Unbelief and Division
Unbelief and Division – John 7-24
Our Background today Jesus brothers do not believe in Him, yet they encouraged Him to go up to the Feast and make a great show of signs to gain a public following. He does not go up this them for His time has not yet come, meaning He is on God’s perfect timetable. He does go up quietly and at the middle of the feast, He begins to teach in the Temple courts and confronts the Jews about their desire to kill Him because He healed a man on the Sabbath day, and explained He was doing the Father’s work; making Him equal to God.
They accused Him of breaking the Law of Moses against working on the Sabbath, but Jesus confronts their practice of circumcising a baby on the Sabbath day; which is considered a good thing. He did a greater and better work by making a man completely whole. This is a better work from God.
They were judging by their own opinions, not by the righteous standards of God.
We continue this encounter in Verse 25 with the Jews speculation about or against Jesus being the Christ, which means anointed One of God. Jesus repeats His claims and some people believed Jesus is the Messiah, but the Jews became more angry and planned to arrest Him. Dr. John MacArthur says three dilemmas occurred here: 1. Dense confusion, 2. Divided conviction, and 3. Delayed conversion.
25 Now some of them from Jerusalem said, “Is this not He whom they seek to kill? 26 But look! He speaks boldly, and they say nothing to Him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is truly the Christ? 27 However, we know where this Man is from; but when the Christ comes, no one knows where He is from.” 28 Then Jesus cried out, as He taught in the temple, saying, “You both know Me, and you know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know. 29 But I know Him, for I am from Him, and He sent Me.”
24. Works which seemed perfectly legitimate when performed by themselves (circumcision) seemed absolutely wrong when performed by the Lord. Human nature always tends to judge according to sight rather than according to reality. The Lord Jesus had not broken the Law of Moses; it was they who were breaking it by their senseless hatred of Him.
28. He was saying that they knew Him simply as a Man. They knew Him as Jesus of Nazareth. But what they did not know was that He was also God. This was what He went on to explain in the rest of the verse. Actually they did not know where He was born on came from, and were too prejudiced to try and find out the truth. Every city kept a record of births and death for the Jewish genealogy.
He did not come from Himself but that He had been sent from God the Father, whom these people did not know. In these words, the Lord Jesus made a direct claim to equality with God. He did not come of Himself, that is, of His own authority and to do His own will. Rather, He had been sent into the world by the true God, and this God they did not know. He came to declare or reveal the Father and His will.
29. “He sent Me,” the Lord stated in the clearest possible way that He was the Christ of God, the Anointed One, whom God had sent into the world to accomplish the work of redemption.
30 Therefore they sought to take Him; but no one laid a hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come. 31 And many of the people believed in Him, and said, “When the Christ comes, will He do more signs than these which this Man has done?”
30. The power of God preserved the Lord Jesus from the wicked schemes of men until the time came when He should be offered up as a sacrifice for sin.
31. What more could Jesus do to prove He was the Messiah? When the Christ came, if Jesus was not the Messiah, would He be able to do more numerous or more wonderful signs than Jesus had done?
32 The Pharisees heard the crowd murmuring these things concerning Him, and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take Him. 33 Then Jesus said to them, “I shall be with you a little while longer, and then I go to Him who sent Me. 34 You will seek Me and not find Me, and where I am you cannot come.”
35 Then the Jews said among themselves, “Where does He intend to go that we shall not find Him? Does He intend to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks and teach the Greeks? 36 What is this thing that He said, ‘You will seek Me and not find Me, and where I am you cannot come’?”
34. Not be able to find Him. There would come in their lives a time when they would need a Savior, but it would be too late. He would have gone back to heaven, and because of their unbelief and wickedness, they would not be able to meet Him there. Rejection of truth can bring judicial rejection.
36. The Jews here illustrate the blindness of unbelief. There is no heart as dark as the heart that refuses to accept the Lord Jesus. In our own day, we have the expression “there are none so blind as those who will not see.” This was exactly the case here. They did not want to accept the Lord Jesus, and therefore they could not. They did not want to see the truth because they were comfortable in their sin; and they were leading the Jewish people for their own prominence and advantage.
