[John 7:25-53] Jesus’ Messianic Credentials: In part 2 of John 7, the people are in great controversy over Jesus’ assertions and claims. They feel He is unjustified to say the things He says to them because, in their thinking, He hasn’t validated His authority to do so. They believe He isn’t qualified to be the Messiah and should, therefore, be quiet. Have you ever been asked to be quiet because you were not seen as qualified to speak?
[Jhn 7:25-53 KJV] 25 Then said some of them of Jerusalem, Is not this he, whom they seek to kill? 26 But, lo, he speaketh boldly, and they say nothing unto him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is the very Christ? 27 Howbeit we know this man whence he is: but when Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence he is. 28 Then cried Jesus in the temple as he taught, saying, Ye both know me, and ye know whence I am: and I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true, whom ye know not. 29 But I know him: for I am from him, and he hath sent me. 30 Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come. 31 And many of the people believed on him, and said, When Christ cometh, will he do more miracles than these which this [man] hath done? 32 The Pharisees heard that the people murmured such things concerning him; and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take him. 33 Then said Jesus unto them, Yet a little while am I with you, and [then] I go unto him that sent me. 34 Ye shall seek me, and shall not find [me]: and where I am, [thither] ye cannot come. 35 Then said the Jews among themselves, Whither will he go, that we shall not find him? will he go unto the dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles? 36 What [manner of] saying is this that he said, Ye shall seek me, and shall not find [me]: and where I am, [thither] ye cannot come? 37 In the last day, that great [day] of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet [given]; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) 40 Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet. 41 Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee? 42 Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was? 43 So there was a division among the people because of him. 44 And some of them would have taken him; but no man laid hands on him. 45 Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him? 46 The officers answered, Never man spake like this man. 47 Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived? 48 Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him? 49 But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed. 50 Nicodemus saith unto them, (he that came to Jesus by night, being one of them,) 51 Doth our law judge [any] man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth? 52 They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet. 53 And every man went unto his own house.
In Part 1 of John 7, the rulers of Jerusalem have openly sought to kill Jesus, yet He continues to speak boldly in public, causing great controversy and debate among the people. The people are amazed at the dispute among their leaders and question among themselves whether they actually know who Jesus is that He is the Christ, and simply don’t want to admit it. This is a problem for them because the popular opinion was that no one would know who the Messiah was or where He came from. This is in error because Micah 5:2 (known to the people at the time) states plainly where Jesus would come from:
Mic. 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
As the people erred concerning the validity of who Jesus is, they will err concerning who you are in Christ. When someone asks you what your educational background is, or where you get your credentials, you know that they are channeling their inner Pharisee. When leaders overemphasize their academic credentials, they are pandering to the same element in our society that crucified Jesus 2000 years ago. In John 7, Jesus comes from Bethlehem. Where does Jesus come from today? Col. 1:27 tells us that Christ is in you as the hope of glory. Jesus is in you. He isn’t in a doctorate or an academic achievement. People often want to know who among those that they hold in reputation acknowledges your calling. Jesus repudiated this thinking in John 5:44:
[Jhn 5:44 KJV] 44 How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that [cometh] from God only?
Jesus stands up and cries in the temple and basically says that the problem is not that they don’t know who He is but that they don’t know who the Father is. He goes on in v. 29 declaring that He himself knows the Father and that it is the Father that He declares to them that they do not know. For this reason they seek unsuccessfully once again to take Him. This happens on several occasions, but Jesus by supernatural means avoids out of their presence, no doubt by angelic assistance such as took place when the Sodomites could not find Lot’s front door because the angels had blinded them (Ge. 19:11).
