The feast of tabernacles
And after these things Jesus walked in Galilee; for he would not walk in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill him. 2 Now the feast of the Jews, the feast of tabernacles, was at hand. 3 His brothers said to him: Depart from here and go into Judea, so your disciples may also see the works you do. 4 For no one does anything in secret while he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, manifest yourself to the world. 5 For even his brothers did not believe in him. 6 Jesus replied to them: My time is not yet come; but your time is always ready. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates me, because I testify of it, that its works are evil. 8 You go up to the feast. I will not be going up to this feast, because my time is not yet fulfilled. 9 And having said these things to them, he stayed in Galilee.
10 But when his brothers had gone to the feast, then he also went to it, not publicly but as it were in secret. 11 The Jews searched for him at the feast, and asked: Where is he? 12 And there was much murmuring among the crowds concerning him. Some said: He is a good man. Others said: Not so. He deceives the people. 13 Yet no one spoke openly about him for fear of the Jews.
Jesus teaches at the feast
14 When the feast was half way through, Jesus went into the temple and taught. 15 The Jews marvelled, saying: How is it that this man has learning, when he has never had an education? 16 Jesus answered them and said: My teaching is not mine, but His that sent me. 17 If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know of this teaching, whether it is of God, or I speak from myself. 18 He that speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but he that seeks the glory of Him that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.
19 Did not Moses give you the law and yet none of you does the law? Why do you seek to kill me? 20 The crowd answered: You are crazy! Who seeks to kill you? 21 Jesus answered and said to them: I did one work and you all marvel because of it! 22 Moses has given you circumcision (not that it is of Moses but of the fathers) and on the Sabbath you circumcise a man. 23 If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath, so that the law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with me, because I made a man completely whole on the Sabbath? 24 Judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
25 Therefore, some of those from Jerusalem asked: Is this not he whom they seek to kill? 26 And lo, he speaks openly and they say nothing to him. Can it be that the rulers indeed know that this is the Christ? 27 However we know from where this man is; but when the Christ comes, no one knows from where he is. 28 Therefore Jesus cried out in the temple, teaching and saying: You both know me, and know from where I am, and that I have not come of myself. But He that sent me is true, whom you do not know. 29 I know Him, because I am from Him, and He sent me. 30 Therefore they sought to take him, but no one laid his hand on him- because his hour had not yet come. 31 But of the crowd many believed in him; and they said: When the Christ comes, will he do more signs than those which this man has done?
32 The Pharisees heard the crowd murmuring these things concerning him, and the chief priests and the Pharisees sent officers to take him. 33 Jesus replied: Yet a little while am I with you, and then I go to Him that sent me. 34 You shall seek me, and shall not find me; and where I am, you cannot come. 35 The Jews queried among themselves: Where will this man go that we shall not find him? Will he go to the diaspora among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles? 36 What is his meaning when he said: You shall seek me and shall not find me; and, Where I am, you cannot come?
37 Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying: If anyone thirsts, let him came to me and drink. 38 He that believes on me, as the scripture has said: From within him shall flow rivers of living water. 39 He spoke of the Spirit, which they that believed in him were to receive. For the Spirit had not yet been received, as Jesus had not yet been glorified.
40 Therefore some of the crowd, when they heard these words, said: This is truly the prophet! 41 Others said: This is the Christ. But some said: What! Does the Christ come out of Galilee? 42 Has not the scripture said that the Christ comes of the seed of David and from Bethlehem, the village where David was born? 43 So there arose a division in the crowd because of him. 44 And some of them would have taken him; but no one laid hands on him.
45 The officers went to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them: Why did you not bring him? 46 The officers answered: Never has a man spoken like this man! 47 The Pharisees therefore answered them: Are you also led astray? 48 Have any of the rulers believed in him, or any of the Pharisees? 49 But this rabble, which does not know the law, are accursed! 50 Nicodemus (he that had earlier come to him by night, being one of them) 51 said to them: Does our law judge a man without first giving him a hearing and knowing what he is doing? 52 They answered and said to him: Are you also of Galilee? Search the scrolls and you will see, that no prophet is to rise from Galilee. 53 At that, each of them went home.
7:3 Jesus was rejected by His family; He knows how we feel when this happens to us for His sake.
7:7 The testimony of Jesus against this world wasn’t very overt; it wasn’t in the words He spoke, at least not those recorded in the Gospels. His testimony was perhaps in His perfect life, in His caring for and saving those whom this world ignored, despised and destroyed. Our testimony also is more in our actions and personalities than in specific words of testimony.
7:20 You have a demon!- This was the language of the day for saying ‘You are mad!’, and should not be taken literally.
7:23 Sometimes we have to break one command or principle in order to keep another. God has arranged things in this way so that we think carefully about the meaning of our actions and the reason for our obedience to Him.
7:34 There’s a hard logic here- we either seek Him now when we can find Him, or we will seek Him like the foolish girls of Mt. 25:11 will do- when it’s all too late.
7:35,36 It must’ve been so frustrating for Jesus to be so constantly misunderstood; His words and ideas were continually understood within different frames of reference and worldviews. When we experience the same, we know that He can empathize with us.
7:38 Living water- The Jewish hearers would’ve associated this with the Old Testament teaching that “living water” was to be used to cleanse lepers; and that “living water” would flow out of the temple to heal the world (Lev. 14:6; Ez. 47:1-9). We are to be the source of cleansing for others- which means we are intended to communicate our faith to them. And we, rather than any physical religious building, are to be the source of new life and cleansing for the world.
7:48 The fact the great and learned of this world haven’t believed in Christ is no reason not to. Fact is, the minority are in the right. “How can so many be wrong?” really begs the answer: “Quite easily, according to the Bible and also human experience”.
7:50 Nicodemus sets us a good example of speaking up for Jesus in the midst of secular society which has no time for Him, even if it means being mocked and despised.