John 7

1 Jesus would die at the hand of the Jews at the proper time. For now, Jesus ministered in Galilee. Christians are sometimes called to minister in the face of opposition, but when a ministry ground has proven fruitless, God may lead us to a more receptive environment. Circumstances should not dictate where we minister, though, God should.
2 These events occurred approximately six months after the events recorded in the previous chapter.
3 It appears that Jesus' brothers were mocking Him. Why would the Messiah stay away from Jerusalem? Galilee was obscure while Jerusalem was the center of their culture. If Jesus wanted followers, He should go there.
5 Jesus' brothers would have known Him all their lives. They would have known that Jesus lived a sinless life and had never told a lie. If anyone should believe Him, it should be those who knew Him the best. Yet, they could not see beyond Jesus' physical appearance to see Him as the Son of God. They simply saw Him as their older brother and apparently did not know of (or understand) Jesus' miraculous birth.
6 Jesus' timing was based on God's plan, not the advice of His brothers. Jesus would go, but He would go at the perfect time. The brothers were not concerned about God's timing. They simply did things according to their own plans.
7 No one likes to be corrected, especially if he thinks he is right. However, Jesus came to shed light on the hearts of men to expose their sinful motivations. When they hear such things, people can either accept the message and repent, or reject the message and despise the messenger.
10 Jesus appears to have gone to Jerusalem without His disciples. He observed the festival without drawing attention to Himself.
11 While Jesus was not looking for attention, the Jewish leaders were looking for Him. They were still seething from Jesus' supposed disregard for the Sabbath and presumed blasphemy.
12 The common people were split on their thoughts of Jesus.
13 It was obvious that the leaders despised Jesus, so the common people would not let their conversations be overheard by them. No one would express an opinion openly.
14 Jesus had been observing the feast privately, but the time came to begin teaching the people again.
15 Although the religious officials wanted to kill Jesus, they had to admit He was an excellent teacher with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. The strange thing was that Jesus had not studied as an apprentice under a Rabbi. He seemed have found all these things out on His own.
16 Jesus denies that He learned theology on His own. His interpretation of Scripture came directly from God.
17 Those who seek God will find that Jesus' words are true.
18 The motivation for many Rabbis of Jesus' day was to attain the prestige that a Rabbi received from others. Jesus was not like that, because He wanted to glorify God in everything He did.
19 The sixth commandment is "You shall not murder." The Jews claimed to follow the Law of Moses, but they had been plotting to murder Jesus. The accusation of blasphemy was a front. They really wanted to kill Jesus because He had exposed their faith as phony.
20 Instead of admitting their guilt, they deny the accusation and then try to discredit Jesus by saying that He had a demon. It is amazing that they would mistake the work of God for the work of demons. They simply were not thinking about the situation.
22 Circumcision was not a miraculous work, but it was a religious work. A male child was to be circumcised on the eighth day after he was born (Gen 17:10-14). If that day fell on a Sabbath, then that was the day he was circumcised on. The Jews did not consider this a violation of the Law.
23 Jesus' miracle was not merely a covenant work; it was a work designated by God. The Jews did not have a problem doing God's commanded work on the Sabbath, so they should not condemn Jesus for doing the same.
24 The Jews were not judging with the proper perspective. They should have been able to see from the Law that work on the Sabbath is fine if it is God's ordained work. The works of selfishness and worldly gain are the ones prohibited on the Sabbath.
25 The common people knew that the leaders wanted to kill Jesus, although the leaders denied it.
26 However, the leaders were allowing Jesus to teach in public. This caused confusion among the people because the leaders were sending mixed signals.
27 Where this notion of the "mysterious origin" came from is unknown. The Scriptures are quite clear about the Messiah's Davidic lineage and place of birth. What the people seemed most concerned about was that Jesus appeared to be an ordinary person up to the time He began His ministry. It was difficult for them to accept the idea that He was now the promised Messiah.
28 Jesus knew the murmuring in the crowd and answered them. It was true that they knew where Jesus the Man was from, but they did not see that His Spirit was divine. In this sense, His origin was "unknown" to them because they did not really know God who sent Him.
29 Jesus knows God because He makes up part of the Godhead.
30 Again, it was clear to the Jews that Jesus was claiming to be God. The leaders wanted to seize Him and stone Him for blasphemy, but their efforts were frustrated in some unknown way. It appeared there was divine intervention because God's timing demanded that Jesus' work continue for now.
31 The common people were reasoning among themselves. It did not take years of religious study for them to see that Jesus was the Messiah. What more could they possibly expect from the Messiah? They put their faith in Him, but they would eventually see that the Messiah would indeed do much more. His work of salvation on the cross would eclipse the miraculous works He was then doing.
32 Eventually, word got back to the religious leaders that the common people were accepting Jesus as the Messiah. They sent Temple guards to arrest Jesus immediately and stop His ministry.
33 Jesus emphasizes the shortness of His ministry. He would only minister until the next Passover. Then He would return to His place in the Godhead. He was foreshadowing His death.
34 Once Jesus ascended, some will continue to seek Him, but their search will be in vain. He would not appear again in the flesh until the Second Coming.
35 The Jews did not understand that Jesus was speaking of His death. They thought He might travel to other parts of the world and preach to Jews there or even the Gentiles.
37 Apparently, there was a tradition where the Jews would bring water from the Pool of Siloam to the altar on the first seven days of the feast, but not on the eighth. This appears to be the lead in for Jesus' speech. Jesus could provide the people with spiritual water that would not run out.
38 This spiritual water would well up to the surface like a natural spring and flow from people like a river, blessing others in the process.
39 As a side note, John indicates that Jesus was speaking of the Holy Spirit, but this would not be realized until the day of Pentecost after Jesus' resurrection.
40 Some were content to call Jesus a prophet because of His miraculous works and prophetic words.
41 Others felt that Jesus was the Messiah -- someone much more important than a prophet. Others disputed this notion because they considered Jesus from Galilee.
42 The Messiah was to be of the line of David (Jer 23:5) and be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). Jesus had been born in Bethlehem (Mat 2:1), but the people assumed He was from Galilee because that is where He grew up. Jesus was also of the line of David by legal adoption through Joseph (Mat 1:6, 16).
45 The temple guards came back without arresting Jesus.
46 We do not know if the officers believed Jesus. However, Jesus spoke with such power that the officers could not bring themselves to arrest Him. In addition, the officers probably wanted to avoid a riot. Since many in the crowd were convinced that Jesus was the Messiah, they may have taken violent exception to Jesus' arrest.
47 The Pharisees thought Jesus was a fraud. Even today, there are people that feel that anyone who would truly believe in Jesus must have been brainwashed.

