John Chapter 7 (and end of Ch.6)

Published Aug. 30, 2023, 12:47 p.m.

The Words of Eternal Life

60 When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” 61 But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? 62 Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? 63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) 65 And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”

66 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. 67 So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, 69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” 70 Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.” 71 He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray him.

  • Grumbling and rejection was some of the apparent result of Jesus claim to be the "Bread of Life".   When Jesus asks the "twelve" how does Peter answer?   (This is the first time John uses "the twelve" to refer to the disciples named in the other gospels. -- He assumes you know what he means.)

  • We have something valuable to offer the listening world.  Why are we so timid about it?

Wild Tangent:  Proverbs 30
Agur  Jakeh  Ithiel  Ucal 

The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, the pronouncement. The man declares to Ithiel, to Ithiel and Ucal:

The words of (The Collector) the son of (the Pious One), the pronouncement. The man declares (God is with us), (God is with us) and (is Consumed):
I am certainly more stupid than any man, And I do not have the understanding of a man;
3 Nor have I learned wisdom, Nor do I have the knowledge of the Holy One.

4 Who has ascended into heaven and descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has wrapped the waters in His garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name or His Son’s name? Surely you know!


RECAP Chapter 6: Jesus feeds 5000 men (Maybe 15,000 people) One of few stories that overlap with other 3 gospels.  People seek after Jesus because "they ate their fill of the loaves."  Jesus walks on water.  Jesus is the bread from heaven.  Our "work" is to believe in him who God has sent.  Jesus asserts he is better than manna.  The Jewish religious leadership grumbles because Jesus claims to have descended from heaven.  Jesus presents hard sayings "unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you."  Many disciples leave over this.  Peter proclaims that Jesus is God's holy one; "to whom shall we go?" No one else offers what Jesus offers.  If his sayings are hard, the difficulty is worth enduring.

Ch. 7 Preview:  Feast of Booths about 6 months after events of Ch. 6. ; Feast of Booths (or Tabernacles) now called Sukkot. One of three times a year that all males were commanded to "appear before the LORD your God at the place that he will choose"

Remember "the Jews" is often  a synecdoche. (noun)  sə-ˈnek-də-(ˌ)kē
: a figure of speech by which a part is put for the whole (such as fifty sail for fifty ships), the whole for a part (such as society for high society)...

"The Jews" often is meant to evoke "The religious leaders of the Jews"

Jesus at the Feast of Booths

1 After this Jesus went about in Galilee. He would not go about in Judea, because the Jews[a] were seeking to kill him. Now the Jews' Feast of Booths was at hand. So his brothers[b] said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, that your disciples also may see the works you are doing. For no one works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.” For not even his brothers believed in him. Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always here. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify about it that its works are evil. You go up to the feast. I am not[c] going up to this feast, for my time has not yet fully come.” After saying this, he remained in Galilee.

10 But after his brothers had gone up to the feast, then he also went up, not publicly but in private. 11 The Jews were looking for him at the feast, and saying, “Where is he?” 12 And there was much muttering about him among the people. While some said, “He is a good man,” others said, “No, he is leading the people astray.” 13 Yet for fear of the Jews no one spoke openly of him.

14 About the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and began teaching. 15 The Jews therefore marveled, saying, “How is it that this man has learning,[d] when he has never studied?” 16 So Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. 17 If anyone's will is to do God's[e] will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority. 18 The 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. 19 Has not Moses given you the law? Yet none of you keeps the law. Why do you seek to kill me?” 20 The crowd answered, “You have a demon! Who is seeking to kill you?” 21 Jesus answered them, “I did one work, and you all marvel at it. 22 Moses gave you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath. 23 If 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? 24 Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”

  1. Jesus had brothers (and probably sisters) who did not (at this time) believe in him.  What kind of picture does this paint of Jesus relationship with his siblings?  What do you think Jesus meant by "My time has not yet come, but your time is always here." ?
  2. Jesus said he was not going to the feast, but then he goes to the feast later.  Was this a small falsehood?  Your theory of interpretation of scripture is important!  What does John and Jesus assure his followers in vs. 18? What are reliable ways for interpreting scripture?
  3. Circumcisions were performed on the Sabbath for roughly 1/7th of baby boys.  (on the 8th day after a male was born) (Lev. 12:2-4)  Why does this make such a good counter example to "works" on the Sabbath?
  4. Contrast John 7:24 and Matthew 7:1

Can This Be the Christ?

