It is no coincidence that Jesus makes His latest appearance in John 7 during the Festival of Booths. At a time when the Jews were celebrating how God sustained them in the desert for 40 years, Jesus arrives on the scene to show all who are present a firsthand picture of just what it means to rely on Him. Packed full of rich imagery, the Festival of Booths is the perfect opportunity for Jesus to make himself known to all who had pilgrimaged to the area and were partaking in one of big three Jewish festivals.
On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water (Jn. 7:37-38, ESV).’
Jesus is there to proclaim the truth about who He is, and what He can provide when people choose to follow Him. But as is so often the case, many people present on that day would strongly disagree and willfully deny His free offer.
When they heard these words, some of the people said, ‘This really is the Prophet.’ Others said, ‘This is the Christ.’ But some said, ‘Is the Christ to come from Galilee?’ … Some of them wanted to arrest Him, but no one laid hands on Him. (Jn. 7:40-41 and 44, ESV)
In other words, while ironically celebrating God’s provision for His people, the one thing that could truly sustain them all for eternity would largely be rejected by the masses present that day. And yet, Jesus would not be deterred. He would present the Gospel and, ultimately, continue His march toward Jerusalem to die on the cross for their sins … for His time had not yet arrived.
Jesus then said, ‘I will be with you a little longer, and then I am going to Him who sent me. You will seek me and you will not find me. Where I am you cannot come. (Jn. 7:33-34, ESV)
Though Jesus would be making a way for all of us to eventually come with Him, only some would choose to follow Him.
Here are some of my takeaways from this week’s message and study in John 7:
- Jesus always has a reason for how and why He does what He does, when He does it.
- “Ninety-five percent of knowing the will of God consists in being willing to do it before you know what it is.” (Donald Barnhouse)
- All of Jesus’s teaching is from God Himself.
- Jews from all over were present at the Festival of the Booths when He chose to do what He did in John 7.
- Jesus goes right to the center of where people are in the temple before He begins His teaching in spite of the danger He was actively facing (Jn. 7:1 – “He would not go about in Judea, because the Jews were seeking to kill Him.”)
- At this point in the Gospel of John, Jesus’s brothers still did not believe He was who He said He was.
- Jesus’s teaching was recognized by everyone as something much more special than normal teaching, but many did not yet know why (Jn. 7:16-19).
- Jesus does not want us to be a simple reservoir that collects “water” of information, He wants it to flow through us as “living water” that never runs out (Jn. 7:37-39)
- Nicodemus the Pharisee (from John 3) was identified as one of Jesus’s followers at this point (Jn. 7:50).
- When someone makes the claims about themselves that Jesus made about Himself, they demand a response. They must be investigated.
What are some of your takeaways from John 7? And what else came to your attention, or caused questions for you through Pastor Josh Argubright’s sermon on Sunday?
So Jesus proclaimed, as He taught in the temple, ‘You know me, and you know where I come from. But I have not come of my own accord. He who sent me is true, and Him you do not know. I know Him, for I come from Him, and He sent me.’ (Jn. 7:28-29, ESV)
Our study of the GOSPEL OF JOHN in review: