John 7:1-24

Author: David Hunt

Jesus Goes to the Festival of Tabernacles

After this, Jesus went around in Galilee. He did not want to go about in Judea because the Jewish leaders there were looking for a way to kill him. 2 But when the Jewish Festival of Tabernacles was near, 3 Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Leave Galilee and go to Judea, so that your disciples there may see the works you do. 4 No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.” 5 For even his own brothers did not believe in him.

6 Therefore Jesus told them, “My time is not yet here; for you any time will do. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil. 8 You go to the festival. I am not going up to this festival, because my time has not yet fully come.” 9 After he had said this, he stayed in Galilee.

10 However, after his brothers had left for the festival, he went also, not publicly, but in secret. 11 Now at the festival the Jewish leaders were watching for Jesus and asking, “Where is he?”

12 Among the crowds there was widespread whispering about him. Some said, “He is a good man.”

Others replied, “No, he deceives the people.” 13 But no one would say anything publicly about him for fear of the leaders.


Jesus Teaches at the Festival

14 Not until halfway through the festival did Jesus go up to the temple courts and begin to teach. 15 The Jews there were amazed and asked, “How did this man get such learning without having been taught?”

16 Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me. 17 Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. 18 Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him. 19 Has not Moses given you the law? Yet not one of you keeps the law. Why are you trying to kill me?”

20 “You are demon-possessed,” the crowd answered. “Who is trying to kill you?”

21 Jesus said to them, “I did one miracle, and you are all amazed. 22 Yet, because Moses gave you circumcision (though actually, it did not come from Moses, but from the patriarchs), you circumcise a boy on the Sabbath. 23 Now if a boy can be circumcised on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses may not be broken, why are you angry with me for healing a man’s whole body on the Sabbath? 24 Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.”

Key Verse

17 Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own


Three thoughts come to mind: God’s timing, Jesus’ authority, and man’s lack of judgment.  Jesus’ brothers mock him to go to Jerusalem and show the world his magic tricks.  The Jewish leaders assume Jesus must have learned from a rabbi like they did.  And, Jesus points out to the crowd that they have made a judgment to break the law of working on the Sabbath to keep the more important covenant of circumcision, yet are upset that He heals a man on the Sabbath.  Each thought could be unpacked and studied on its own, but I kept thinking that maybe there was a thread that connects all three.  Then I stumbled across this sentence in a commentary, “Their example is a warning about how arrogance, ignorance, and tradition can cause spiritual blindness.”  Jesus’ brother’s ignorance, the Jewish leader’s arrogance, and the crowd’s tradition without using judgment caused them not only to not believe who Jesus was but to be offended to the point of discounting his teaching and wanting to get rid of him.  Certainly, Satan still uses these strategies to cause us to be indifferent, to puff us up about what and how we have learned, to waste time & energy justifying our misunderstanding, and to remove love & grace from our thoughts & actions.  If I’m honest with myself, most all of the distractions that cause me to take my eyes off Jesus can be traced back to one of these three causes.  So, what do we do about it?  It seems like Jesus provides an answer in verse 17, “If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.”  In the NIV translation, the word “believe” appears in John more than any other book, and even though that word is not specifically used here, maybe that thought is in John’s mind when he remembers and writes the words of Jesus.  Choose to do God’s will.  Just believe.  Let go of what I don’t know.  Let go of what I think I know.  Let go of going through the motions.  Just believe.  And I will see clearly who Jesus is.

Discussion Questions:

1.      What do I need to learn in order to see Jesus more clearly?  When will I start?

2.      Is there something about my walk with Him that I am especially proud of? Has it caused me to stop listening                to Jesus?

3.      Do I place more importance on knowing scripture than being a student of Jesus’ life?

4.      Is there anything in my spiritual walk that I may have judged to be more important than love by what I do, say,            or think?

David Hunt

David loves Jesus and his family and likes his Jeep, banana cream pie, and watching sports. He and his wife, Angie, and their two sons, Jonah and Austin, have worshipped at Saturn Road since 2003, and he serves as a deacon on the Benevolence Team.