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John 7:26-53 (web)

The Feast of Tabernacles: Part II

7:26 Behold, he speaks openly, and they say nothing to him.
Can it be that the rulers indeed know that this is truly the Christ?
7:27 However we know where this man comes from,
but when the Christ comes, no one will know where he comes from."
7:28 Jesus therefore cried out in the temple, teaching and saying,
"You both know me, and know where I am from. I have not come of myself,
but he who sent me is true, whom you don't know.
7:29 I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me."

7:30 They sought therefore to take him; but no one laid a hand on him,
because his hour had not yet come.
7:31 But of the multitude, many believed in him. They said,
"When the Christ comes,
he won't do more signs than those which this man has done, will he?"
7:32 The Pharisees heard the multitude murmuring these things concerning him,
and the chief priests and the Pharisees sent officers to arrest him.

7:33 Then Jesus said, "I will be with you a little while longer, then I go to him who sent me.
7:34 You will seek me, and won't find me; and where I am, you can't come."
7:35 The Jews therefore said among themselves,
"Where will this man go that we won't find him?
Will he go to the Dispersion among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks?
7:36 What is this word that he said,
'You will seek me, and won't find me; and where I am, you can't come?'"

7:37 Now on the last and greatest day of the feast,
Jesus stood and cried out, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink!
7:38 He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said,
from within him will flow rivers of living water."
7:39 But he said this about the Spirit, which those believing in him were to receive.
For the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus wasn't yet glorified.
7:40 Many of the multitude therefore,
when they heard these words, said, "This is truly the prophet."
7:41 Others said, "This is the Christ." But some said,
"What, does the Christ come out of Galilee?
7:42 Hasn't the Scripture said that the Christ comes of the seed of David,
and from Bethlehem, the village where David was?"
7:43 So there arose a division in the multitude because of him.
7:44 Some of them would have arrested him, but no one laid hands on him.

7:45 The officers therefore came to the chief priests and Pharisees,
and they said to them, "Why didn't you bring him?"
7:46 The officers answered, "No man ever spoke like this man!"
7:47 The Pharisees therefore answered them, "You aren't also led astray, are you?
7:48 Have any of the rulers believed in him, or of the Pharisees?
7:49 But this multitude that doesn't know the law is accursed."
7:50 Nicodemus (he who came to him by night, being one of them) said to them,
7:51 "Does our law judge a man,
unless it first hears from him personally and knows what he does?"
7:52 They answered him, "Are you also from Galilee?
Search, and see that no prophet has arisen out of Galilee."
7:53 Everyone went to his own house,

Discussion Questions

Where was Jesus from?
Where are you from? (John 17:16)
Why did the Jews reckon Gentile territory to be off limits?
Did Jesus disperse to the Gentiles?
What relevance does water have to the feast of tabernacles?
What does the water represent?
How does such water flow from Christians today?
Had anyone receive the Holy Spirit before this time? Why?
In what manner is the Spirit given to Christians that was not true of saints prior to Jesus' ascension?


Jesus' Tabernacling

This was the feast of Tabernacles. To "tabernacle" means to dwell in a place temporarily. The people of Israel tabernacled temporarily in their desert wanderings between Egypt and the Promise Land. Jesus was tabernacling on the earth. But his home was in heaven. There are different senses in which they knew where he was from. They knew he was from Galilee. But many didn't realize that his origin on earth was from Bethlehem in accordance with the Messianic prophecy. "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times." Mic 5:2  But concerning Galilee, they were incorrect about the scriptures not saying anything of a prophet come from there. For it is written, "In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the Gentiles, by the way of the sea, along the Jordan--  The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned." Isaiah 9:1,2 A scripture which Matthew also points out in Matt 4:15,16 that Jesus fulfilled concerning the coming of the Messiah. And furthermore the prophets Jonah and Elijah were both from Galilee.

Interesting how the chapter ends and the next begins. In fact 8:1 should be included at the end of chapter 7.

7:53  Then each went to his own home.
8:1 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
Jesus had no home to go to. He was tabernacling on the earth. But he spent time on the Mount of Olives to pray. Lu 9:58  Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head." So also with the Christian. Our home is in heaven. "They are not of the world, even as I am not of it." John 17:16

Finding Christ

vs 33-36 And thus we can look forward to going home to heaven. The unbelievers cannot go there. But the Jews reckoned him speak of going among the Gentiles. For they held the Gentiles in contempt and would not associate with them. And in a sense they were right in that Christ through the gospel did find a home among the Gentiles. In fact to escape death at hands of the Jews, the apostle Paul appealed to Caesar and brought the gospel to Rome. And to this day while other than the remnant, the Jews reject Christ, Christ has been dispersed among the Gentiles. Many seek "a Christ", but they can't find Jesus Christ because they're looking in the wrong places. To find Christ a person must first look into their own sinfulness and into the wrath of God. Then in Christ they will find the grace of God to be forgiven and reconciled.  But the proud lack the humility to seek Christ in the right places. And even though they look in the Bible they can't find him, for they look not with a right spirit.

vs 37-38 But for those who find him, just as with the woman at the well Jesus gives life. Again he speaks of living water here as he did in chapter 4. This feast of the tabernacles was in commemeration of the wandering of Israel in the desert. Water was especially needful in such an environment and God provided such miraculously even from the Rock. For the Rock split open and water flowed out. (Number 20:11) "They drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ."1Cor 10:4

But while he promised the woman at the well a well of living water springing up to eternal life, here he promises a river of living water. Such a river is also described in Revelation 22:1 "Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb." But these are allegorical of the river of life abiding within the Christian bringing life to others through faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ. As we exalt Christ lifting him up into his proper place in our hearts so life flows from out of us to draw all men to himself, just as it is written,"But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself."John 12:32

The Holy Spirit had previously not been given

vs 39 The Spirit of Christ is that living water whom we receive when we are born of God. The receiving of the Holy Spirit under the New Covenant is an event never experienced prior to Christ's ascension. No one, not King David, not Abraham, not any of the prophets nor Moses, had ever received the Spirit in the sense that the Christian does. Many in the Christian community do not realize this and end up misapplying verses in the Old Testament dealing with those who have not been born of God, yes even David, Abraham, Moses and so forth, and apply them inappropriately to Christians who have been born of God. Yes, salvation has always been by faith as Paul even reveals concerning Abraham's justification in Romans 4. Dispensationalists are incorrect if they say that godly men in the past were justified by the Law. They were not. Gal 3:11 "Clearly no one is justified before God by the law." But under the New Covenant those who have been justified by faith are given the right to receive the Holy Spirit and become sons of God, which previously was not the case.

NIV version used in comments

The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources Jan 28,2022