No one ever spoke like Jesus:
(Read John 7:1-9)
Jesus remained in Galilee because of Jewish plot to kill him in Judea. Though Jesus did all things well, only few followed him. As Jesus revealed himself more clearly the opposition grew increasingly. He knew rejection more than anybody else (John 1:11; John 6:66; John 7:34). Yet God's plan did not fail. His teaching was remarkably simple. He used common, everyday objects to illustrate eternal truth. He taught from life's situations. His own family failed to understand his identity (7:5). His family advised him to go to Jerusalem to perform mighty works to influence the crowd. Only after his resurrection did his brothers believe in Jesus (Mark 3:21; 1 Cor 15:7). Jesus said "My time has not yet come" (7:8). He came to his own and His own received Him not.. The Bible speaks of Jesus as Mary's firstborn son (Luke 2:7). The most logical conclusion is that Jesus had siblings (Mat 13:55-56). Jesus never tried to gain popularity and influence the people with his miracle. He did all things to glorify the Father. Christians should follow His example.
Jesus at the Feast:
(Read John 7:10-24)
Midway through the festival of Tabernacle, Jesus went up to the temple and began to teach openly. Those who heard Jesus were divided in their opinion of him. Some thought he is a good man while others thought he is a deceiver. Jewish leaders were amazed at his teaching. They said "Where did He get this knowledge without any formal training". His teaching was with authority because it came from God. Many received Jesus with joy and others rejected him with contempt. There is no middle ground. Because of the fear of expulsion from synagogue no one spoke favorably. Jesus said " Those who want to do the will of God will recognize his teaching whether it is from God or is merely his own" (7:17). This is the timeless principle for understanding the scripture. Understanding is not a requirement for salvation but faith in Christ. Faith is not an intellectual issue but a moral and spiritual issue. Christ's teaching should be received with joy. Jesus never sought his own glory. Jews accused Jesus for healing a man at the pool of Bethesda on Sabbath and planned to kill him. People assumed that Jesus was insane and was possessed with demon. Jesus said to them "Do not judge by appearance but judge with right judgment" (7:24). God's word exposes what is in our hearts. Pray that we would respond to the scripture as it reveals our sin and need of salvation.
Is Jesus the Christ?
(Read John 7:25-36)
People were amazed that Jesus spoke boldly and openly in the temple. They thought, maybe He is the Messiah. Jewish leaders dismissed this idea and wanted to arrest Jesus. But his appointed time had not yet come. Yet many believed in Jesus because of the miracles. Jewish leaders sent guards to arrest Jesus but they were powerless to arrest him. They said, ”No one ever spoke like Jesus” (7:46). Jesus told them that He will be with them for a little while, and then he will return to his Father. This was a reference to his death and ascension. The Jews did not understand the spiritual significance of what Jesus said (7:36). Only those who trust in Christ understand him and have the certainty of their salvation.
Rivers of Living Water:
(Read John 7:37-39)
The Feast of the Tabernacle was a joyful festival in Jerusalem. It was celebrated by Jews living in the tents, commemorating their wilderness journey. During the course of that one-week, water was poured upon the Alter, in remembrance of the refreshing stream that had come forth miraculously out of the rock in the wilderness (Ex 17:1-7). Jesus was making the claim that He is the rock from which the life giving water flows (1 Cor 10:1-4). After Jesus ascended to heaven, God poured out the Holy Spirit upon the church. On the last day of the great feast Jesus stood and cried out “If any one thirsts, let him come to me and drink (7:37). Jesus is the source of eternal life. Only he could renew and satisfy us. Those who believe in Christ not only be satisfied but also become channel of blessing to others (7:37). This invitation is extended to everyone. Here Jesus was referring to the coming of the Holy Spirit after His ascension (7:39). Only the indwelling Spirit can bring satisfaction and blessings in our lives.
Are you a Secret Follower?
(Read John 7:40-53)
People responded differently to Christ’s invitation. Some thought that Jesus is a Prophet. Others said He is the Messiah. Still others said, "How can the Messiah come from Galilee? Pharisees accused the officers who returned without arresting Jesus. The officers said “No one ever spoke like this man". The Pharisees answered them "Have you also been deceived? Being one of the members of the religious court, Nicodemus defended Jesus and requested a fair hearing. Instead of answering his legitimate request, his fellow rulers ignored him and said search the scripture and see for yourself that no prophet comes from Galilee. Thus they have shown their ignorance of the Scripture, since Jonah and Nahum came from Galilee. Nicodemus was not yet ready to declare his loyalty to Christ openly. No one can be a secret follower of Jesus Christ forever. Like Nicodemus we are all in the process of being transformed by Christ.