Friday, June 15, 2012

John 7:1-27

1After this Jesus went about in Galilee. He would not go about in Judea, because the Jews were seeking to kill him.
This was because Jesus had healed the man on the Sabbath. See John 5.  John compresses about 6months or more here.  Jesus traveled from Tyre to the Decapolis and to Capernaum over a period of time. It’s given a larger treatment in the synoptic, see mark 8.

2Now the Jews’ Feast of Booths was at hand.
Sukkoth was in late September, early October 5 days after the day of Atonement, Yom Kippur. It was a harvest festival, where the Jews would remember their wanderings in the wilderness and celebrate God’s provision. they would also ask God for early November rains by taking a pitcher of water from the pool of Siloam and pouring it on the alter in the temple.

3So his brothers said to him, "Leave here and go to Judea, that your disciples also may see the works you are doing. 4For no one works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world."
It was very likely they knew Jerusalem wanted Him dead. Their treatment of Him was open mockery. “You are God eh? Well go prove it. Those murders won’t kill you if you’re God will they?

5For not even his brothers believed in him.
John gives a rebuke, because if anyone should have believed seeing the perfect man growing up it was His brothers.  Yet this is fulfillment of the prophecy in Ps. 69:7-9 “For it is for your sake that I have borne reproach, that dishonor has covered my face. I have become a stranger to my brothers, an alien to my mother's sons. For zeal for your house has consumed me, and the reproaches of those who reproach you have fallen on me.” Verse 9 sound familiar?

6Jesus said to them, "My time has not yet come,
They had laid a trap for Jesus, were He to caravan with the others He would be caught and killed. Since He must die on the cross as the Passover lamb it’s not yet His time.

but your time is always here. 7The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify about it that its works are evil.
The world cannot hate them, because they hate Jesus. Jesus is hated by the world because He calls the world evil, and they call Him evil, therefore they are friends. Hatred of Jesus made friends of Pilate and Herod afterall.

8You go up to the feast. I am not going up to this feast, for my time has not yet fully come." 9After saying this, he remained in Galilee.
Jesus is not being deceptive, He means He is not going up right now.

10But after his brothers had gone up to the feast, then he also went up, not publicly but in private.
Likely Jesus travelled at night, off the main highways, by passing major checkpoints, or chokepoints.  He knew that they had laid a number of traps and if He were to be captured now He would be killed by stoning.
His brothers wanted a big flashy sign of power, but instead He goes quietly.

11The Jews were looking for him at the feast, and saying, "Where is he?"
Meanwhile, see the similar plotting and scheming that had taken place before they captured Him in John 11.  John11:56 -. Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover to purify themselves.  They were looking for Jesus and saying to one another as they stood in the temple, "What do you think? That he will not come to the feast at all?" 57Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that if anyone knew where he was, he should let them know, so that they might arrest him.
They knew that as a devout Jew he would come to the feasts and ceremonies, but they are furious because He tells them of a God that doesn’t play by their rules or is under their control. 

12And there was much muttering about him among the people.
Quiet murmuring. Hushed whispering about what was going to happen.  For fear of the overlords they kept quiet, but they were too interested in the happenings to shut up altogether. “If the children don’t speak the stones will cry out.”

While some said, "He is a good man," others said, "No, he is leading the people astray."
On the one hand He was performing miracles, on the other, Satan can perform false miracles to lead people astray.  Either Christ is God or He is the Devil, and there is a diversity of opinion in the city on this one.  It should be familiar to you that they had previously charged Christ of being Satan and performing works by Satan’s power.

13Yet for fear of the Jews no one spoke openly of him.
The Jewish Sanhedrin and rulers of the temple were tyrants and cruel petty rulers.  Nobody was to talk about Jesus during their feast or ceremony.  If you confessed Him as Christ you were cut off from the temple, see the story in John 9:22.

14About the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and began teaching.
Its hard to know if He arrived later, or had arrived and kept a low profile.  Probably about the time that people stood down from their guard having concluded He wasn’t coming He walks into the temple to teach.

15The Jews therefore marveled, saying, "How is it that this man has learning, when he has never studied?"
How does this carpenter know all this?  They said the same of His disciples after His resurrection.  God has done this to show that all the power comes from Him, and none of it from human institutions.

16So Jesus answered them, "My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me.
Jesus is the perfect mirror for the Father. His will is in harmony with the Father’s, so He does not act or say things in opposition to the will of God.  It might be asked at this point, how do we know that this is true, that Jesus is sent from the Father?  He answers:

17If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority.
If you ask God He is generous, He will tell you. It is really this simple. Ask in faith and get your answer.

18The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood.
Here is a way to find out if Jesus is deceiving people for His own gain: does He tell the truth.  What did we see in John 6, did we see Him lying and saying pleasant things to scoop up more people, or did He relentlessly tell them the truth and lose the disciples?

19Has not Moses given you the law? Yet none of you keeps the law.
So here is a selected text from the sermon.  Jesus says that you think you are zealous for the law and oppose healing a man on the Sabbath, but they only keep the law as they see fit because they are perfectly willing to murder innocent people as they want.  If they were so zealous about keeping the 10 commandments then they actually should keep the 10 commandments. 

 Why do you seek to kill me?" 20The crowd answered, "You have a demon! Who is seeking to kill you?"
Now this is the travelers to Jerusalem talking, not the natives. And this is a standard saying at the time, we might say “that’s crazy talk”. None of them had tried to kill Him, which is why He spent His time in Galilee.

21Jesus answered them, "I did one work, and you all marvel at it. 22Moses gave you circumcision
Here is another measure of how they don’t keep the law: they break the Sabbath to circumcise.  Jesus did one healing, but they do many circumcisions. By their own standard they should be judged many times more guilty.

(not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers),
Jesus makes a qualification, circumcision is the sign of the covenant given to Abraham.  Moses didn’t obey it properly until the angel threatened to kill him and his wife had to save his life.

 and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath. 23If on the Sabbath a man receives circumcision, so that the law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with me because on the Sabbath I made a man’s whole body well?
If it’s permissible to make part of a body well, why is it not permissible to make a whole body well? Jesus thus exposes their base hypocrisy.

24Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment."
Judgment should come when you have thought it though, when it is in accordance with justice, it should not be a tool for furthering your own interests. This is commandment 9.

25Some of the people of Jerusalem therefore said, "Is not this the man whom they seek to kill? 26And here he is, speaking openly, and they say nothing to him! Can it be that the authorities really know that this is the Christ?
So now look at the response of the crowd that lived in Jerusalem, they are not like the bumpkin travelers.  “well, we knew they were trying to kill Him, but they aren’t doing it. What gives?  He’s right there, someone just take Him! Take Him!” The only explanation they could come up with was that the authorities sanctioned His presence.  Notice that they still condemn Him.
27But we know where this man comes from, and when the Christ appears, no one will know where he comes from."
A popular misconception that the messiah would magically appear. “Since we cannot know the Messiah, and we know Him, He cannot be the Messiah.”

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