About Jesus  -  Steve Sweetman

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Is Jesus The Christ (ch. 7:25-44)


In verses 25 to 27 the crowd is confused.  They note that Jesus is the one that the authorities would like to arrest and kill but the authorities are doing nothing about Him.  We know from other places in the gospels that the authorities were afraid to arrest Jesus for fear of the crowd.  Many in the crowd were on Jesusí side.  At the same time, there were many in the crowd who were neutral, not really sure what to think.  These people were struggling over the idea that Jesus might not be the Christ since they knew where He came from.  He came from Nazareth . Their idea of the Messiah was that they would not know where He came from.  He would be somewhat of a mystery person. This was a wrong interpretation of the Old Testament writings.


The Jews misunderstood all of the suffering Messianic passages in the Old Testament like Genesis 3:15, Psalm 22, and Isaiah 53.  They expected the Messiah to come as a king from Bethlehem .  They knew Jesus came from Galilee but didn't know that He was born in Bethlehem.  Jesus did come from Bethlehem, meaning He was born in Bethlehem, as was prophesied.    


In verse 28 Jesus cried out.  This signifies intensity and volume in His voice.  He said, "Yes, you know me, and know where I come from.  I am not here on my own, but He who sent me is true.  You do not know Him but I know Him because I am from Him and He sent me."  These are the same words Jesus has been saying over and over again.  I am from God.  He has sent me.  I am His Son.  He is my Father.  It's all about the Deity of Christ.    


Again, as we've seen all through the book of John, there is a major intellectual disconnect between Jesus and the crowd of people.  He is talking to them about where He has come from and that's His heavenly home where his heavenly Father lives.  The crowd is thinking in terms of Jesus coming from Galilee .    


Verse 30 says that because of these words they, the Jewish leaders, tried to seize Jesus, but they did not lay hands on Him.  They could not lay hands on Him.  John says that "His (Jesus') time was not yet come."  God has a timetable.  The cross was still off in the future.  God would not allow anything to be done to Jesus before the allotted time.  Jesus made that clear to Pilate later on in John, when He told Pilate that he had no power at all over Him, other than what God had given him. 


The idea that God has a timetable is important when it comes to prophetic history.  Some people believe that Jesus will return when the church reaches some sort of state of perfection.  I don't see it that way.  Jesus will come at the precise second God has planned for Him to come back to earth.  He will not arrive a second late or a second early.


Verse 31 tells us that some in the crowd believed that Jesus was the Christ.  John tells us that they had put their faith in Him.  That is to say, they trusted what Jesus said about Himself, even though their trust was somewhat faulty.  They ask, "When the Christ comes, will He do more miraculous signs than this man?"  In Greek this kind of sentence structure requires a no answer.  By this they were saying that Jesus was doing many miracles that to them proved He was the Christ.  If He wasnít, and the Messiah was still to come, would the Messiah do more and greater miracles than Jesus?  Miracles were to be a sign to point to Jesus, and some believed in Him because of these signs.   Miracles were to be a sign of the Messiah.  Jesus had the signs, but was He really the Messiah?  The crowd was divided over this issue.  The Jewish leadership, however, had made their minds up.  He was not the Messiah.       


In verse 32 the Pharisees got wind of what the people were talking about among themselves.  The Pharisees were now beginning to feel more threatened than ever by Jesus.  They did not like to see anyone giving credence to anyone accept themselves.  Just the possibility of the crowd thinking Jesus could be the Christ was a threat to them, so they tried to arrest Jesus.


In verse 33 Jesus says, "I am with you for only a short time, and then I go to the One who sent me; and where I am you cannot come."  Jesus is saying that His time here on earth is limited to a short time, and that He will return to where He came from, and that is where the One who sent Him is. 


Notice the verb tense in verse 34.  Jesus says, "Where I am, you cannot come."  Where He was at that precise moment was the temple in Jerusalem , but He was talking as if He had already returned to Heaven.  These people could not go with Him to Heaven. 


Jesus specifically told this crowd of Jews that they could not go to Heaven.  Did that mean they could not go at that exact moment nor did it mean that they would never go to Heaven?  The answer may be debatable.  This might actually be a prophetic statement from the lips of Jesus.  The majority of that generation of Jews would not end up in Heaven because of their unbelief.    


