PRETEND: So…If Pastor Schmieding were stranded on a deserted island…and could only take ONE book to use, what would it be? I would definitely take my Lutheran Study Bible (LSB). (Concordia Publishing House did NOT pay me to say this! Ha).
Seriously, if you are interested in having a SUPERB study Bible with sound doctrine and overflowing extra study resources, I HIGHLY recommend it. (CPH.org)
John 7 Focus: More and more people marvel at the teaching of Jesus, and more people are led by God’s Spirit to believe in Him--even as the number of his opponents also keeps growing.
JOHN 7: Insights, Highlights and Points to Ponder:
1. Please PONDER: Aside from when we are at worship or praying, how often do we talk about JESUS in our everyday conversations and hear about JESUS in the daily news? (Hmmm….What does this mean?)
2. Old Testament Connections: Read Leviticus 23 which outlines and summarizes the major Feasts (or Festivals) of the Jewish people. Many of the events of Jesus and His disciples revolved around these festivals active Jews still observe. It is simply a reminder that the Old and New Testaments are intertwined. God’s Word is personified, united, and fulfilled in Christ.
3. We hear more “TENT TALK” in John 8 as we go to the Feast of Booths. Remember that John 1 harkens back to the Old Testament and indicates when the Word became flesh Jesus in essence pitched a tent or “tabernacled” among us. John 7 resumes the reference to tents…interesting.
We now read: John 7 (interspersed with commentary and insights)
Jesus at the Feast of Booths
7:1 After this Jesus went about in Galilee. He would not go about in Judea, because the Jews were seeking to kill him. 2 Now the Jews' Feast of Booths was at hand.
NOTE: The Feast (Festival) of Booths was the third yearly festival observed by Jews when they would put up a temporary BOOTH or “pitch a tent” and live in it 7 days to remember the wilderness wanderings of the Children of Israel. (Would this perhaps be a good “proof text” that God endorses camping? Ha.)
3 So his brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, that your disciples also may see the works you are doing. 4 For no one works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.” 5 For not even his brothers believed in him.
NOTE: John indicates (also in 2:12) that Mary had more babies after Jesus--Jesus had siblings!
6 Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always here. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify about it that its works are evil. 8 You go up to the feast. I am not going up to this feast, for my time has not yet fully come.” 9 After saying this, he remained in Galilee.
NOTE: Jesus remains in Galilee at first, and his brothers travel ahead of Him about 120 miles to Jerusalem for the Feast of Booths.
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, 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 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.”
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’?”
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 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.
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.
NOTICE how here and throughout Chapter 7 Jesus EVOKES strong reactions from everyone who encounters Him--His own family, His disciples, religious leaders and the crowds. Reactions to Jesus range from strongly positive and belief to very negative opposition and rejection. Likewise, we should expect people will have strong reactions to Jesus in our day. Nevertheless, we faithfully and joyfully share Christ’s love and Good News.
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.”
[The earliest manuscripts do not include 7:53–8:11.]
The Woman Caught in Adultery
53 [[They went each to his own house,
NOTE: I will comment on this unusual Bible Textual issue tomorrow as we study and read John 8.
We conclude this study of John 7 focusing again on the OT/NT connection with the Festival of Booths mentioned in Leviticus 23 and John 7.
The Lutheran Study Bible(LSB) provides excellent thoughts and a prayer for us in this New Year in its commentary on Leviticus 23:33-44 which ring true and comfort us in these tumultuous times (CPH.org, LSB p. 202):
The Feast of Booths concluded the festive half of the liturgy that began at Passover and commemorated Israel’s safe travel on the way to the Promised Land. As you start each new journey, call on God’s blessing and commemorate His care. Walk with Him by faith. His peace will comfort you in all circumstances.
+Prayer+ As You watched over Israel, dearest Jesus, and journeyed with the disciples, so also abide with me and watch over me until, by Your grace, I reach my eternal home in heaven. Amen.
Pastor Scott Schmieding