John 7:14-27

Henry Mahan

(Vs. 14) The Lord went up to Jerusalem to the feast about the fourth day (the feast lasted eight days). He taught publicly in the temple. We are not told what His subject was, but we can assume that He expounded the Scriptures and instructed the people. Perhaps He had much to say about this particular feast and its spiritual meaning.

(Vs. 15) The Jews marveled at the manner and matter of His doctrine, He spoke as never man spake. His words were gracious, delivered with power and authority, and gave evidence of an unusual knowledge of the Scriptures. They knew that Jesus of Nazareth had never sat at the feet of the Jewish doctors nor been educated in their school of the prophets, yet He not only knew the Scriptures but the great mysteries of the kingdom of God.

(Vs. 16) His doctrine WAS HIS in the sense that He is God. He is the author of it, the subject of it, and the glory of it. His doctrine respected Ills person as the God-man, His offices as prophet, priest, and king, and His redemptive work in life, death, and resurrection. But Christ is not speaking here from the standpoint of His essential glory, not as God, but as the SERVANT of Jehovah, as the Son of God INCARNATE. His doctrine had been taught Him by NO MAN, nor did He invent it Himself; but His is the wisdom which comes from the Father (John 8:28; Gal. 1:11-12).

(Vs. 17) If any man has a heart truly set on knowing and embracing the will of God (however contrary it may be to his own thoughts), if any man seeks for the truth of God seriously, in the fear of the Lord, willing to lay aside tradition, custom, and the wisdom of the flesh, God will reveal the truth to him so that he shall know that I do not speak from myself (as a man) but by the authority of the Father.

(Vs. 18) Here is another proof that His doctrine was from the Father. The one . who totally acts, speaks, and works ONLY FOR THE GLORY OF GOD is no imposter; and there is no deception nor unrighteousness in him. He who preaches his own message and his own thoughts aims at his own honor and attracts attention to himself. But the servant who sincerely seeks His glory that sent him is a true servant and ought to be heard (John 5:42-44). Doctrine, which advances the honor and glory of God and humbles the creature, is most likely to be of God! (I Cor. 1:26-31.)

(Vs. 19) Christ completely turns the tables upon them. They charged Him with being unlettered; and now He charges them with having the letter of the law but failing to render obedience to it; for they sought to kill Him, which was a violation of the sixth commandment (John 7:1, 25). Where there is no heart FOR the truth, there is a heart AGAINST it. Where there is enmity against the truth, there is always a hatred for those who faithfully preach it.

(Vs. 20) The people mentioned here seem to be the common or country people who had come from other places to the feasts and knew not how the Jewish leaders sought to kill Him. They said, "You talk like a mad man. Evidently you are demon-possessed;" for they thought all insanity was demon-possession. They asked Him, "Who seeks to kill you?" Little did they realize that at a later feast they would be crying, "Crucify, Him, crucify Him."

(Vs. 21-23) By one work or miracle it is plain that He refers to the healing of the man by the pool of Bethesda on the sabbath (John 5:1-8). Because He did this on the sabbath, they were offended (John 5:16). Moses passed on to you the law of circumcision, which was given to Abraham, and in obedience to that law you circumcise a male child on the sabbath day. The law required the child to be circumcised on the eighth day; and if that day falls on the sabbath and it is no breach of the law to make a wound and apply a plaster on it, then why are you angry because I have completely healed a man on the sabbath? Works of necessity and works of mercy may be legitimately performed on the sabbath. Circumcision on the eighth day was a work of necessity. The healing of the man was a work of mercy.

(Vs. 24) He exhorts the people to be fair in their judgment of His act and to take into account all the circumstances and the Scriptures. Do not be influenced by your desire to please the Pharisees and the Scribes (who had condemned Him) nor by your prejudice against Me. Judge this act of mercy on the basis of that which is true and righteous. In the sense that the sabbath is the day of rest, worship, and communion with God, is it not fitting that a man should be made whole on that day?

(Vs. 25-26) Some of the people of Jerusalem who knew the designs and counsels of the Pharisees said, "Is not this the man they seek to kill? Here He is speaking openly, and they say nothing. Can it be possible that they have discovered that He is indeed THE CHRIST? Have they changed their minds concerning Him?"

(Vs. 27) We know that this man is from Nazareth, that Joseph is His father, Mary is His mother, and we know His brothers and sisters. When the Christ comes, He will be of the tribe of Judah, the family of David, and of the town of Bethlehem. He will be supernaturally born of a virgin (Isa. 7:14). They probably thought that the Christ would be born in Bethlehem and carried away until He appeared to the world as a man dropped down from heaven. Jesus spent His early days in Nazareth; this they knew (John 6:41-42).

Henry Mahan
Ashland, Ky.