John Chapter Seven
In chapter 7 His brethren after the flesh, still sunk in unbelief, would have Him shew Himself to the world, if He did these great things; but the time for this was not yet come. At the fulfilment of the type of the feast of tabernacles He will do so. The passover had its antitype at the cross, pentecost at the descent of the Holy Ghost. The feast of tabernacles, as yet, has had no fulfilment. It was celebrated after the harvest and the vintage, and Israel joyfully commemorated, in the land, their pilgrimage before entering on the rest which God had given them in Canaan. Thus the fulfilment of this type will be when, after the execution of judgment (whether in discerning between the wicked and the good, or simply in vengeance , Israel, restored to their land, shall be in possession of all their promised blessing. At that time Jesus will shew Himself to the world; but at the time of which we are speaking His hour was not yet come. Meanwhile, having gone away (v. 33, 34), He gives the Holy Ghost to believers (v. 38, 39).
Remark here, there is no pentecost brought in. We pass from the passover in chapter 6 to the tabernacles in chapter 7, in lieu of which believers would receive the Holy Ghost. As I have remarked, this Gospel treats of a divine Person on earth, not of the man in heaven. The coming of the Holy Ghost is spoken of as substituted for the last or eighth day of the feast of tabernacles. Pentecost supposes Jesus on high.
But He presents the Holy Ghost in such a way as to make Him the hope of faith at the time in which He spoke, if God created a sense of need in the soul. If any one thirsted, let him come to Jesus and drink. Not only should his thirst be quenched, but from the inner man of his soul should flow forth streams of living water. So that coming to Him by faith to satisfy the need of their soul, not only should the Holy Ghost be in them a well of water springing up into everlasting life, but living water should also flow forth from them in abundance to refresh all those who thirsted. Observe here, that Israel drank water in the wilderness before they could keep the feast of tabernacles. But they only drank. There was no well in them. The water flowed from the rock. Under grace every believer is not doubtless a source in himself; but the full stream flows from him. This however would only take place when Jesus was glorified, and in those who were already believers, previous to their receiving it. What is spoken of here is not a work that quickens. It is a gift to those who believe. Moreover at the feast of tabernacles Jesus will shew Himself to the world; but this is not the subject of which the Holy Ghost thus received is especially the witness. He is given in connection with the glory of Jesus, while He is hidden from the world. It was also on the eighth day of the feast, the sign of a portion beyond the sabbath rest of this world, and which began another period-a new scene of glory.
Observe also that, practically, although the Holy Ghost is presented here as power acting in blessing outside the one in whom He dwells, His presence in the believer is the fruit of a personal thirst, of need felt in the soul-need for which the soul had sought an answer in Christ. He who thirsts, thirsts for himself. The Holy Ghost in us, revealing Christ, becomes, by dwelling in us when we have believed, a river in us, and thus for others.
The spirit of the Jews plainly shewed itself. They sought to kill the Lord; and He tells them that His relationship with them on earth would soon be ended (v. 33). They need not hasten so much to get rid of Him: soon they would seek Him and not be able to find Him. He was going away to His Father.
We see clearly the difference here between the multitude and the Jews-two parties always distinguished from each other in this Gospel. The former did not understand why He spoke of the desire to kill Him. Those of Judea were astonished at His boldness, knowing that at Jerusalem they were conspiring against His life. His time was not yet come. They send officers to take Him; and these return, struck with His discourse, without laying hands on Him. The Pharisees are angry, and express their contempt for the people. Nicodemus hazards a word of justice according to the law, and brings their contempt on himself But each one goes away to his home. Jesus, who had no home until He went back to heaven whence He came, goes to the Mount of Olives, the witness of His agony, His ascension, and His return-a place which He habitually frequented, when at Jerusalem, during the time of His ministry on earth.
