Prepared by Dr. John E. Marshall
John 7:19-20 (Holman) ADidn=t Moses give you the law? Yet none of you keeps the law! Why do you want to kill Me?@ AYou have a demon!@ the crowd responded. AWho wants to kill You?@
Judaism had lost its soul. Israel had been entrusted by God to preserve the Law, but was ready to murder the One who came to fulfill it.
Jesus= revelation surprised many. Some, not knowing of the leaders= plot, were shocked Jesus would say this, but it was true.
In seeking to kill Jesus, the leaders were breaking the law code they professed to uphold. They blasted Jesus for breaking the Sabbath, the fourth commandment, but were seeking opportunity to break the sixth command by murdering Him.
Jesus was a thorn in the side of the leaders. They couldn=t figure Him out. He was raised on the wrong side of the tracks, associated with the wrong crowd, supported the wrong cause, and was educated in the wrong way, yet confounded those who had done everything Aright.@
Unable to reason Him away, argue Him away, or ignore Him away, they decided to force Him away through murder. All their zeal for ARemember the Sabbath@ was a smokescreen to cover their disregard for AThou shalt not kill.@ They screamed ARemember the Sabbath@ to drown out conscience=s cry of AThou shalt not kill.@
John 7:21-23 AI did one work, and you are all amazed,@ Jesus answered. AConsider this: Moses has given you circumcision B not that it comes from Moses but from the fathers B and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath. If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses won=t be broken, are you angry at Me because I made a man entirely well on the Sabbath?@
The Aone work@ was Jesus= curing of the impotent man at the pool of Bethesda. The leaders considered the healing more crime than miracle.
Appealing for them to use common sense, Jesus ridiculed their reasoning as absurd. Circumcisions were done on the Sabbath. Jesus claimed if it was good to make one member of the body whole on the Sabbath, surely it was okay to make a whole body well. His logic was irrefutable, but none are as blind as those who refuse to see.
John 7:24 AStop judging according to outward appearances; rather judge according to righteous judgment.@
Their values were wrong and superficial. It is easy to use incorrect standards for measuring value.
Things aren=t always as they appear to be. Ernest Hemingway, Marilyn Monroe, Jimmy Hendrix, and Janis Joplin all appeared successful, but each took their own life.
Avoid surface judgments. A boy, seeing an expensive carriage, sighed, AI wish I could be like the rich man in that carriage.@ The boy watched as the driver brought crutches to the passenger, and then saw the rich man=s face grimace with pain at each step. The boy learned a valuable lesson.
At one of the annual Waterloo banquets, the Duke of Wellington lost a snuff box set with diamonds. When an old officer refused to have his pockets searched and stormed away, the Duke asked that nothing more be said of the matter, but suspicion naturally fell on the old officer.
At the next year=s banquet the Duke found the snuff box in his own coat pocket. He had not worn the coat since the last banquet. The Duke found the old officer, apologized, and asked why he had refused to have his pockets searched.
The officer replied, ASir, my pockets were full of pieces of meat, which I put there to save my wife and family, who were starving to death.@ The Duke sobbed like a child and thenceforth helped support the officer and his family.
We don=t know all. Appearances are often deceptive. Avoid jumping to conclusions.
Socrates was terribly ugly, repulsive to look at, but Plato compared him to the vials of Athenian apothecaries, on the outside of which were printed grotesque figures of apes and owls, but inside contained precious ointment.
Many misunderstandings and quarrels that beset churches are caused by a superficial understanding of the controversy. It is best never to form hasty opinions. Investigate matters thoroughly. Be sure all information is in before drawing a conclusion.
John 7:25-27 Some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, AIsn=t this the man they want to kill? Yet, look! He=s speaking publicly and they=re saying nothing to him. Can it be true that the authorities know He is the Messiah? But we know where this man is from. When the Messiah comes, nobody will know where He is from.@
Some in the Jerusalem crowd were amazed the leaders allowed Jesus to speak openly. Many believed Messiah would come suddenly and unexpectedly. One tradition taught that Messiah Himself would not know His own mission till He was anointed by Elijah.
The Jews expected a certain amount of mystery to surround Messiah=s ancestry. As far as they could see, there was nothing mysterious about Jesus of Nazareth. They knew His parents, brothers, and sisters.
Surface judgment was their downfall. They saw what He appeared to be, but not all He actually was. They knew Him, yet didn=t know Him.
They saw His outward appearances and acquaintances, but did not know the whole story. All they could see was AManufactured in Nazareth.@ They did not see APre-existent in Heaven.@
This illustrates a fatal error often made in religious thinking. People too often seek God only in the abnormal and unusual. A thing has to be extraordinary for God to be in it.
Christianity teaches the opposite. The Lord works in common things, yea all things (Romans 8:28). All of life should be viewed and lived as worship to Him.
John 7:28 As He was teaching in the temple complex, Jesus cried out, AYou know Me and you know where I am from. Yet I have not come on My own, but the One who sent Me is true. You don=t know Him.@
ACried@ indicates a loud shout. This verb is always used to introduce with emphasis a saying of importance.
Jesus had been the accused, but now became the accuser. His hearers had questioned His competence as a teacher. Jesus questioned their competence as hearers.
The people could not know the Son because they did not know the Father. To tell the chosen people they did not know God was a terrible insult, but true. They all, like Nicodemus, needed to be born again.
They did not know God. These were sad words. They thought they knew all about Messiah, and thought they knew all about God, but erred on both counts.
John 7:29-30 AI know Him because I am from Him, and He sent Me.@ Then they tried to seize Him. Yet no one laid a hand on Him because His hour had not yet come.
Jesus claimed He stood in a unique relationship to the Father. This was a watershed moment in Jesus= ministry. To this point His crime has been Sabbath-breaker. Now the pressing issue will be blasphemy, considered by the Jews as the ultimate sin.
Jesus leaves His hearers with two definite choices: accept Him fully or reject Him absolutely. Someday every voice will declare Him Lord. We need to do it now.