(Vs. 28) Some of them which lived at Jerusalem said, "We know this man and where He came from." Our Lord then spoke with a loud voice that all might hear, "Do you know Me? Do you know from whence I am? You know Me to be Jesus of Nazareth, but you are wrong! I am not of Nazareth. You suppose I am from Galilee, but you are wrong! You take me to be the son of Joseph, but that is your mistake! I am not come of Myself into this world by incarnation to accomplish the salvation of sinners; the Father sent Me." He that sent Christ is true to the covenant He made with Christ, true to His promises, and true to be believed. So with all their boasted knowledge of Him, they knew not the Father Who sent Him and, consequently, knew not Him that was sent (John 8:19).
(Vs. 29) "I know Him" His nature and perfections, His purposes and promises, His counsel and covenant, His mind and will; for Christ and the Father are One (John 10:30; Isa. 9:6). "I am from Him," being the only-begotten of Him (John 17:5; John 1:18). "He sent Me" in an office capacity as the Christ to redeem His people. None of these things did they know of Jesus of Nazareth.
(Vs. 30) Therefore, being angered by His claims, they sought to take Him by force and carry Him before the Sanhedrin to be tried and condemned as a blasphemer; but though this was their design, they had no power to do so, being restrained by the providence of God; for His hour to suffer and die had not yet come (Luke 4:28-30; John 8:20).
(Vs. 31) Many of the common people, impressed by His miracles, believed on Him, at least as an extraordinary prophet and person; for they said, "When Messiah comes, will He do more miracles than this man hath done?" (John 2:23). The Jews expected the Messiah to perform many miracles (Isa. 35:3-7; Isa. 61:1; Matt. 11:3-6).
(Vs. 32) The Pharisees heard that the people talked among themselves about His miracles, His words, and His claims, and that many of them suspected that He could be the Christ; so they sent officers from the temple to arrest Him. These Pharisees felt their authority, positions, and teachings to be threatened by Him.
(Vs. 33) Our Lord said to the officers sent to take Him and to other unbelieving Jews, "Yet a little while (six months at the most or until the next passover, when He would be crucified) I am with you." And then Christ would lay down His life, rise again from the dead, and ascend to the Father Who sent Him into the world (Heb. 1:3; Heb. 10:12).
(Vs. 34) Great distress shall come upon Israel, and you will continue to look for the coming of the Messiah for a redeemer and deliverer; but no Messiah will appear, no redeemer will come to relieve you. You shall seek in vain (Prov. 1:24-29). "And where I am ye cannot approach."
(Vs. 35-36) Despite all of His miracles, His holiness, His words of instruction, His revelations of His deity, and the inability of their leaders to answer Him or to lay hands on Him, these Jews were totally blind to Who He was and what He came to do (I Cor. 2:7-14; John 6:44-45). They wondered if tie would go among the Jews in some foreign country or even among the Gentiles or Greeks. What He said in Verse 34 puzzled them, and they knew not what to make of it. These were not all illiterate men. Some were men of culture and much religious training, but they knew not what He said; for the plainest and simplest word from God is far beyond the reach of natural wisdom.
(Vs. 37) The last day of the feast arrived. It is called "that great day of the feast" because on the closing day there was a general and solemn gathering of worshippers (Lev. 23:36). On this day, when the temple courts were thronged with a large crowd, our Lord stood and cried with a loud voice, "If any man thirst, let him come to Me and drink." Three words stand out and demand our attention.
1. "THIRST." This is a spiritual thirst (John 4:13-14), a strong desire for forgiveness, for righteousness, for a knowledge of God, and acceptance by Him. This is a man longing for the living God (Psalm 42:1; Matt. 5:6).
2. "COME TO ME;" not to Moses and the law, not to works and ceremonies, not to religious leaders and organizations, but to Him! Coming to Him is to believe on Him, to receive Him, and to trust in Him (II Tim. 1:12).
3. "DRINK;" that is, to take the water of life freely or to take of His grace freely. Salvation by Christ is of free grace, and justification is freely by His grace. We have but to come to Him and drink. There is a fullness of grace in Christ. His grace is sufficient and abundant for all (Col. 2:9-10). "All the fitness He requireth is to feel your need of Him." The fountain of life flows abundantly and freely; all the sinner need do is drink.