Ironically, the Jewish leaders were themselves deceived. They felt that they could ignore God's will and yet please Him with their own religious traditions.

48 Those who felt they knew the most about the Messiah did not recognize Him when He arrived. In their own arrogance, they felt they could shame a person into not believing something that was obvious.
49 Those who knew little of the Messiah were the ones who recognized Him. The religious leaders envisioned a Messiah who would endorse and be subservient to their rulers. They were offended when Jesus pointed out their religious hypocrisy. Since the rulers were convinced that they were right, they refused to believe that Jesus knew the truth. The "commoners," on the other hand saw their spiritual weaknesses, confessed their sins, and believed the Good News that Jesus preached.
51 The Sanhedrin had tried and convicted Jesus before there was a formal trial. This is both illogical and illegal.

It appears from this statement that some of the leaders had never even heard Jesus themselves. Nicodemus is the only Sanhedrin member we know of that had a one-on-one conversation with Jesus.

Nicodemus knew the attitude of the Sanhedrin already, so we have to admire his courage to speak up. He reminded them of what was right, although he knew they did not want to hear it.

Some have suggested that this is a defense of Jesus, but it is really a call for proper protocol. We do not know if Nicodemus was a believer at this time or not. Nicodemus may have wanted Jesus to appear before the Sanhedrin to gain more information about who He was. On the other hand, he may have felt that if Jesus was given a fair hearing that He would be exonerated. Perhaps others in the Sanhedrin would believe if they would only listen to Jesus.

52 By asking if Nicodemus was from Galilee, they were asking if he was a diciple of Jesus. The region of Galilee did not have the best reputation at that time, and its distance from Jerusalem made the religious leaders feel that they had less influence there. It seemed unlikely that a prophet would be born there, and there was no scriptural reference to a prophet coming from there.

However, the Sandhedron did not realize that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, not Galilee. Also, Jesus was not merely a prophet, He was the Messiah. If the Sanhedrin had done a legal inquiry, they may have discovered these things. However, they saw Jesus as a threat to their positions and already had decided that Jesus was a fraud. They were not going to change their minds now.

53 Since the temple guards refused to arrest Jesus and the members of the Sanhedrin were not going to arrest Him, there was nothing more for them to do or discuss ... for now.