The contrast of this chapter with Judaism, even with its best hopes in the future that God has prepared for His earthly people, is too evident to be dwelt upon. This Gospel, throughout, reveals Jesus outside all that belonged to that earthly system. In chapter 6 it was death here below on the cross. Here it is glory in heaven, the Jews being rejected, and the Holy Ghost given to the believer. In chapter 5 He gives life, as the Son of God; in chapter 6 He is the same Son, but not as divinely quickening and judging as being Son of man, but as come down from heaven, the Son in humiliation here, but the true bread from heaven which the Father gave. But in that lowly One, they must see the Son, to live. Then, as so come, and having taken the form of a servant, and being found in fashion as a man, He (v. 53) humbles Himself, and suffers on the cross, as Son of man; in chapter 7 He, when glorified, sends the Holy Ghost. Chapter 5 displays His titles of personal glory; chapters 6, 7, His work and the giving of the Spirit to believers consequent on His present glory in heaven,  to which the presence of the Holy Ghost answers on earth. In chapters 8, 9  we shall find His testimony and His works rejected, and the question decided between Him and the Jews. It will be observed also, that chapters 5 and 6 treat of the life. In chapter 5 it is given sovereignly and divinely by Him who possesses it; in chapter 6, the soul, receiving and being occupied with Jesus by faith, finds life, and feeds upon Him by the grace of the Father: two things distinct in their nature-God gives; man, by grace, feeds. On the other hand, chapter 7 is Christ's going to Him that sent Him, and meanwhile the Holy Ghost, who unfolds the glory He is gone into, in us and by us, in its heavenly character. In chapter 5 Christ is the Son of God, who quickens in abstract divine power and will, what He is, not the place He is in, but alone judges, being Son of man; in chapter 6, the same Son, but come down from heaven, the object of faith in His humiliation, then the Son of man, dying, and returning again; in chapter 7, not yet revealed to the world. The Holy Ghost is given instead when He is glorified above, the Son of man in heaven-at least contemplating His going there.
 The harvest is discriminating judgment, there are tares and wheat. The winepress is the destructive judgment of vengeance. In the former there will be two in one bed, one taken and another left, but the winepress is simple wrath, as Isaiah 63. So in Revelation 14.
 This glory, however, is only supposed, not taught. He cannot be at the feast of tabernacles, Israel's rest, nor shew Himself, as He will then, to the world; but gives the Holy Ghost instead. This we know supposes His present position, just referred to in chapter 6.
 The doctrine of chapter 9 continues to the 30th verse of chapter 10.
── John Darby《Synopsis of John》
Christ goes to the feast of tabernacles. (1-13) His discourse at the feast. (14-39) The people dispute concerning Christ. (40-53)
Commentary on John 7:1-13
(Read John 7:1-13)
The brethren or kinsmen of Jesus were disgusted, when they found there was no prospect of worldly advantages from him. Ungodly men sometimes undertake to counsel those employed in the work of God; but they only advise what appears likely to promote present advantages. The people differed about his doctrine and miracles, while those who favoured him, dared not openly to avow their sentiments. Those who count the preachers of the gospel to be deceivers, speak out, while many who favour them, fear to get reproach by avowing regard for them.
Commentary on John 7:14-24
(Read John 7:14-24)
Every faithful minister may humbly adopt Christ's words. His doctrine is not his own finding out, but is from God's word, through the teaching of his Spirit. And amidst the disputes which disturb the world, if any man, of any nation, seeks to do the will of God, he shall know whether the doctrine is of God, or whether men speak of themselves. Only those who hate the truth shall be given up to errors which will be fatal. Surely it was as agreeable to the design of the sabbath to restore health to the afflicted, as to administer an outward rite. Jesus told them to decide on his conduct according to the spiritual import of the Divine law. We must not judge concerning any by their outward appearance, but by their worth, and by the gifts and graces of God's Spirit in them.
Commentary on John 7:25-30
(Read John 7:25-30)
Christ proclaimed aloud, that they were in error in their thoughts about his origin. He was sent of God, who showed himself true to his promises. This declaration, that they knew not God, with his claim to peculiar knowledge, provoked the hearers; and they sought to take him, but God can tie men's hands, though he does not turn their hearts.
Commentary on John 7:31-36
(Read John 7:31-36)
The discourses of Jesus convinced many that he was the Messiah; but they had not courage to own it. It is comfort to those who are in the world, but not of it, and therefore are hated by it and weary of it, that they shall not be in it always, that they shall not be in it long. Our days being evil, it is well they are few. The days of life and of grace do not last long; and sinners, when in misery, will be glad of the help they now despise. Men dispute about such sayings, but the event will explain them.
Commentary on John 7:37-39
(Read John 7:37-39)
On the last day of the feast of tabernacles, the Jews drew water and poured it out before the Lord. It is supposed that Christ alluded to this. If any man desires to be truly and for ever happy, let him apply to Christ, and be ruled by him. This thirst means strong desires after spiritual blessings, which nothing else can satisfy; so the sanctifying and comforting influences of the Holy Spirit, were intended by the waters which Jesus called on them to come to Him and drink. The comfort flows plentifully and constantly as a river; strong as a stream to bear down the opposition of doubts and fears. There is a fulness in Christ, of grace for grace. The Spirit dwelling and working in believers, is as a fountain of living, running water, out of which plentiful streams flow, cooling and cleansing as water. The miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit we do not expect, but for his more common and more valuable influences we may apply. These streams have flowed from our glorified Redeemer, down to this age, and to the remote corners of the earth. May we be anxious to make them known to others.
Commentary on John 7:40-53
(Read John 7:40-53)
The malice of Christ's enemies is always against reason, and sometimes the staying of it cannot be accounted for. Never any man spake with that wisdom, and power, and grace, that convincing clearness, and that sweetness, wherewith Christ spake. Alas, that many, who are for a time restrained, and who speak highly of the word of Jesus, speedily lose their convictions, and go on in their sins! People are foolishly swayed by outward motives in matters of eternal moment, are willing even to be damned for fashion's sake. As the wisdom of God often chooses things which men despise, so the folly of men commonly despises those whom God has chosen. The Lord brings forward his weak and timid disciples, and sometimes uses them to defeat the designs of his enemies.
── Matthew Henry《Concise Commentary on John》
 Now the Jews' feast of tabernacles was at hand.
The feast of tabernacles — The time, manner, and reason of this feast may be seen, Leviticus 23:34, etc.
 His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest.
His brethren — So called according to the Jewish way of speaking. They were his cousins, the sons of his mother's sister.
Depart hence — From this obscure place.
 For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world.
For no man doth any thing — Of this kind, in secret; but rather desireth to be of public use.
If thou really dost these things — These miracles which are reported; show thyself to the world - To all men.
 Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is alway ready.
Jesus saith, Your time is always ready — This or any time will suit you.
 The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.
The world cannot hate you — Because ye are of the world.
But me it hateth — And all that bear the same testimony.
 But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret.
He also went up to the feast — This was his last journey but one to Jerusalem. The next time he went up he suffered.
 Then the Jews sought him at the feast, and said, Where is he?
The Jews — The men of Judea, particularly of Jerusalem.
 And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but he deceiveth the people.
There was much murmuring among the multitude — Much whispering; many private debates with each other, among those who were come from distant parts.
 Howbeit no man spake openly of him for fear of the Jews.
However no man spake openly of him — Not in favour of him: for fear of the Jews - Those that were in authority.
 Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught.
Now at the middle of the feast — Which lasted eight days. It is probable this was on the Sabbath day.
Jesus went up into the temple — Directly, without stopping any where else.
 And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?
How does this man know letters, having never learned? — How comes he to be so well acquainted with sacred literature as to be able thus to expound the Scripture, with such propriety and gracefulness, seeing he has never learned this, at any place of education?
 Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.
My doctrine is not mine — Acquired by any labour of learning; but his that sent me - Immediately infused by him.
 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.
If any man be willing to do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God — This is a universal rule, with regard to all persons and doctrines. He that is thoroughly willing to do it, shall certainly know what the will of God is.
 He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.
There is no unrighteousness in him — No deceit or falsehood.
 Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me?
But ye are unrighteous; for ye violate the very law which ye profess so much zeal for.
 The people answered and said, Thou hast a devil: who goeth about to kill thee?
The people answered, Thou hast a devil — A lying spirit.
Who seeketh to kill thee? — These, coming from distant parts, probably did not know the design of the priests and rulers.
 Jesus answered and said unto them, I have done one work, and ye all marvel.
I did — At the pool of Bethesda: one work - Out of many: and ye all marvelled at it - Are amazed, because I did it on the Sabbath day.
 Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision; (not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers;) and ye on the sabbath day circumcise a man.
Moses gave you circumcision — The sense is, because Moses enjoined you circumcision (though indeed it was far more ancient than him) you think it no harm to circumcise a man on the Sabbath: and are ye angry at me (which anger had now continued sixteen months) for doing so much greater a good, for healing a man, body and soul, on the Sabbath?
 Howbeit we know this man whence he is: but when Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence he is.
When Christ cometh, none knoweth whence he is — This Jewish tradition was true, with regard to his Divine nature: in that respect none could declare his generation. But it was not true with regard to his human nature, for both his family and the place of his birth were plainly foretold.
 Then cried Jesus in the temple as he taught, saying, Ye both know me, and ye know whence I am: and I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true, whom ye know not.
Then cried Jesus — With a loud and earnest voice.
Do ye both know me, and know whence I am ? — Ye do indeed know whence I am as a man. But ye know not my Divine nature, nor that I am sent from God.
 But I know him: for I am from him, and he hath sent me.
l am from him — By eternal generation: and he hath sent me - His mission follows from his generation. These two points answer those: Do ye know me? Do ye know whence I am?
 Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come.
His hour — The time of his suffering.
 Then said Jesus unto them, Yet a little while am I with you, and then I go unto him that sent me.
Then said Jesus — Continuing his discourse (from John 7:29) which they had interrupted.
 Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come.
Ye shall seek me — Whom ye now despise. These words are, as it were, the text which is commented upon in this and the following chapter.
Where I am — Christ's so frequently saying while on earth, where I am, when he spake of his being in heaven, intimates his perpetual presence there in his Divine nature: though his going thither was a future thing, with regard to his human nature.
 Then said the Jews among themselves, Whither will he go, that we shall not find him? will he go unto the dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles?
Will he go to the dispersed among the Greeks — The Jews scattered abroad in heathen nations, Greece particularly. Or, Will he teach the Greeks? - The heathens themselves.
 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
On the last, the great day of the feast — On this day there was the greatest concourse of people, and they were then wont to fetch water from the fountain of Siloam, which the priests poured out on the great altar, singing one to an other, With joy shall ye draw water from the wells of salvation. On this day likewise they commemorated God's miraculously giving water out of the rock, and offered up solemn prayers for seasonable rains.
 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
He that believeth — This answers to let him come to me. And whosoever doth come to him by faith, his inmost soul shall be filled with living water, with abundance of peace, joy, and love, which shall likewise flow from him to others.
As the Scripture hath said — Not expressly in any one particular place. But here is a general reference to all those scriptures which speak of the effusion of the Spirit by the Messiah, under the similitude of pouring out water. Zechariah 14:8.
 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
The Holy Ghost was not yet given — That is, those fruits of the Spirit were not yet given even to true believers, in that full measure.
 Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet.
The prophet — Whom we expect to be the forerunner of the Messiah.
 Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?
From Bethlehem — And how could they forget that Jesus was born there? Had not Herod given them terrible reason to remember it? Micah 5:2.
 Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him?
Hath any of the rulers — Men of rank or eminence, or of the Pharisees - Men of learning or religion, believed on him?
 But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed.
But this populace, who know not the law — This ignorant rabble; are accursed - Are by that ignorance exposed to the curse of being thus seduced.
 Nicodemus saith unto them, (he that came to Jesus by night, being one of them,)
Nicodemus, he that came to him by night — Having now a little more courage, being one of them - Being present as a member of the great council, saith to them - Do not we ourselves act as if we knew not the law, if we pass sentence on a man before we hear him?
 They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet.
They answered — By personal reflection; the argument they could not answer, and therefore did not attempt it.
Art thou also a Galilean? — One of his party? Out of Galilee ariseth no prophet - They could not but know the contrary. They knew Jonah arose out of Gethhepher; and Nahum from another village in Galilee. Yea, and Thisbe, the town of Elijah, the Tishbite, was in Galilee also. They might likewise have known that Jesus was not born in Galilee, but at Bethlehem, even from the public register there, and from the genealogies of the family of David. They were conscious this poor answer would not bear examination, and so took care to prevent a reply.
 And every man went unto his own house.
And every man went to his own house — So that short plain question of Nicodemus spoiled all their measures, and broke up the council! A word spoken in season, how good it is! Especially when God gives it his blessing.
── John Wesley《Explanatory Notes on John》
Chapter 7. The Feast of Tabernacles
Out of Egypt:
Life as a Traveler
Into Canaan: Life in the Church
I. Live to the Time of God
II. Many Whispers Among the People
III. Flow Rivers of Living Water
── Chih-Hsin Chang《An Outline of The New Testament》
Even His Brothers Did Not Believe (7:1-9)
1. In a gospel designed to create faith in Jesus, John tells of those
who lacked faith...
a. Those in His own nation - Jn 1:11
b. Those among His disciples - Jn 6:66
2. For a time, even His own brothers (named in Mt 13:55) did not
a. As recorded in Jn 7:5
b. As implied in Mk 3:21
c. As foretold in Psa 69:8
-- Though they eventually came to believe in Jesus - Ac 1:14
3. Why did Jesus' brothers not believe in Him from the very
a. Had they not seen the miracles?
b. Did they not know Him as well as anyone?
[Reasons why they did not believe at first, and the reason they came to
believe at last, can provide some valuable lessons for us today...]
I. WHY THEY DID NOT BELIEVE
A. POSSIBLE REASONS FOR THEIR UNBELIEF...
1. Perhaps they were blinded by familiarity
a. As is often said, "Familiarity breeds contempt"
b. This hindered many who knew Jesus from childhood - Mt 13:
c. A problem common among prophets - Mt 13:57; Jn 4:44
2. Perhaps they were blinded by envy
a. Large crowds had been following Jesus everywhere
b. Making it difficult for His family to speak to Him at times
- Mt 12:46-47
c. Jealousy can be a powerful hindrance to seeing things
3. Perhaps they were blinded by preconceptions
a. Many Jews had wrong conceptions concerning the kingdom - cf.
b. His brothers had their ideas as to what He should do - Jn 7:
c. It is easy to reject someone if they do not live up to your
-- For one reason or another, Jesus' brothers did not believe in
B. A WARNING FOR US TODAY...
1. Do we let familiarity blind us to the truth?
a. Do we reject what a close friend or relative may tell us?
b. Especially since they have their own faults of which we are
-- Truth can be communicated by imperfect messengers - cf. Ph
2. Do we let envy get in the way of truth?
a. Are we jealous that we might be wrong and others may be
b. Do we think that by admitting others are right, it somehow
makes them better?
-- Truth (and salvation!) is too precious to let envy or
jealousy keep us from it
3. Do we let preconceived notions obstruct a clear evaluation of
a. Refusing to reexamine our cherished beliefs?
b. Rejecting a view or teaching simply because we have never
heard it before?
-- Truth requires a willingness to hear, and has nothing to
fear from investigation - Ac 17:11
[Don't discount the potential impact of familiarity, envy, or
preconceptions. Such blinded the brothers of Jesus so that even His
miracles did not convince them! What finally prompted them to believe
is worthy of note...]
II. HOW THEY CAME TO BELIEVE
A. THE REASON FOR THEIR FAITH...
1. As noted previously, Jesus' brothers eventually became
a. They were with the apostles after the Ascension - Ac 1:12-14
b. James, the Lord's brother, became a key figure in the church
- Ac 12:17; 15:13; 21:18; Ga 2:9 Jerusalem
c. James and Judas wrote their respective epistles - Ja 1:1;
d. According to secular history, James was martyred for his
2. What changed them? The resurrection of Jesus from the dead!
a. Jesus appeared to James - 1 Co 15:7
b. The others may have seen Him on other occasions - cf. 1 Co
3. The significance of Jesus' resurrection
a. Miracles can be faked
b. Rising from the dead cannot!
-- The resurrection shattered any blinders of familiarity, envy,
B. A BLESSING FOR US TODAY...
1. It is understandable that one might find the gospel story
a. A man born of a virgin?
b. A man who was the Son of God?
c. A man who supposedly...
1) Walked on water?
2) Calmed the seas?
3) Fed thousands with five loaves and two fish?
4) Healed the sick and lame, gave sight to the blind, raised
5) Was Himself raised from the dead?
2. Yet there is a good reason to believe the incredible story!
a. That is, the conversion of those like Jesus' brothers
1) Who at first did not believe (for whatever reason)
2) Who were persuaded by overwhelming empirical evidence
- cf. Ac 1:3; 10:39-41
3) Who never recanted their testimony, despite hardship and
b. What else can explain the transformation of Jesus' brothers?