In verse 35 those listening to Jesus had no clue of what He was talking about.  They thought that He was planning on going into the Greek world, meaning among the Gentiles in order to teach them.  They could not understand where Jesus could possibly go where they could not follow Him.  We of course know that Jesus was talking about going to Heaven.


It is a bit ironic that the Jews thought that Jesus might be going into the Gentile world.  Jesus Himself didn't go to the Gentiles but His apostles did.  His teaching was proclaimed throughout the known Gentile world by the disciples.


In verse 36 Jesus told the crowd of people that some day they would look for Him but they would not find Him.  Could this be prophetic as well?  The Old Testament prophets said that God had blinded the eyes of the Jews.  Paul picked up on this in his discourse concerning the Jews in Romans 9 through 11.  Could there blind spiritual eyes prevent these people from finding Jesus?  The other alternative here is Jesus is simply speaking in plain language.  After His ascension these Jews would search for Him and of course He was no where on earth to be found then.       


Verse 37 now begins the events of the last and great day of the feast.  During this feast that lasted, either seven or eight days, each day water was brought from the Pool of Salome to the feast, that is, except for the last day when no water was brought to the feast.  This is the interesting backdrop to what Jesus is about to say.       


In verse 37 Jesus stands in the temple and in a loud voice says, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.  Whoever believes in me (trusts if life with me) Ö streams of living water will flow from within him.  By this He meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him would later receive."  This, the last day of the feast, might well have been a day when people were thirsty because no water was brought from the Pool for Salome.  With this in mind, this might be why Jesus spoke about water, that is, living water.     


In chapter four when Jesus spoke to the woman at the well He told her of the water of life that she could drink.  Now in chapter seven this water, after one drinks it, turns into a river of life.  It not only comes into you by way of a drink, but flows out of you by way of a river. 


This water, this river was the Holy Spirit Himself.  John says that the believers had not yet received the Spirit, but that would come later. This event took place at Pentecost, in Acts 2. 


John says something else that is extremely important.  The reason why the Spirit had not yet been given was because Jesus was not yet glorified.  The question thus should be asked, "When was Jesus glorified?"  Some suggest that He was glorified when He rose from the dead.  They have to say this because they believe the disciples received the Spirit in John 20:22 and following, when Jesus breathed on them and said, "Receive the Spirit."  I believe this event was symbolic of what was to come on Pentecost, because I believe Jesus was not yet glorified at the point, or at least, not yet fully glorified.  I am not discounting this experience in John 20.  I am sure that the Holy Spirit touched the disciples' lives while in that room.  I'm sure they felt the presence of the Holy Spirit, but, they did not receive the Holy Spirit then.  If they had, Jesus would not have told them to stay in Jerusalem until they did receive the Spirit.  Read Acts 1, verse 1 through 8 to see this.  


A careful study of John 17 will show you what Jesus meant when He used the word "glorified."  It meant to be with His Father as He once was before His incarnation into humanity.  That took place at the ascension in my thinking, when He returned to the Father for good.  So, the believers could not have received the Spirit until Jesus ascended into Heaven for good and was glorified.  They then received the Spirit at Pentecost, and not in John 20.


If you believe that the disciples received the Spirit in John 20 when Jesus breathed on them, then you need to ask what happened in Acts 2.  Jesus clearly stated in Acts 1: 4 through 8 that the disciples were to stay in Jerusalem until they received the gift from the Father which is clearly the Holy Spirit.  It is clear to me that the Holy Spirit was first given to the disciples on the day of Pentecost.      


Now we return to John 7, verse 40.  Upon hearing these words the crowd was divided in their opinion of Jesus.  Some thought that He was that Prophet that Moses spoke about in Deuteronomy 18:15 to 18.  Some could not figure out just who He was because the Christ was supposed to come from Bethlehem , not Nazareth .  They didnít understand that Jesus in fact did come from Bethlehem , because that is where He was born, even though He was not raised there.  Leave it to God to put a little twist in things. 


At this point, as we see in verse 44, some people wanted to seize Him, but it was not His time to be put to death yet.


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