Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

John 7:19-32
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: John 7:19
v19: Probably in February or March of that year (Jn 5:1-9), Jesus had healed a man beside the Pool of Bethesda, and even though it was a sabbath day He told that man to pick up his pallet and carry it away. Both the act of healing and carrying away the pallet were considered by the religious leaders to be “work,” which meant they violated the command to rest on the sabbath (Ex 20:8-11). For that reason, they wanted to execute Jesus. Knowing their plan, He spoke directly to them and told them that their determination to execute Him without a trial was prohibited by the Law of Moses (Jn 7:51; Ex 23:1; Dt 17:6; 19:15-21). In front of the entire crowd which had gathered to listen to Him He asked, “Why do you seek to kill Me?”

Monday: John 7:20
v20: The crowd’s answer was strange. John reports that they said, “You have a demon! Who seeks to kill you?” Undoubtedly many of the pilgrims who had just arrived in Jerusalem to celebrate the festival would have had very little knowledge of the leaders’ plans concerning Jesus. So their response may simply be an expression of ignorance, but it’s hard to imagine that many of the people standing in that crowd didn’t know about the danger Jesus was in, especially in light of an up-coming statement John will make about them, “Therefore some from Jerusalem were saying, ‘Is this not the man whom they are seeking to kill?’” (literal) (Jn 7:25). Obviously those who lived in the city knew, so it’s more likely that the source behind the reply, “You have a demon! Who seeks to kill you?” came from the religious leaders themselves. Later on John will reveal that they regularly accused Jesus of being demonized (Jn 8:48) and that a division had arisen among them on this subject: Some had concluded that Jesus was demon-possessed; others had concluded that He was not (Jn 10:19-21). It’s interesting to note that John the Baptist was also accused of having a demon (Mt 11:18). So I would suspect that it was the religious leaders, standing nearby, who started this accusation. They wanted to persuade the crowd that Jesus was crazy, so they would stop listening to Him.

Tuesday: John 7:21-23
vs21-23: Then Jesus explained why it was not a violation of God’s law to heal a man on the sabbath. He compared healing that man to the act of circumcising a baby boy. In effect He said, “You’re willing to perform a surgery on a child on the sabbath, which is a form of work. You do it in order to protect the child from being excluded from the covenant of Abraham (Ge 17:9-14) and also to obey the command in the Law of Moses (Lev 12:3), even though that same Law forbids you to work on the sabbath. In this case the Law expects you to break one command in order to obey a higher command. The spiritual need of that child to be rescued becomes more important than your need to rest. And God approves of this. He would be displeased if you did not rescue the child. Then at what age does God want us to stop rescuing people on the sabbath?” (paraphrase). The person He healed had been disabled for 38 years (Jn 5:5-9), and after healing him He tried to restore that man’s relationship to God (Jn 5:14). Though it appears the man refused to repent (Jn 5:15), attempting to rescue a man’s soul was more important to God than doing no work on the sabbath.

Wednesday: John 7:24
v24: After revealing God’s perspective on this matter, Jesus said, “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” By this statement He was pleading with these religious leaders not to use the Laws of God in a superficial way but to look deeper and try to understand why God wanted people to do certain things. If they did they would discover that He gave His Laws to bless people, not to prevent them from helping each other when someone was in genuine need. A person who judged with “righteous judgment” would not grow harsh or legalistic. Though they would hold God’s standards high, they never forget that He gave us His Laws so that He could have relationship with us. The goal of the Law was to teach us how to become like Him so that His presence could dwell among us. In other words, a person who judges with righteous judgment will not forget the heart of God when they spiritually evaluate a situation. They will never forget that God loves people and wants to save them.

Thursday: John 7:25-27
vs25-26: Those who lived in Jerusalem knew that the religious leaders wanted to kill Jesus, so they were shocked to watch them stand there and make no attempt to arrest Him. Some wrongly assumed that this meant the leaders had changed their minds about Him. They later said to each other, “Perhaps, in truth, the rulers knew that this is the Messiah.” v27: They were amazed that those leaders had been so easily deceived. In their minds the priests and Pharisees should have known that Jesus could not possibly be the Messiah, because everyone knew Jesus came from Nazareth and “when Messiah comes no one knows from where He is” (literal). Apparently there were popular teachers at that time which said that the Messiah would appear suddenly from heaven. And of course there are Old Testament passages which describe the return of Jesus Christ to earth and in doing so picture a sudden appearance of the Messiah. He arrives from heaven to set up God’s kingdom on earth (Isa 11:1-16; 59:16-20; Zec 12:8-10; 14:1-4). The Bible is actually very specific about where the Messiah would be born (Jn 7:42; Micah 5:2), and that place is Bethlehem. But it seems that this group thought Jesus had been born in Nazareth, and since they knew the location of His hometown, in their minds that meant that He could not be the Messiah (vs41, 52).

Friday: John 7:28-31
vs28-29: Jesus heard these comments and realized that confusion was spreading through the crowd, so He raised His voice until it was loud enough for all to hear and said to them, in effect, “You think you know Me and where I came from, but your knowledge is superficial and incomplete. The real reason that you are so confused right now is because you have no relationship with God. You lack spiritual insight and have no discernment. He’s trying to show you the truth about Me, but you can’t hear Him. I know Him because I came from being beside Him, and He sent Me here” (paraphrase). vs30-31: This remark highly offended some of those in the crowd, and they must have surged forward to try to grab Him but were unable to reach Him. John says there were many in the crowd who did believe in Him, and it’s likely that some of them stepped in to prevent the attackers from reaching Him.

Saturday: John 7:30-32
vs30-31 (continued): John tells us that God was ultimately protecting Jesus because “His hour had not yet come,” meaning that it was not yet God’s appointed time for Jesus to be arrested and die. That “hour” would come the following spring, during Passover (Jn 13:1). For now, in spite of all the opposition toward Him by their religious leaders, many of those who saw, or even heard about, the miracles Jesus performed realized that these were important signs which could not be ignored. They asked themselves and others, “When the Messiah comes He will not do more signs than that which this man did [will He?]” (literal). v32: The Pharisees grew alarmed when they heard people making these positive statements about Jesus. They sensed that the tide of public opinion was turning toward Him, so they reported the situation to the chief priests and Pharisees because that group had the authority to send Levitical guards to arrest Him (Mt 27:62, 65; 1Ch 9:22-27; 26:12-19).  

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