laid hands on Him.

Rejected by the Authorities

John 7:45 Then the officers came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, “Why have you not brought Him?”
John 7:46 The officers answered, “No man ever spoke like this Man!”
John 7:47 Then the Pharisees answered them, “Are you also deceived?
John 7:48 Have any of the rulers or the Pharisees believed in Him?

The thinking behind the previous statement is: “If the rulers or Pharisees do not believe in Him then He must not be who He says He is.”

John 7:49 But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed.”
John 7:50 Nicodemus (he who came to Jesus by night, being one of them) said to them,
John 7:51 “Does our law judge a man before it hears him and knows what he is doing?”
John 7:52 They answered and said to him, “Are you also from Galilee? Search and look, for no prophet has arisen out of Galilee.”

They forgot about Jonah!

  • Jonah 1:1 Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai.
  • Matthew 12:39 But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.
  • Luke 11:30 For as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so also the Son of Man will be to this generation. (As the past…so also the prophetic future).
  • 2 Kings 14:25 He restored the territory of Israel from the entrance of Hamath to the Sea of the Arabah, according to the word of the Lord God of Israel, which He had spoken through His servant Jonah the son of Amittai, the prophet who was from Gath Hepher (in Galilee).

An Adulteress Faces the Light of the World

John 7:53 And everyone went to his own house.

If you don’t believe in Jesus, then you have to question Mary’s virgin birth… and THAT is the unforgivable sin.

What the leaders have planned next will put Jesus in a predicament of blackmail that puts His mother in danger. Will He be able to escape?

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