Study Notes

John 7:14-36

7:14 The Midst Of The Feast

Remember that Jesus has gone down to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles. He went in secret because the Jewish leadership was seeking for a way to kill Him. But now in the middle of this week-long feast, He makes Himself known and begins to teach.

7:15 Never Educated

Everyone knew Jesus as "the carpenter's son." He was no Scribe, Pharisee, or Sadducee. That's why everyone was always amazed when He would teach. We read throughout the gospels that the people who heard Him teach were amazed and astonished: because of His understanding and answers (Luke 2:47), because He taught with authority (Matt 7:28-29), and because He had incredible wisdom (Matt 13:54).

Now here is one more reason for them to be amazed: He has never been the disciple of a Rabbi or gone to the Rabbinical schools. At this time in history, we know that there were at least 30 Rabbinical schools in Jerusalem. But Jesus hadn't graduated from or been degreed by them. He hadn't even attended them!

Take note here: you don't need a degree to minister the Word of God to people. None of the disciples ever graduated from seminary. It is the CHURCH'S responsibility to send people out, not the SEMINARY'S. Paul says in Ephesians 4, that God...

Eph. 4:11-12 ... gave some {as} apostles, and some {as} prophets, and some {as} evangelists, and some {as} pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ

If you are called by God to be an apostle, prophet, evangelist, or a pastor/teacher, don't let your lack of formal training discourage you - you come and talk to me about how that can be accomplished. I know it is possible, because the Word tells us to...

1Cor. 1:26-29 ... consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised, God has chosen, the things that are not, that He might nullify the things that are, that no man should boast before God.

I personally feel you're better off serving and studying, and staying out of seminary. I've seen seminary ruin men. Getting that degree and man's "knowledge" has pridefully puffed many up to the point of being useless for God. I know that I'm foolish, I know that I'm weak, I know that I'm despised among the educated. And I believe that's why God likes to use me!

7:16-17 The Teaching

Jesus hadn't been taught by man, but by the Father. How can someone know that for sure? How can they know that Jesus' teachings are the true teachings of God? If you're willing to do the will of God, you'll know it for sure. The Scripture says,

Deut. 4:29 ...From there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find {Him} if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul.

If you search for God with your whole heart, you can know for certain that Jesus is the true teacher. Not Buddha, Mohammed, Confucius, or David Koresh. People who have searched and turned to these religions were willing to do their own will, not the will of God.

7:18 Seeking Glory

What does it mean, "to speak from yourself?" That literally means to have your own self be the source of your ideas. In other words, your opinion instead of God's opinion.

If you're giving your own opinions and advice, you're seeking your own glory. You're saying, "I have the knowledge that you need. I'm the one you should be seeking wisdom from." "Self-seekers are self-speakers." (Henry)

Those of you who have known me for a while know that when you call me on the phone or come to the church office for counsel, you're not going to hear any opinion or advice from me. You're going to hear the Word of God. That's because I firmly believe what Peter said:

2Pet. 1:3-4 ...His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises...

Everything you need for your life and godliness will be found in the true knowledge of God through the Bible. I can't tell you whether to invest in stocks or mutual funds. I can't tell you how to vote in the next mayoral election. And I can't tell you whether to take the cash or what's behind door number 3. Because if I'm giving you advice and opinions, I'm seeking my glory instead of God's glory. I'll just let you know what God says about a certain subject - that way, God gets the glory, and I stay out of trouble!

7:19-20 Blind To Our Own Sin

The Jewish leadership was seeking to kill Jesus because they felt He had broken the 4th commandment, "Remember the Sabbath day." But in doing so, they were breaking the 6th commandment, "Thou shalt not kill."

It's amazing how blind we can be to our own sin while thinking that we can see someone else's so clearly. Jesus taught,

Luke 6:41-42 "...And why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,' when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother's eye."

Jesus had done a good deed on the Sabbath day. They thought that constituted sin. So they felt totally justified in plotting to murder Him, not seeing their own actions as utterly sinful.

7:21-24 Circumcision

Remember that God had instructed Abraham,

Gen. 17:10-12 "This is My covenant, which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: every male among you shall be circumcised. And you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be the sign of the covenant between Me and you. And every male among you who is eight days old shall be circumcised throughout your generations..."

It was a sign of the covenant between God and the Israelites. It marked a cutting away of the unrighteous flesh, of a new beginning with God. So the Jews circumcised all of their male children on the eighth day after birth - even if that day happened to be a Sabbath.

