Verse 1 – After these things Jesus walked in Galilee; for He did not want to walk in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill Him.
Verse 2 – Now the Jew’s Feast of Tabernacles was at hand.
This event occurred in October, about six months after the Passover celebration. This celebration commemorated when the Israelites lived in the wilderness in booths and tents (Leviticus 23:43).
Verse 3 – His brothers therefore said to Him, “Depart from here and go into Judea, that Your disciples also may see the works that You are doing.
Verse 4 – “For no one does anything in secret while he himself seeks to be known openly. If You do these things show Yourself to the world.”
Verse 5 – For even His brothers did not believe in Him.
After Jesus died and rose again, these brothers believed. They wanted Jesus to do miracles in front of people that mattered, kings and rulers. Let the whole world know how great You are, in other words.
Verse 6 – Then Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready.
Verse 7 – “The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil.
The world didn’t hate His brothers because they were of the world. Jesus preached against evil works in the world, so they hated Him. The longer you are a Christian, there will be people who don’t like you, simply because you are a Christian.
Verse 8 – “You go up to this feast. I am not yet going up to this feast, for My time has not yet fully come.”
Verse 9 – When He had said these things to them, He remained in Galilee.
Christ Secretly Goes to the Feast
Verse 10 – But when His brothers had gone up, then He also went up to the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret.
The religious leaders hated Jesus, so He wouldn’t take the chance of them killing Him before the purposed time. Do you ever wonder why God delays certain things in your life? It’s because He’s lining everything up for that greater purpose. It’s not always “just about us!”
Verse 11 – Then the Jews sought Him at the feast, and said, “Where is He?”
Verse 12 – And there was much murmuring among the people concerning Him. Some said, “He is good”; others said, “No, on the contrary, He deceives the people.”
Verse 13 – However no one spoke openly of Him for fear of the Jews.
Some said He deceived the people because He broke the Sabbath, according to them and He called Himself the Son of God. But no one had the nerve to say anything against Him publicly.
There are some today that have the courage to talk about Jesus while surrounded by other believers, but when not, they keep silent. Here’s the problem with that: If you don’t acknowledge Jesus before others, neither will He acknowledge you before His Father (Matthew 10:32).
Verse 14 – Now about he middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and taught.
Verse 15 – And the Jews marveled, saying, “How does this Man know letters, having never studied?”
When Jesus taught, His words were delivered with such power and authority, they were amazed. Knowing Scripture is one thing, but being able to interpret with the correct meaning takes the power of God’s Holy spirit, which Jesus had.
Verse 16 – Jesus answered them and said, “My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me.
Verse 17 – “If anyone wants to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority.
Verse 18 – “He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him.
Have you ever wondered if a pastor or leader was speaking of their own opinion, calling it God’s? It’s really quite easy to tell: If they point to God’s will and do not contradict scripture, then they are true pastors. A true message from God will always point to Jesus without compromise. But if they start with, “I think…”, and it’s not found in scripture, it is more than not, their own convictions.
Verse 19 – “Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keep the law? Why do you seek to kill Me?
Was “Thou shall not murder” one of the laws of Moses? And they prided themselves in keeping the law, but yet wanted to kill Jesus. Jesus was trying to teach them the “spirit” of the law, but hey were hypocrites and too blind to see the true meaning behind the law.
Verse 20 – The people answered and said, “You have a demon. Who is seeking to kill you?”
Verse 21 – Jesus answered and said to them, “I did one work, and you all marveled.
This one work might refer to the healing of the man at Bethesda’s pool, and He did it on the Sabbath.
Verse 22 – “Moses therefore gave you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath.
Verse 23 – “If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath, so that the law of Moses should not be broken, are you angry with Me because I made a man completely well on the Sabbath?
Verse 24 – “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”
According to law, a male child was to be circumcised on the eight-day after birth. If it fell on the Sabbath, they allowed it, but they had criticized Jesus for healing a man the Sabbath. Judge with righteous judgment, according to truth and evidence, exceptions according to mercy.
Verse 25 – Then some of them from Jerusalem said, “Is this not He whom they seek to kill?
Verse 26 – “But look! He speaks boldly, and they say nothing to Him. do the rulers know indeed that this is truly Christ?
Verse 27 – “However, we know where this Man is from; but when the Christ comes, no one know where He is from.”
They evidently didn’t know the Scripture, because it plainly told to whom He would be born and where.
Verse 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.
Verse 29 – “But I know Him, for I am from Him, and He sent Me.”
Verse 30 – Then they sought to take Him; but no one laid a hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come.
Whom, do you think restrained these men from laying hold of Jesus right then? God, of course.
Verse 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?”
Verse 32 – The Pharisees heard the crowd murmuring these things concerning Him, and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take Him.
Verse 33 – Then Jesus said to them, “I shall be with you a little while longer, and then I go to Him who sent Me.
Verse 34 – “You will seek Me and not find Me, and where I am you cannot come.”
Verse 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?
Verse 36 – “What is this thing that He said, ‘You will seek Me and not find Me, and where I go you cannot come’?”
The chief priests and Pharisees representing the Sanhedrin, deployed the temple police to arrest Jesus. The people had totally misunderstood what Jesus had said because ever since the exile, many Jews had not returned to Palestine but continued to live in the Dispersion – with Gentiles.
Verse 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.
Verse 38 – “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
Verse 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.
Jesus used this term “living water” to indicate eternal life. Where the Holy Spirit is accepted, He brings eternal life.
Verse 40 – Therefore many from the crowd, when they heard this saying, said, “Truly this is the Prophet.”
Verse 41 – Others said, “This is the Christ,” but some said, “Will the Christ come out of Galilee?
Verse 42 – “Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes fro the seed of David and from the town of Bethlehem, where David was?”
Verse 43 – So there was division among the people because of Him.
Verse 44 – Now some of them wanted to take Him, but no one laid hands on Him.
Some believed, some were hostile, and others disqualified Jesus as the Messiah because He was from Nazareth, not Bethlehem. But He was born in Bethlehem and grew up in Nazareth.
Verse 45 – Then the officers came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, “Why have you not brought Him?”
Verse 46 – The officers answered, “No man ever spoke like this Man!”
As these officers followed Jesus to catch Him breaking one of their laws and they began to listen to Him. They were convinced He did nothing wrong that warranted arrest. If you have an open heart when you read or hear scripture, truth, it will amaze and change you, instead of offending you.
Verse 47 – Then the Pharisees answered them, “Are you also deceived?
Verse 48 – “Have any of the rulers or the Pharisees believed in Him?
Verse 49 – “But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed.”
These Jewish leaders saw themselves as an elite group that they alone had the truth, but yet resisted the truth of Christ. The only truth that truly matters is written truth.
Verse 50 – Nicodemus (he who came to Jesus by night, being one of them) said to them,
Verse 51 – “Does our law judge a man before it hears him and knows what he is doing?”
Verse 52 – They answered and said to him, “Are you also from Galilee? Search and look, for no prophet has risen out of Galilee.”
Verse 53 – And everyone went to his own house.
Nicodemus confronted his fellow Pharisees with their failure to keep their own laws. Pride interfered with their ability to reason, and soon they would become obsessed with getting rid of Jesus, what was good and right no longer mattered. Don’t let pride stop you from admitting you are wrong. The consequences can be devastating.