Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

John 7:33-37
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: John 7:33
v33: Notice how Jesus described what would happen to Him after He died. He said, “I go to the One who sent Me” (literal). He didn’t say I’m going to a beautiful place or a place where there will be no more sorrow or suffering. To Him heaven was much more than a place; it was a relationship; it was a reunion. He was going to return to His Father. When He spoke these words He had not yet been spiritually separated from His Father. That terrible moment would arrive a few months later, when for a few hours He would die alone on the cross (Mt 27:45-46). But even now, simply by becoming a man, that relationship had changed. It was not the face-to-face relationship that it had been in heaven, but after His death and resurrection He would return to that.

Monday: John 7:34
v34: He primarily addressed these remarks to the Pharisees and Levitical police who had been sent to arrest Him (v32). Basically He told them, “You can’t arrest or kill Me until God’s appointed time has arrived, and it’s not here yet. But it is coming soon, and when it does, death won’t be the end of Me; you will simply send Me back to My Father” (paraphrase). Then He added a warning, “You will seek for Me, but not find Me, because where I am you cannot come” (literal). To understand what He meant by this, we need to examine each part of this statement. First, He said, “You will seek for Me.” He told people who wanted to kill Him that they would search for Him after He died. What did He mean by this?

Tuesday: John 7:34
v34 (continued): There are three possible answers, and I think He meant all three: 1) “You will look for My body after I’ve been resurrected, but you will not find it because I will physically ascend to heaven” (Mt 28:11-15). 2) “You will long for the Messiah when terrible persecution arrives. False Messiahs will arise and promise to deliver you from bondage, but they will only lead you to destruction. And by then, I, the real Messiah, will be gone” (Lk 17:22; 19:41-44; 23:26-31). 3) “You will long for a Savior after you die and face your eternal destiny, but by then it will be too late” (Jn 8:21-24).

Wednesday: John 7:34
v34 (continued): In the second part of this statement He said, “You will not find Me.” He warned them that the time would come when they would look for Him: they would look for His body, but it would be gone; they would need His Messianic leadership to rescue them from the Romans, but they had missed their opportunity; and someday each one of them would wake up on the other side of the grave and frantically look for a Savior, but it would be too late. Where humans spend eternity is determined in this life, not the next. If we haven’t found Him here, we won’t find Him there.

Thursday: John 7:34
v34 (continued): In the third element of this statement Jesus said, “Where I am you cannot come.” The final verdict given to those who reject Jesus will be this, “Where I am you cannot come.” In other words, “I will be with the Father, but because of your unbelief, you will be separated from Me and therefore you will be separated from Him as well.” For Jesus eternal life meant being with His Father. For us eternal life means being with Jesus, and then because we are joined to Him, we too are able to be with the Father. There’s a very important revelation here. We can only be in heaven because we are there with Jesus. We could not enter the Father’s presence or remain in the Father’s presence without Him. We will be there because Jesus is there. In other words Jesus didn’t merely open the door to heaven and let us in, He continues to clothe us with His righteousness, so we can stay there (Mt 22:11-13).

Friday: John 7:35-36
vs35-36: The religious leaders did not understand this statement, particularly the words, “Where I am you cannot come.” They thought Jesus might be threatening to escape their jurisdiction by leaving Israel. There were sizeable Jewish communities in most of the major cities in that part of the world, and they thought He might take His disciples and go to one or more of them and conduct His ministry there. Alexandria (Egypt) or Damascus (Syria) would be likely possibilities. By using the word “Greeks” they did not mean the Gentiles who live in Greece. The Jews who lived in Israel used this term to identify Jews from other lands (Jn 12:20-21; Ac 6:1; 9:29; 15:21). A sample of how widespread the Jewish community was can be found in the list of those listening on the Day of Pentecost (Ac 2:9-11). However as John’s gospel progresses, we are not left to wonder about the true meaning of Jesus’ statement. He explains that He is talking about heaven (Jn 13:33, 36; 14:1-3).

Saturday: John 7:37
v37: John now takes us forward to “the last day, the great [one]of the feast” (literal), so that we can listen to Jesus as He uses another Old Testament symbol to reveal His identity as the Messiah. The last, or seventh, day of the Feast of Booths was, and is, called “Hoshanah Rabba” which means “great praise.” Each day during this festival a priest walked from the temple down to the Pool of Siloam at the south end of the “City of David.” The source of that water was the ancient spring of Gihon (1Ki 1:33; 2Ch 32:30; 33:14). It was a distance of about one-half mile, and as he walked, a joyous procession accompanied him. The priest carried a golden pitcher able to contain about two pints of water, and after dipping it into the pool he carried it back to the temple. When he arrived, rams horns and silver trumpets were sounded, and the priest took the water to the great altar of burnt offering and poured it out before the Lord (Sources for information on the Feast of Booths: Alfred Edersheim, The Temple, Eerdmans, reprint 1988, pp277-282; Israel Ariel, Chaim Richman, Carta’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, the Temple Institute and Carta, Jerusalem, 2005, pp175-199; Ron Cantrell, The Feasts of the Lord: Rehearsals for the End, Bridges for Peace, Tulsa, OK, third printing 2002, pp74-81; William W. Francis, Celebrate the Feasts: The Christian Heritage of the Sacred Jewish Festivals, Salvation Army National Publications, 1998, pp89-97; Celebration: The Book of Jewish Festivals, Naomi Black, consulting ed., Jonathan David Publishers, Inc., 1989, pp32-53). 

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