Jesus makes His case clear, saying, "Okay, you'll circumcise a baby if the eighth day happens to fall on a Sabbath day. Even though that's work, which technically disobeys the command of God regarding the Sabbath, you do it to obey the higher command of God to do this righteous thing. So why are you so bent out of shape that I did a righteous thing on the Sabbath? You give a baby a new beginning, I gave that man a new beginning. You deal with a small part of the baby, I made the entire man well! Come to think of it, circumcision causes pain - I caused relief. Circumcision is cutting, I was healing."

7:25-27 Is This The Christ?

It made sense to the multitude. Why were the leadership seeking to kill Him? Yet, everyone had noticed that they weren't arresting Him. Were they afraid? Could this really be the Messiah? But wait, He couldn't be the Messiah, because...

No One Knows

Some teachers had begun to be of the opinion that the Messiah would appear from out of the blue - that no one would know where he would come from. Many people heard and believed this teaching, even though it had no Biblical basis.

As a matter of fact, it went against Biblical teaching about the Messiah. The Scriptures had spoken very clearly as to the birthplace of the Messiah. Remember when the Magi came to Herod to find where the king of the Jews had been born.

Matt. 2:4-6 And gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he {began} to inquire of them where the Christ was to be born. And they said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it has been written by the prophet, 'AND YOU, BETHLEHEM, LAND OF JUDAH, ARE BY NO MEANS LEAST AMONG THE LEADERS OF JUDAH; FOR OUT OF YOU SHALL COME FORTH A RULER, WHO WILL SHEPHERD MY PEOPLE ISRAEL.'"

Many Jews in Jesus' day had been deceived into believing a lie. That is the root of deception among God's people today as well: not knowing the Word of God.

The serpent deceived Eve by twisting and denying the Word of God. The people in Jeremiah's day were being deceived.

Jer. 29:8-9 "For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, 'Do not let your prophets who are in your midst and your diviners deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams which they dream. For they prophesy falsely to you in My name; I have not sent them,' declares the LORD.

The Scriptures call the Christians in Berea "noble-minded," for they refused to be deceived by false teaching.

Acts 17:11 Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily, {to see} whether these things were so.

When Paul taught, they checked out what he said to see if it lined up with the Scriptures. Don't fall into the same trap that so many have over the years. You can know for sure what is from God and what is not - check it out in the Word of God. Refuse to be deceived - search the scriptures!

7:28-30 His Hour Had Not Yet Come

Throughout the gospel of John, we will read of Jesus' hour. Remember that He told His mother Mary,

John 2:4 ..."My hour has not yet come."

When you read this phrase, understand that He is talking about the culmination of His earthly ministry - the time when He would be betrayed, arrested, tortured, crucified, and ultimately glorified. In chapter 12, we'll read Jesus saying,

John 12:23-24 "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit."

These last six months of His ministry are building to a head - each day drawing nearer to that dreadful hour. But for the time being, they can't do anything, because His hour hasn't come. It is comforting to me to know that God already has my days numbered. Job prayed, "A man's...

Job 14:5 "...days are determined, The number of his months is with Thee, and his limits Thou hast set so that he cannot pass."

Jesus also reminded us,

Matt. 6:27 "...Which of you by being anxious can add a single cubit to his life's span?"

Our hour is set - it is prearranged. We need not walk in fear of man, for what can man do to us?

Isa. 54:17 "No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper.."

No man could lay his hand on Jesus, because His hour had not yet come.

7:31-34 Where I Am

When the officers came to arrest Jesus, He said to them,

John 7:33-34 "For a little while longer I am with you, then I go to Him who sent Me. You shall seek Me, and shall not find Me; and where I am, you cannot come."

Basically, what He's saying is, "I'm not here much longer. I'll be headed back up to heaven in a few months. And you're not going to be able to find me there, because you aren't going to make it..."

7:35-36 The Dispersion

Of course, the Jewish leadership had no idea what He was talking about. Did He mean that He was leaving? Was He going to go into Gentile country? They said,

John 7:35 ..."He is not intending to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks, is He?"

The Dispersion was the name given to the Jews that lived outside of the land of Israel. Those who had been dispersed through the Babylonian Captivity.

They didn't understand what Jesus was saying to them. Do you understand what Jesus has been saying to you this morning? That He can call you into ministry without a college education? That if you don't know Him that you can find Him if you seek Him with all of your heart? That you need to keep opinions and advice to yourself, rather presenting people with the Word of God? That we can be judging others, yet be blind to our own sin? These are all things that the Word of God has brought to us this morning. Will we choose to understand them?

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