1) It was the same thing that transformed the disciples of
2) "If the disciples were totally disappointed and on the
verge of desperate flight because of the very real reason
of the crucifixion, it took another very real reason in
order to transform them from a band of disheartened and
dejected Jews into the most self-confident missionary
society in world history." - Pinchas Lapide, former
Chairman of the Applied Linguistics Department at
Israel's (TIME, May 7, 1979) Bar-Iland University
3) This Orthodox Jewish scholar concluded that a bodily
resurrection could possibly have been that reason!
-- The conversion of His brothers and others who first doubted
should strengthen our faith in Jesus!
1. The unbelief of Jesus' brothers serves as a warning...
a. How easily one can be blinded by such things as familiarity, envy,
b. How carefully we must give others a fair hearing
2. The unbelief of Jesus' brothers also serves as a blessing...
a. Their eventual conversion implies overwhelming evidence of Jesus'
b. Since we believe in Jesus through the words of such men, the
foundation of our faith is stronger
With the help of their own example, we can heed the exhortation given by
one of Jesus' brothers:
"But you, beloved, BUILDING YOURSELVES UP ON YOUR MOST HOLY FAITH,
praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God,
looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life."
The Proof Is In The Pudding (7:17)
1. The evidence for Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God, is manifold...
a. The testimony of John the Baptist - Jn 5:33; e.g., 1:29,34
b. The works (miracles) that Jesus did - Jn 5:36; e.g., 2:11; 20:
c. The testimony of God Himself - Jn 5:37; e.g., Mt 3:16-17; 17:5
d. The testimony of the OT scriptures - Jn 5:39; e.g., Isa 9:6-7
e. His resurrection from the dead, attested to by eyewitnesses - Ro
1:4; e.g., Jn 20:24-29
2. Jesus offered another proof that He is from God...
a. It came at a time when many questioned who He was - Jn 7:12-15
b. If you are willing to do God's will, you will know His doctrine is
from God - Jn 7:16-17
3. Jesus' claim is akin to well-known proverb...
a. "The proof of the pudding is in the eating"
b. As stated more often, "The proof is in the pudding"
[This is a remarkable claim by Jesus, certainly worthy of closer
I. FACETS OF JESUS' CLAIM
A. ONE MUST BE WILLING TO DO THE FATHER'S WILL...
1. There must first be a willing heart
a. A good and noble heart - cf. Lk 8:15
b. A heart willing to hear and examine carefully - cf. Ac 17:11
c. A humble heart, one that fears God - cf. Psa 25:9,12
2. There must then be obedience from the heart
a. Such as found in the Christians at
- Ro 6:17 Rome
b. The kind of obedience that must be in all aspects of our
service - Ep 6:6; Co 3:23
-- "Those who would test the divinity of the doctrine of Christ
can not do so by rendering a mere mechanical obedience to his
teaching. A willing, heartfelt obedience is essential to a true
knowledge of his doctrine. Such a disposition makes a good and
honest heart in which the seeds of his kingdom must inevitably
grow." - J. W. McGarvey
B. ONE WILL KNOW HIS DOCTRINE IS OF GOD...
1. They will know that Jesus' teaching comes from above - cf. Jn
2. They will know that His teaching is everlasting life - cf. Jn
-- "He shall have evidence, in the very attempt to do the will of
God, of the truth of the doctrine." - Barnes
[What kind of evidence does one receive? The answer may be put in the
words of Isaiah, "The work of righteousness will be peace, And the
effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever." (Isa 32:17)
Consider therefore the...]
II. EVIDENCE OF JESUS' CLAIM
A. PEACE THAT SURPASSES UNDERSTANDING...
1. Jesus offered such peace to His disciples - Jn 14:27; 16:33
2. As we do the Father's will as taught by Jesus, we experience
a. As the result of our justification in Christ - Ro 5:1
b. As the prayer for faithful Christians - Ro 15:13; 2 Th 3:16
c. As the fruit of the Spirit in the lives of Christians - Ga
d. As the response to prayer - Ph 4:6-7
-- Such peace, when experienced, confirms Jesus' doctrine as being
B. ASSURANCE THAT CALMS THE HEART...
1. Jesus offered assurance to His disciples - Jn 14:27b; 16:33
2. As we do the Father's will as taught by Jesus, we experience
a. As when we love the brethren in deed and truth - cf. 1 Jn 3:
b. As expressed by Paul - cf. 2 Ti 1:12; also Ro 8:38-39
-- Such assurance, when experienced, confirms Jesus' doctrine as
being from God
[B. W. Johnson expressed it this way: "He who in his heart says, "Thy
will be done, give me light and I will walk in it," will find that
Christ is just the teacher demanded by his soul, and that the gospel
meets his soul's want. Jesus will so meet the wants of his soul that he
will be satisfied and will know the doctrine, that it comes from him who
made the soul." (People's New Testament) Yet, we should note...]
