Words in italic type have been added for clarity. They are not found in the original Hebrew or Aramaic.
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 are listed as James, Joses (Joseph), Simon, and Judas – Matthew 13:55
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.
- Jerusalem and the temple are in Judea, a hilly country with valleys surrounding the city.
John 7:2 Now the Jews’ Feast of Tabernacles was at hand.
John 7:3 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.
- 3. The absence of Joseph, Jesus’ legal father, 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 7:4 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 was told 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 7:5 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 7:6 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 7:7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil.
John 7:8 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 7:9 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).
John 7:14 Now about the middle of the feast (of Tabernacles) Jesus went up into the temple and taught.
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?
- 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.
- Jesus once again 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.
John 7:38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
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).
Who Is He?
John 7:40 Therefore many from the crowd, when they heard this saying, said, “Truly this is THE Prophet.”
A Prophet Like Moses
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.”
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.
The leaders have something planned that will put Jesus in a predicament of blackmail that puts His mother in danger. Will He be able to escape? See John Chapter 8