In the midst of the controversy, the people dispute among themselves concerning the miracles that Jesus has done in their midst. They question whether the Messiah who is to come would do any more miracles than Jesus had already performed before them. In other words, some are willing to believe because of the miracles. This is still true today. We might think that is a good thing, but remember Jesus taught that it is an evil generation that seeks a sign. People want to see a miracle. They retain their skepticism as though it was an inherent right until they see something that they would define as miraculous in nature. In John 4:48, Jesus repudiated them for this expectation, saying it arose out of unbelief. Because of the murmuring of the people about Jesus, the Pharisees and chief priests again seek to take Him, sending officers to bring Him into custody. This will happen in your own life if you ever stand up and begin to seek the kingdom. Sooner or later, the resident Pharisee or self-appointed authority will send someone to talk to you. When that happens, always ask what prompted the visit. Then you will have identified your true enemy. Jesus knows they want to arrest Him and simply tells them (v 34) that they will seek Him and will not find Him. Notice He says, “where I AM, you cannot come…” He is speaking of something much more than a geographical location. He makes a similar statement to the disciples in John 14:1-3:
[Jhn 14:1-3 KJV] 1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if [it were] not [so], I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, [there] ye may be also.
The place He is speaking of is in heavenly places at the Father’s right hand. He was one with the Father, and because the Holy Ghost was not yet given, they could not have that experience. Thus, in v. 37, Jesus calls them to come unto Him and drink. What are they drinking from? Rivers of living water spoken of as the Holy Spirit that would soon be given to them on the Day of Pentecost. Notice v. 39 says that the Holy Ghost was not yet given because Jesus was not yet glorified. Here is the key to receiving the Holy Spirit – glorify Jesus. The people see Jesus confounding the leaders and conclude that He is the prophet spoken of by Moses in Deut. 18:15:
[Deu 18:15 KJV] 15 The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;
In this, they are limited in their thinking because they are not looking beyond their religious traditions or beyond Moses to see who Jesus actually was. The people at this time venerated Moses so much that it becomes the basis of calling for Jesus crucifixion later on. Have you ever seen people so enamored with a well-known leader that they are skeptical of everyone else? This is the party spirit, and it deeply affects modern Christianity as well. Others suggest that Jesus was more than Moses; in fact, that He was the Messiah, but that is rejected because they didn’t think the Messiah, the Christ would come out of Galilee. I thought they had just said that no one would know where Christ would come from? They are confused in their doctrine, choosing at will whatever suited their lack of willingness to believe in Jesus, because in v. 42 we see that they are fully aware that Mic. 5:2 declares that the Messiah would come out of Bethlehem. All of this is a little too controversial for the leadership, and they again send officers to arrest Jesus, but they can’t get it done. They report back to their leaders that never any man spoke like this man. They are confounded by Jesus’ words.
The leaders of the people are incensed by the inability of the soldiers to take Jesus and point out the fact that none of their leaders believe in Jesus, so why would they be troubled by the words that Jesus says to them? In other words, they contend that if THEY don’t believe in Jesus, what is the problem? When you come into controversy with a leader or a person that is offended that you do not think like they think, you have found the Pharisee in their midst and a person who presumes to be your leader. Because the people don’t think like they do, they are considered accursed. To all of this Nicodemas speaks up in defense of Jesus but the leaders reject him, saying that no prophet came out of Galilee. In fact that is not true. Actually, Jonah, Hosea, Nahum, Elijah, Elisha and Amos were all from Galilee, or close to it. These people are vouching for themselves that they are in authority and can speak authoritatively but they are ignorant of the scriptures. Just because someone quotes something as being biblically-based does not mean it is true. People who say that God will never speak contrary to the word, are often people who read their bibles the least. What they are really saying is that God will never speak contrary to their understanding of the word and their understanding of the word is often faulty because they neglect the reading of the word of God and what it actually says. Don’t be this person.
The people are upset, the leaders are upset. Jesus has disturbed and disrupted their perfectly good religious system. What about your church, your circle of friends? Every man goes to his own house, while Jesus ch. 8:1 tells us, having nowhere to lay His head, spends the night at the Mount of Olives.