Dispute Over Jesus
Text: John 7:14-53
I. Jesus went to the Feast of the Tabernacles, or Feast of Booths, in Jerusalem, but he went quietly.
A. In the middle of the feast he began to teach in the temple
B. His teachings amazed the people because his speech marked him as one from the poor section of Israel, but he spoke as a learned man.
C. Jesus answered their question as to his ability
1. His teachings are from God.
2. The education level of the messenger does not affect the message.
3. The glory of the message belongs to God.
D. Since Jesus is not after personal glory, this shows his honesty and the rightness of his message.
1. Unlike his audience, who do not follow the law of Moses.
2. In particular, they are seeking to kill Jesus.
E. Note that up to this point, the crowd has not recognized who Jesus was.
II. Their reaction to the idea that people were trying to kill Jesus was to declare that Jesus was crazy.
A. Jesus pointed out that he had done a miracle which caused all to marvel – referring back to the healing of a paralyzed man - John 5:15-18
1. The events happened about many months earlier at the feast of the Passover, but the Jews still sought his life - John 7:1
B. He pointed out that circumcision was found in the law of Moses and even predated Moses. When the eighth day fell on a Sabbath, they still circumcised a male child on the Sabbath and declare that the law was not broken.
1. This was because they were doing God’s will on the Sabbath.
C. Yet when God, though Jesus, did a miracle on the Sabbath, they become angry at Jesus. Their judgment was not righteous.
III. Now the people realize whom they are talking to. This is the man whom the leaders were seeking to kill.
A. Notice they now acknowledge Jesus’ charge to be true.
B. Now they are amazed that Jesus is publicly teaching and the rulers are not doing anything.
C. Yet, they are not certain Jesus is the Christ.
1. The reason is that they know Jesus is from Nazareth.
2. But the Messiah’s origin is supposed to be mysterious.
3. This idea is not based on any passage in the Old Testament that I know of.
D. Jesus challenges them.
1. They know who he is and where he is from
2. They know that Jesus was sent by God – in other words, they know he is a prophet of God.
3. It is God whom they do not know, but Jesus knows him because he comes from God.
E. The crowd tries to seize Jesus
1. The words he said indicate Jesus is from heaven, making him equal to God.
2. They probably plan to turn him over to the Jewish leaders.
3. But no one can put their hand on Jesus because it was not allowed at this time.
F. Not all were angry with Jesus
1. Many believed.
2. Their reasoning was simple, what more could a person expect from the Messiah than the miracles that Jesus was already performing?
3. When the rulers heard the effect Jesus was having on the crowds, they sought all the more to arrest him.
4. They even sent soldiers to arrest him
G. Jesus explains that his time with the people was limited
1. They were looking for him now, but later they would look for him and will be unable to find him.
2. Where he will be going, they will not be able to come. Referring to his return to heaven.
3. The Jews misunderstood and thought he was planning to go to the nations and teach among the Gentiles – something a “good” Jew would not like to do.
IV. On the last day of the feast, Jesus announces that all must come to him for salvation
A. Belief in Jesus was required to partake of eternal life.
B. Those who believed in Jesus would receive the Holy Spirit.
C. The reaction was mixed
1. Some were positive Jesus was the Prophet that Moses talked about in Deuteronomy 18:15
2. Others thought Jesus was the Messiah, not realizing that the Prophet and the Messiah were the same person.
3. Others were sure he could not be the Messiah because he was from Galilee, the poor district.
a. The Scriptures stated Jesus would be from Bethlehem, the city of David.
b. They did not realize that Jesus was born in Bethlehem.
D. There was great confusion as a result
1. Some wanted to seize Jesus, but they could not.
E. The officers sent to arrest Jesus returned without him
1. When asked why, the officers said that no one ever spoke like Jesus.
2. In other words, his words caused them to believe or at least doubt their rulers.
3. The rulers, of course, were angry
a. They accused their officers of being deceived.
b. They pointed out that none of the rulers believed in him
(1) This is actually a lie - John 3:1-2
c. They accused the crowds of following Jesus only because they were ignorant of the Law.
4. Nicodemus, a ruler who quietly did believe in Jesus, said that a man should be tried on what he actually says and does and not on what he is accused of saying and doing.
a. The other rulers turn on Nicodemus and accuse him of being from Galilee. - Proverbs 9:7-8
b. In other words, he only is sympathetic of Jesus because he is also a poor, ignorant man.
c. They challenge Nicodemus to prove that the Messiah would come from Galilee. No prophet had ever come from this area before.
d. They had missed Isaiah 9:1-2
F. Yet, the situation was diffused. They gave up at this time.