25 Some of the people of Jerusalem therefore said, “Is not this the man whom they seek to kill? 26 And here he is, speaking openly, and they say nothing to him! Can it be that the authorities really know that this is the Christ? 27 But we know where this man comes from, and when the Christ appears, no one will know where he comes from.” 28 So Jesus proclaimed, as he taught in the temple, “You know me, and you know where I come from. But I have not come of my own accord. He who sent me is true, and him you do not know. 29 I know him, for I come from him, and he sent me.” 30 So they were seeking to arrest him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come. 31 Yet many of the people believed in him. They said, “When the Christ appears, will he do more signs than this man has done?”

Officers Sent to Arrest Jesus

32 The Pharisees heard the crowd muttering these things about him, and the chief priests and Pharisees sent officers to arrest him. 33 Jesus then said, “I will be with you a little longer, and then I am going to him who sent me. 34 You will seek me and you will not find me. Where I am you cannot come.” 35 The Jews said to one another, “Where does this man intend to go that we will not find him? Does he intend to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks and teach the Greeks? 36 What does he mean by saying, ‘You will seek me and you will not find me,’ and, ‘Where I am you cannot come’?”

  1. Jesus was so apparently Messianic (Christ-like) that not arresting or killing him was perceived as agreeing with or believing in him.  This was not the case.  What are some modern "measures" that are equated with belief in Jesus? What is Jesus argument for someone's disbelief?
  2. What is behind the "knowing where he came from" statements? (origins)

Rivers of Living Water

37 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as[f] the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” 39 Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

  1. On the last day of the feast of booths is a water pouring ceremony called Hoshana Rabah.
    The ritual is mentioned in the Talmud (the oral law honored by the Jewish people). The tradition was widely practiced in Jesus’ lifetime. The Water Pouring Ceremony, or Water Drawing, was an event on the last day of Sukkot. The Priests would pour water over the altar that was earlier drawn from the Pool of Siloam.The name, Hoshana Rabah (Great Salvation) was derived from the words of Prophet Isaiah. He wrote, “with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation” (12:3). Thus, the people were drawing and pouring the water while praying for salvation.  (Isaiah 12)
  2.  So the scene is this: It is harvest time. Every able-bodied male is supposed to be camping in a tent and delivering tithes and offerings.  On the seventh day Priests are pouring out water over the altar and Jesus "stood up and cried out..."
  3. Is this an example of prophesy fulfulment?  It would be if you accept rituals / patterns / Jewish religious presciptions as prophetic. What are some other examples of prophecy pictured in a Jewish feast that is fulfilled in Christ?

Division Among the People

40 When they heard these words, some of the people said, “This really is the Prophet.” 41 Others said, “This is the Christ.” But some said, “Is the Christ to come from Galilee? 42 Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the offspring of David, and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David was?” 43 So there was a division among the people over him. 44 Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him.

45 The officers then came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, “Why did you not bring him?” 46 The officers answered, “No one ever spoke like this man!” 47 The Pharisees answered them, “Have you also been deceived? 48 Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him? 49 But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed.” 50 Nicodemus, who had gone to him before, and who was one of them, said to them, 51 “Does our law judge a man without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does?” 52 They replied, “Are you from Galilee too? Search and see that no prophet arises from Galilee.”

  1. People are really hung up on where Jesus came from. Aren't they? If you "search and see" you will find out that John is recording the ignorance of these Pharisees.  Jonah came from "Gath Hepher" in Galilee.  Nahum came from Elkosh -- also in Galilee.
  2. What are our "hang ups" about Jesus / Scripture?  What are some modern "hang ups" about Jesus and Scripture?  How can we guard against ignorance-- especially with respect to Jesus / Scripture?
  3. What changes do we see about Nicodemus compared with our last encounter?

[The earliest manuscripts do not include 7:53–8:11.][g]

The Woman Caught in Adultery

53 [[They went each to his own house,


  1. John 7:1 Or Judeans; Greek Ioudaioi probably refers here to Jewish religious leaders, and others under their influence, in that time
  2. John 7:3 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 510
  3. John 7:8 Some manuscripts add yet
  4. John 7:15 Or this man knows his letters
  5. John 7:17 Greek his
  6. John 7:38 Or let him come to me, and let him who believes in me drink. As
  7. John 7:53 Some manuscripts do not include 7:53–8:11; others add the passage here or after 7:36 or after 21:25 or after Luke 21:38, with variations in the text
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  • Introduction to John's Gospel

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  • John Chapter 3

  • John Chapter 4

  • John Chapter 5

  • John Chapter 6

  • John Chapter 7 (and end of Ch.6)
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  • John Chapter 8

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  • John Chapter 12

  • End of John 12 and Chapter 13

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  • John Selections from Ch. 18 and 19

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