John Chapter 7

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 impress and to influence the crowd.  Only after his resurrection did his brothers believe in Jesus (Mark 3:21; 1 Corinthians 15:7).  Jesus said, “My time has not yet come" (John 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 (Matthew 13:55-56). Jesus never tried to gain popularity or influence the people with his miracle. He did all things to glorify the Father. When sinners obey the gospel, they discover that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself (2 Corinthians 5:19). Christians are saved to follow Christ's example.   

Jesus at the Feast:
(Read John 7:10-24)
Jews grew increasingly hostile and wanted to put Jesus to death. But Jesus knew that he will die only in the appointed time when God's saving purposes are fulfilled (Acts 2:23-24).  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 was a good man while others thought he was 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. Religious leaders accused Jesus of breaking the Law.  But He is the only human being who had ever kept the Law perfectly in thought and deeds.  Because of the fear of expulsion from synagogue no one spoke favorably of Jesus. 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" (John 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 issue. Christ's teaching should be received with joy. Jesus never sought his own glory. Jews accused Jesus of healing a man at the pool of Bethesda on Sabbath. It was a divine miracle and an expression of love and kindness.  Instead of seeing it that way the religious leaders planned to kill him. People assumed that Jesus was insane and possessed by demons. Jesus said to them "Do not judge by appearance but judge with right judgment" (John 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. We either receive gospel with joy or reject with contempt and there is no middle ground.
Is Jesus the Christ?
(Read John 7:25-36) 
People were amazed that Jesus spoke boldly and openly in the temple.  Some thought, maybe He is the Messiah. Jewish leaders dismissed this idea and wanted to arrest Jesus. They did not come to Jesus from a sincere desire to do the will of God but came from an evil heart. The gospel is only understood by those who fear God. Those who fear God will depart from evil (Proverbs 16:6).  The religious leaders tried to kill Jesus, but he knew that it would only happen in the appointed time when God's saving purposes are fulfilled.  Every events are under God's control.  There is no panic in heaven but only a plan.  God was not caught off guard by the betrayal of Judas.  Jesus knew what the future would bring.  He would go to His Father and be seated at the right hand of God. 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” (Joh 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, resurrection, and ascension. The Jews did not understand the spiritual significance of what Jesus said (John 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 tents.   It was to commemorate their wilderness journey. During the course of this one-week celebration, water was poured upon the Altar in remembrance of the water that had come forth miraculously out of the rock in the wilderness (Exodus 17:1-7). Jesus was making the claim that He is the rock from which the living water flows (1 Corinthians 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 anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink (John 7:37). Jesus is the source of eternal life. Only he could satisfy our spiritual hunger. Those who believe in Christ not only are satisfied but also become channel of blessing to others (John 7:37). This invitation is extended to everyone.  Here Jesus was referring to the coming of the Holy Spirit after His ascension (John 7:39). Only the indwelling Spirit can bring satisfaction and blessings in our lives.   
Are you a Secret Follower?
(Read John 7:40-53)
Jesus said, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink".  A sinner must come to Jesus thirsting for righteousness. Riches are worthless on the day of wrath (Proverb 11:4).  Jesus is inviting the thirsty to himself (John 7:37). People responded differently to Christ’s invitation. Some think 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.  Though change may come slowly, Jesus ultimately transforms everything about us. Christians are the of the earth. Are you a secret disciple of Jesus Christ?   






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