37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” 39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
37. But notice the condition. The Scripture says, “If anyone thirsts.” “Thirst” here speaks of spiritual need. Unless a person knows he is a sinner, he will never want to be saved. Unless he realizes he is lost, he will never desire to be found. Unless one is conscious of a great spiritual lack in his life, his spiritual bankruptcy, he will never want to go to the Lord to have that need supplied. The Savior invited the thirsting soul to come to Him—not to the church, or the preacher, or the waters of baptism, or the Lord’s Table. Jesus said, “Let him come to Me.” No one or nothing else will do. “Let him come to Me and drink.” To “drink” here means to appropriate Christ for oneself by faith. It means to trust Him as Lord and Savior. It means to take Him into our lives as we would take a glass of water into our bodies.
37-38. To come to Christ and drink is the same as to believe on Him. All who believe on Him will have their own needs supplied and will receive rivers of spiritual blessing that will flow out from them to others. God intended for His children to be blessing to others. Abraham was told the whole world would be blessed through him. Our faith in Jesus should be a blessing to others.
7:39 It is clearly stated that the expression “living water” refers to the Holy Spirit.
40 Therefore many from the crowd, when they heard this saying, said, “Truly this is the Prophet.” 41 Others said, “This is the Christ.”
But some said, “Will the Christ come out of Galilee? 42 Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the seed of David and from the town of Bethlehem, where David was?” 43 So there was a division among the people because of Him. 44 Now some of them wanted to take Him, but no one laid hands on Him.
40-41. Prophet like Moses. Messiah would not come out of Galilee.
7:43 Because of these differing opinions and because of their general ignorance, there was a division among the people because of Christ. It is still the same today, good man, great teacher, prophet; anyone but God and Christ. Jesus said He would cause division in families, and the world between the children of faith and the children of the devil.
44. Efforts were still being made to arrest the Lord Jesus, but no one was successful in taking Him. As long as a person is walking in the will of God, there is no power on earth that can hinder him.
The Sanhedrin is Confused Over Christ
45 Then the officers came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, “Why have you not brought Him?”
46 The officers answered, “No man ever spoke like this Man!”
47 Then the Pharisees answered them, “Are you also deceived? 48 Have any of the rulers or the Pharisees believed in Him? 49 But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed.”
47-48. Are you also deceived? Surely, they reasoned, if the religious rulers did not believe in Jesus, He could not be the Messiah. In fact, though the poor heard Christ gladly, the religious rulers were among the least likely to believe in Christ. He threatened their positions. They had sold out to power and riches.
49. The Pharisees accused the people of being ignorant of the Law and thus under God’s curse (Deut. 28:15). The irony of the situation was that it was the Pharisees, not the crowds, who were under God’s wrath because they had rejected His Son.
Deuteronomy 28:15 “But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:
50 Nicodemus (he who came to Jesus by night, being one of them) said to them, 51 “Does our law judge a man before it hears him and knows what he is doing?”
52 They answered and said to him, “Are you also from Galilee? Search and look, for no prophet has arisen out of Galilee.”
53 And everyone went to his own house.
7:52 no prophet has arisen out of Galilee: Actually, the prophets Jonah, Hosea, Nahum, and perhaps Elijah, Elisha, and Amos were from Galilee or close to it.
53. They all returned to their own homes, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head, except in the lap of the Father.
WAY? Are you confused about Jesus? Do you not understand all He was doing? I don’t either, not completely, but I understand He was doing the Father’s will. Are you doing the will of God?
God’s will is that you be saved by faith in Jesus; you be submissive, to God and to those in authority over you; that you be Spirit-filled and Spirit led, that the Holy Spirit is controlling your life; it is God’s will you be serving, serving God and serving others; It is His will you be saying thanks, giving thanks for all things for that is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus; You are to be saying thanks, for all of God’s blessing in your life, including the afflictions and adversities; and it is His will that you be giving of your time, talent and treasure for the Kingdom of God. How are you doing? There area some areas we need some work on, won’t you come to Jesus today and ask Him to show you what He would have you to, and then do it! It’s is that simple, whatever He tells you to do, do it!