Jesus Teaches at the Feast
1 After this, Jesus walked [from place to place] in Galilee, for He would not walk in Judea because the Jews were seeking to kill Him. 2 Now the Jewish (a)Feast of Tabernacles (Booths) was approaching. 3 So His (b)brothers said to Him, “Leave here and go to Judea, so that Your disciples [there] may also see the works that You do. 4 No one does anything in secret when he wants to be known publicly. If You [must] do these things, show Yourself openly to the world and make Yourself known!” 5 For not even His brothers believed in Him. 6 So Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come; but any time is right for you. 7 The world cannot hate you [since you are part of it], but it does hate Me because I denounce it and testify that its deeds are evil. 8 Go up to the feast yourselves. I am not going up to this feast because My time has not yet fully come.” 9 Having said these things to them, He stayed behind in Galilee.
10 But [afterward], when His brothers had gone up to the feast, He went up too, not publicly [with a caravan], but quietly [because He did not want to be noticed]. 11 So the Jews kept looking for Him at the feast and asking, “Where is He?” 12 There was a lot of whispered discussion and murmuring among the crowds about Him. Some were saying, “He is a good man”; others said, “No, on the contrary, He misleads the people [giving them false ideas].” 13 Yet no one was speaking out openly and freely about Him for fear of [the leaders of] the Jews.
14 When the feast was already half over, Jesus went up into the temple [court] and began to teach. 15 Then the Jews were perplexed. They said, “How (c)did this man become learned [so versed in the Scriptures and theology] (d)without formal training?” 16 Jesus answered them by saying, “My teaching is not My own, but His who sent Me. 17 If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know whether the teaching is of God or whether I speak on My own accord and by My own authority. 18 He who speaks on his own accord seeks glory and honor for himself. But He who seeks the glory and the honor of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness or deception in Him.
19 “Did not Moses give you the Law? And yet not one of you keeps the Law. Why do you want to kill Me [for not keeping it]?” 20 The crowd answered, “You have a demon [You are out of Your mind]! Who wants to kill You?” 21 Jesus replied, “I did one (e)work, and you are all astounded.(A) 22 For this reason Moses has given you [God’s law regarding] circumcision (not that it originated with Moses, but with the patriarchs) and you circumcise a man [even] on the Sabbath. 23 If, to avoid breaking the Law of Moses, a man undergoes (f)circumcision on the Sabbath, why are you angry with Me for making a man’s whole body well on the Sabbath? 24 Do not judge by appearance [superficially and arrogantly], but judge fairly and righteously.”
25 Then some of the people of Jerusalem said, “Is this not the Man they want to kill? 26 Look, He is speaking publicly, and they say nothing to Him! Is it possible that the rulers really know that this is the Christ? 27 But we know where this Man is from; whenever the Christ comes, no one will know where He is from.” 28 Then Jesus called out as He taught in the temple, “You know Me and know where I am from; and I have not come on my own initiative [as self-appointed], but He who sent Me is true, and Him you do not know. 29 I know Him Myself because I am from Him [I came from His very presence] and it was He [personally] who sent Me.” 30 So they were eager to arrest Him; but no one laid a hand on Him, because His time had not yet come. 31 But many from the crowd believed in Him. And they kept saying, “When the Christ comes, will He do more signs and exhibit more proofs than this Man?”
32 The Pharisees heard the crowd muttering these things [under their breath] about Him, and the chief priests and Pharisees sent (g)guards to arrest Him. 33 Therefore Jesus said, “For a little while longer I am [still] with you, and then I go to Him who sent Me. 34 You will look for Me, and will not [be able to] find Me; and where I am, you cannot come.” 35 Then the Jews said among themselves, “Where does this Man intend to go that we will not find Him? Does He intend to go to the Dispersion [of Jews scattered and living] among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks? 36 What does this statement of His mean, ‘You will look for Me, and will not [be able to] find Me; and where I am, you cannot come’?”
37 Now on the last and most important day of the feast, Jesus stood and called out [in a loud voice], “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink!
Jesus Teaches at the Feast
38 He who believes in Me [who adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Me], as the Scripture has said, ‘From his innermost being will flow continually rivers of living water.’”(B) 39 But He was speaking of the [Holy] Spirit, whom those who believed in Him [as Savior] were to receive afterward. The Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified (raised to honor).
Division of People over Jesus
40 Listening to these words, some of the people said, “This is certainly the Prophet!”(C) 41 Others said, “This is the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed)!” But others said, “Surely the Christ is not going to come out of Galilee, is He? 42 Does the Scripture not say that the Christ comes from the descendants of David, and from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?”(D)
Division of People over Jesus
43 So the crowd was divided because of Him. 44 Some of them wanted to arrest Him, but no one laid hands on Him.
45 Then the guards went [back] to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, “Why did you not bring Him [here with you]?” 46 The guards replied, “Never [at any time] has a man talked the way this Man talks!” 47 Then the Pharisees said to them, “Have you also been deluded and swept off your feet? 48 Has any of the rulers or Pharisees believed in Him? 49 But this [ignorant, contemptible] crowd that does not know the Law is accursed and doomed!” 50 Nicodemus (the one who came to Jesus before and was one of them) asked, 51 “Does our Law convict someone without first giving him a hearing and finding out what he is [accused of] doing?” 52 They responded, “Are you also from Galilee? Search [and read the Scriptures], and see [for yourself] that no prophet comes from Galilee!” 53 (h)[And everyone went to his own house.
a. John 7:2: This important seven-day feast held in October celebrated the harvest (ingathering). Devout Jews spent the week living outside in booths or tents made of tree branches. It was the most popular of the three great Jewish festivals (Passover, Pentecost, Tabernacles).
b. John 7:3: The younger sons of Mary and Joseph included James and Jude, who penned the NT letters bearing their names, and Joses and Simon. See Mark 6:3.
c. John 7:15: Lit does this man know letters.
d. John 7:15: Lit not having learned.
e. John 7:21: The healing of the paralytic at Bethesda occurred during Jesus’ last visit to Jerusalem.
f. John 7:23: According to the Law of Moses, a baby boy had to be circumcised on the eighth day, even if it was a Sabbath. It was, therefore, outrageous for the Jews to accuse Jesus of violating the Sabbath by performing a miraculous act of healing.
g. John 7:32: The temple guards were a group of Levites who were responsible for keeping order in and around the temple.
h. John 7:53: Most late mss include the story of the adulterous woman, numbering it as 7:53-8:11, though some mss place it elsewhere in the text. The story is considered authentic as part of the oral tradition of the early church, and perhaps for that reason it was inserted in John’s Gospel.