Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

John 7:1-10
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: John 7:1-2
vs1-2: This encounter in Capernaum took place just before Passover (Jn 6:4), and a year later, during the following Passover season (Jn 13-20), Jesus was crucified. So when we step into chapter seven, we enter the final year of His ministry. By that point in time the religious leaders in Jerusalem had grown so hostile that Jesus chose to remain in the relative safety of Galilee for the next half-year. John described the situation this way, “And after these things Jesus walked in Galilee for He did not wish to walk in Judea because the Jews (religious leaders) were seeking to kill Him” (literal). Passover occurs during March or April of each year, and it marks the end of the rainy season. The Feast of Booths is a week-long festival celebrated in September or October, which marks the end of the dry season.

Monday: John 7:3-4
vs3-4: The Feast of Booths (tents, tabernacles) is one of the three major festivals which the Law of Moses commands all adult males to come to Jerusalem to present their offerings (Dt 16:16). The other two are Passover and the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost). Jesus had four brothers and at least two sisters (Mt 13:55-56), and when the time came to prepare for the 100-mile journey south, the jealousy and suspicion which had developed in His brothers boiled over into an open attack on His character. It’s hard to comprehend why they became so angry. One possible answer is that they were influenced by the unbelieving atmosphere of Nazareth (Mt 13:53-58; Mk 6:1-6; Lk 4:24-30; Jn 1:46). One can only imagine how the members of that synagogue must have criticized Him after they failed to execute Him early in His ministry (Lk 4:28-30). We discover in the other gospels there had been conflict with His family before this. His mother and brothers came to one of the sites where He was ministering to “speak” to Him (Mt 12:46-50). Though their reason for confronting Him is not disclosed, it looks like the family had concluded that He had become mentally unstable and they wanted to take Him home.

Tuesday: John 7:3-5
vs3-4 (continued): Basically at this encounter His brothers accused Him of being ambitious and self-promoting. They couldn’t deny the miracles He was performing, but they could attack His character by accusing Him of doing those miracles for the wrong reasons. They said His ultimate goal was to make a name for Himself. None of them recognized that the miracles were signs confirming Him as Israel’s Messiah. In what must have been a mocking tone, they urged Him to go down to Jerusalem because the crowds in Galilee were far too small. He would find much larger crowds in Judea because tens of thousands of pilgrims would be pouring into Jerusalem to observe the Feast of Tabernacles. They said that’s where He needed to do His wonders, “For no one does anything in secret [who also] seeks for himself to be in the open. If you do these things manifest yourself to the world” (literal). v5: Then John explains why they said this, “For not even His brothers were believing in Him.” This indeed was a sad moment but as we read it we need to remember that His brothers’ unbelief disappeared, at least in James (1Co 15:7; Gal 1:19; Ac 1:14) and Judas (Jd 1:1), after Jesus was resurrected.

Wednesday: John 7:6
v6: The way Jesus answered His brothers tells us that there may have been a far more sinister motive hidden beneath their insulting words. Were they hoping to provoke Him to go down to Jerusalem because they knew how dangerous the situation was for Him? Is it possible that they actually hoped He might be arrested and persecuted? His answer seems to imply that: “My time (season) is not yet arrived, but your time (season) is always at hand.” In other words He told His brothers, “The time appointed for Me to die has not yet arrived, but it will come. Yet human history has always been full of unbelief toward God and accusation toward His servants, which is why the vicious attitudes you’re expressing come so easily to you” (paraphrased).

Thursday: John 7:7
v7: Then He said, “The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify concerning it that its works are evil” (literal). By the term “world” (cosmos) He is referring to rebellious humans. Everywhere He went Jesus had been telling people that they needed to repent and believe that God had sent Him to be their Savior. Yet rebellious people don’t want anyone telling them to repent and instinctively attack the one who does. He was trying to explain to His brothers why so many voices had been critical of Him, and why they were too. His statement to them that “the world cannot hate you” may indicate that His brothers were quite popular in Nazareth. He had confronted the people of Nazareth. He had challenged their unbelief (Lk 4:24-27) and now He was hated for it, but His brothers shared the town’s unbelief and were warmly embraced.

Friday: John 7:8
v8: It was customary for large caravans of pilgrims to travel together for safety, but that year Jesus did not go with them to Jerusalem. That year He made a deliberate choice to not observe the Feast of Booths, and the reason He did not observe it was prophetic. He said, “I am not going up to this feast because My time has not been fulfilled” (literal). In other words, He told His brothers He would not celebrate the Feast of Booths until by His death He had first fulfilled the Feast of Passover. To understand why, we need to understand the prophetic meaning which had developed around the Feast of Booths. Originally it was a yearly festival intended to remind the people that they had lived in tents or booths made of brush during their exodus from Egypt (Lev 23:34-44). But as the centuries passed that festival also came to be associated with the restoration of the nation at the coming of Messiah. Zechariah spoke of the feast this way, “Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went up against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths” (Zech 14:16). He pictured those who survived among the Gentile nations coming to Jerusalem to worship after the final battle of Armageddon. And the festival He says they will observe is the Feast of Booths. So that feast came to symbolize the Messianic Age in which the power of the Holy Spirit would be poured out upon all the earth (Hab 2:14).

Saturday: John 7:8-10
v8 (continued): So by not observing this festival until His time was “fulfilled,” Jesus was making a prophetic statement that the blessings of the Messianic Age could not arrive until He had first fulfilled His assignment to die for the sins of the world. A divine sequence of events had to unfold. Passover comes before the Feast of Booths, and He had to die during Passover. vs9-10: He didn’t join the caravan of pilgrims heading south to Jerusalem, but remained behind in Galilee until they had left. Then, He walked there alone, in “secret.” That may mean He went directly through Samaria, or that He traveled in disguise, or both. When that caravan of pilgrims arrived in Judea they would build booths of branches in the city or surrounding areas and sleep in those booths. They would also participate in daily ceremonies at the temple, but as we noted earlier (v8), that year Jesus chose not to participate in those events. However, about half way through the week-long celebration, He began to teach and preach to the crowds in the temple (v14).  

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