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Gospel of John - Chapter Seven
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Pastor Ovid Need
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We continue to follow the steps of the Lord Jesus Christ as He walks among men. We saw in chp. 3:19-21, that Christ is the light of the world. People do not like to be around light because it exposes their sin. The book of John is the clearest of all the accounts of Christ, showing us beyond any doubt the deity of Christ and His total authority over every part of creation. As John shows us this, he shows us the tremendous conflict which took place between Christ the King and those who resisted that authority.
1. Christ could not walk openly among the Jews any longer. Why, v. 1?
2. The brethren of our Lord. We already saw that He was responsible for them. Here they mock Him. Why, v. 5?
a. Many times it is those we grew up around which we have the most "problem" convincing after we are saved. Why would you suppose this would be true (Jn.4:44)?
V. 6, He answers them that His time to reveal Himself to the world is not yet come, but that they are already showing everyone what they are. V. 7, is what we saw in 3:19-21.
3. When a person does right (according to God's word), what will happen (Prov. 28:4), v. 7?
Many times new Christians thinks that their unsaved friends and family will be happy when they get saved, just as they are, yet we see here that does not happen. This can be a great shock and disappointment. The friends who love the things of the world will usually do all they can to influence new Christians to come back to their worldly ways.
Vv. 10-13, there were many feast days (Sabbaths-days of rest, Lev. 23:34) for the Jews. These times were big get-togethers. One of the reasons for these days was to build unity among God's people. Christ's brothers told Him, "Okay, you're such hot stuff, why don't you go to the feast and show everyone the great works you are doing." Christ went to the feast, as it were in secret. Not because He had something to hide, but that He might be in control of what takes place.
We have already seen what took place at one of these previous gatherings. (Chp. 5.) He healed the man. The leaders of the Jews fully expected Him to show up here again. We have seen why they were looking for Him. (7:1.) Christ was not moving into their wicked devices yetHis time had not yet come. His work is not completed. Only when His work is complete will He allow them to kill him.
4. The people also expected Him to show up. We have recorded two opinions of Christ. What are they, v. 12.
a. Why wouldn't they discuss Jesus openly, v. 13?
(This is also a reason many of His people won't identify with Christ today. See Matt. 10:32.)
5. Christ kept as it were in secret until He got in the midst of the temple. What did He do there, v. 14?
a. These folks knew that He had not gone to school, yet He was extremely proficient in the law of God. In fact,
how did He teach, Matt. 7:29?
1.) Why do you think He could teach thusly (compare vv. 28, 29, 34, 35, 8:58 and Jn. 8:58, with Ex. 3:14; 20:2)?
b. As they marvel at His proficiency with the word of God, what does the Lord tell them? Why are His words so profound, v. 16?
c. What is the key to understanding the word of God (which applies to both saved and unsaved), v. 17?
(Our words can be profound also. We can speak the same words Christ spoke, Ps. 119:97-104.)
1.) James also covers this. What takes place if a person doesn't do what they know to do from God's word, Ja. 1:22?
6. Rather than seeking self-glory, whose glory is a person to seek, I Cor. 10:31, v. 18?
a. How is this done? This would fit back up in v. 17.
Vv. 19-24. Once again, Christ shows us that He knows the thoughts and intents of the heart. Even though the plan of 7:1 was in secret, He openly tells of the evil plan.The evil planners deny Christ's true charge against them. Christ confronts them (and the word of God is extremely efficient at confronting people with the truth) with, "I have done a good work on the Sabbath (chp. 5), and now you want to kill me for violating Moses' law. Yet none of you keep his law. Why are you so hostile toward me when I have done no more than you?" He also shows them (v. 23) that there is a higher law than the Sabbath.
7. Judging. How are we to judge, v. 24?
a. How is this done, II Tim. 3:16?
8. Even though they wanted to kill Him, why could not these wicked men do it at this time, v. 30?
Vv. 26-31, there is a discussion over whether or not He is the Christ (the promised Saviour, Redeemer, Messiah of the OT). Some think He is, some think He is not. HIs miracles prove He is, and a few believe that He is.
V. 32, the discussion gets back to the Pharisees, the religious leaders. The rulers send officers (of the temple) to take Christ on the charge of breaking the Sabbath and blasphemy, (5:17, 18).
Vv. 33-39, Christ again tells of His coming departure to heaven and of the necessity of coming (by faith) to Him to have these desires fulfilled. He talks again about the living water (4:14), and the Spirit of God which would in-dwell His people.
Vv. 40-44, the reference again is to the Prophet, which we have already seen. The discussion continues: Notice v. 42these people knew the Scriptures, yet they were unable to connect the Scriptures they knew with Christ. As we have already seen (chp. 6), only the Spirit of God can open the Scriptures and make their proper connection with Christ. Only God's Spirit can give the desire to seek after Himself and after the Son.
9. Why is this true, (Ps. 14:1-3); Rom. 3:11?
V. 43, Christ will bring division today. In Matthew 10:34-39, we see that if a person allows personal relationships to prevent or interfere in his or her obedience to God's word, that person is not worthy of Him. We show our love for Him by our obedience to His word. (Jn. 14:15; 15:10.) The one we love the most we will seek to please and/or obey. The Lord tells those who desire to follow Him that to be a true follower, they must obey His word over the many other sources of requirements upon them.
Vv. 50, 51. Here is Nicodemus again. He points out that their law gives a man a chance to defend himself. They "pounce" on Nicodemus for even thinking of defending Christ.
V. 52, strange indeedGalilee. Here these experts in the written law and prophets say that no prophet ever came from Galilee, yet Jonah came from Galilee. (II Ki. 14:25.) Also the prophecy of Christ refers to Galilee. (Isa. 9:1, 2.) We see here that like Bible rejecters of all ages, these men interpreted the word of God in a manner that will support what they want to believe. This is one reason that it is so important that we know the Scriptures. (Read Matt. 22:29 and Mk. 12:24-27.)
These Christ haters were sincere in their unbelief, and it not only clouded their view of Scripture, but caused them to reject anything that would counter what they wanted to believe. We must be on guard with folks (even good, sincere folks) who will trim the Scriptures to fit into what they want to believe. Rather than searching Scripture to find something that will confirm what we already believe (or want to believe), we must search the Scripture in order to know what to believesearch with the prayer on our heart: "Lord, if in any area I am wrong in what I believe, please show me." (Ph. 3:15.) We must be willing to lay aside preconceived ideas and previously learned doctrine if we expect the Spirit to lead us in His way. This does not mean we must lay it all aside; however, we must be willing to lay everything aside that does not like up with the word of God.
Just because Dr. So & So, whom I respect highly, taught it, does not mean it is the turth of God's word.
Some years ago, this pastor saw some things from Scripture that were not in conformity with what he had been taught by some men he respected very highly. I then had to change my views in some very serious areas. I discussed what the Lord had shown me from that particular passage with another pastor friend, and asked him what he was going to do with that passage, for it clearly went against what we had both been taught. He told me that he did not care what the Scripture taughthe had been taught by men he respected highly and he had taught it that way to others, and he was not going to change.
We must humbly search the word of God, realizing that our heart is easily deceived. Our desire as we search Scripture must be that the Spirit of God would align our every belief with the word of God. As we heard one time, "A text without a context is a pretext." Always check the context of any passage.
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