Monday, April 5, 2010

How Jesus Proves The Authority Of His Doctrine To The Jews (John 7)


Theme: "And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name." (20:30-31).

2. Public Persuasion
     C. Of Jews (7-11)

This chapter shows Jesus' delay in arrival to the Feast Of Booths (v, 1-9), the doctrine He taught (v14-39), and the division of the people (v40-52).

First, Jesus delayed His arrival (v1-9). He stayed in Galilee, because He knew the Jews were seeking to kill Him, but that it was not yet His time.  Later, when Jesus prepared for the crucifixion (17), He said "the hour has come". It seems, then, that Jesus' great proof of deity was His crucifixion and resurrection from the dead, not a display of miracles and the public attention His brothers tested Him to seek. Later, however, it was a fitting time for Jesus to head for the feast (cf. v10) in secret. Jesus delayed His arrival. 

Next, Jesus taught doctrine (v14-39). In a message somewhat broken by public response, Jesus taught on the authority of His doctrine (v14-18), judging with righteous judgment (v20-24), where He came from (v25-36), and the advent of the Holy Spirit (v37-39). 

Jesus taught the authority of His doctrine (v14-18). When He began to teach in the temple, the Jews marveled, saying, "How has this man become learned, having never been educated." (v15). To this, Jesus replied that His doctrine came from the one who sent Him (God the Father). Anyone who obeyed the doctrine would know that it came from God. Thus, Jesus sought the glory of the Father, rather than Himself. Anyone who obeys Jesus' teaching and who sees how it glorifies God rather than men, will know His doctrine comes from God.

Jesus taught to judge with righteous judgment (v20-24). Ever since He healed the lame man on the Sabbath (chapter 5), the Jews sought to kill him. Here, Jesus addressed them, by telling them they should judge with righteous judgment, rather than by the way things appear. If it was right to circumcise someone on the Sabbath day (as Moses said), then it was right for Him to heal a man on the Sabbath. Jesus taught on judging with righteous judgment. 

Jesus taught where He came from (v 25-36). The Jews thought that when the Christ came, no one would know where He was from. Some of them reasoned that since they knew where Jesus was from, He must not be the Christ. Jesus, however, showed they indeed did not know where He came from (God the Father, and heaven). He would return to the Father, and they would not be able to find Him. Jesus taught on where He came from.

Jesus taught the advent of the Holy Spirit (v37-39). On the last day of the feast, Jesus offered eternal  life. He said, "If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being shall flow rivers of water.' " (v37b-38).  The Holy Spirit (whom Jesus would send to believers after His ascension to heaven--cf. Acts 2), was the means by which Jesus would give living water to those who trust Him as Savior.  

Third, Jesus exposed divisions among the people (v40-52). These verses show the division which occurred between the Jews. The multitude thought "This is certainly the prophet", and "This is the Christ". Others--including the Jewish leaders--claimed He could not be the Christ, because He came from Galilee. Nicodemus (cf. John 3) seemed to defend Jesus, by pointing out they were passing judgment before they even heard him. The officers the Jews sent to arrest Jesus returned without Him, saying, "Never did a man speak the way this man speaks." (v46). "So there arose a division in the multitude because of him." (v43). Jesus divided the people.

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