III. CAUTION REGARDING JESUS' CLAIM
A. WHEN THERE IS NO PEACE OR ASSURANCE...
1. It is not evidence that Jesus' doctrine is not from God
a. We may have not done the Father's will yet
b. We may have not done the Father's will from the heart
2. It may not be evidence that we failed to truly do the Father's
will at one time
a. Our faith may yet be weak, needing to grow
b. Our faith may have become hardened by the deceitfulness of
sin - He 3:12-14
B. WHERE THERE IS PEACE AND ASSURANCE...
1. We should not trust in that evidence alone
a. Many believed they are saved because of their feelings
b. They might construe such as the ultimate proof of salvation
2. The heart can easily be deceived
a. There are ways that seem right, but may lead to death - Pro
b. It is not in man to direct his footsteps - Jer 10:23
3. We must always be open to the Word of God
a. Let the Word of God produce the feelings (faith, then
b. Don't let one's feelings reject the Word of God (not
feelings, then faith)
1. The proof that is in the pudding is somewhat subjective, but it is
a. Proof that can further confirm a faith based upon more objective
b. Proof that if lacking should be a sign our faith needs work (i.e.,
2. It is a diligent faith willing to do the will of God that produces a
"And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the
full assurance of hope until the end," (He 6:11)
Are you willing to do the Father's will from the heart? The blessings
of peace, assurance, and confirmation that Jesus' doctrine is truly from
God, awaits those who obey His will...!
The Promise Of The Spirit (7:37-39)
1. During the Feast Of Tabernacles, there was a daily ceremony involving
a. Each day, the priests and the people would joyfully make their way
to the pool of Siloam
b. Using a golden pitcher, water was drawn, taken back to the temple,
and poured on the altar of burnt offering
c. The words of Isa 12:3 were then sung: "Therefore with joy you
will draw water from the wells of salvation."
2. On such an occasion Jesus used the opportunity to extend a wonderful
a. Inviting those who thirst to come to Him and drink - Jn 7:37
b. Those who believe in Him will have "rivers of living water" flow
from their hearts - Jn 7:38
3. The apostle John explains that this promise concerns the Holy
Spirit... - Jn 7:39
a. Whom those who believe would receive
b. Who had not yet been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified
[What else might we glean from the Scriptures concerning this promise of
the Spirit? Let's first take a closer look at...]
I. THE NATURE OF THE PROMISE
A. FROM THE TEXT...
1. A promise foretold by the Scriptures - Jn 7:38; cf. Isa 44:3;
a. "The reference is not to any single passage, but to the
spirit of the Scripture, notably such passages as Isa 55:1;
58:11; Psa 36:8-9." - B. W. Johnson
b. "...referring not to any particular passage, but to such as
Isa 58:11; Joel 3:18; Zec 14:8; Ezek 47:1-12; in most of
which the idea is that of waters issuing from beneath the
temple, to which our Lord compares Himself and those who
believe in Him." - Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown
2. A promise that makes one a blessing to others - Jn 7:38
a. "out of his heart will flow rivers of living water"
b. "When a man turns himself to the Lord, he shall be as a
fountain filled with living water, and his streams shall
flow to all the nations and tribes of men" - Kuinoel
c. "...those who are Christians shall diffuse large, and
liberal, and constant blessings on their fellowmen" - Barnes
3. A promise offered to believers - Jn 7:39
a. Not to those who have yet to believe
b. Which is why I do not believe it refers to the ministry of
the Spirit through the Word alone, for such occurs even on
those who do not believe - e.g., Jn 16:8
c. Note this observation by Robert Milligan:
1) "He manifestly refers in this passage to something which
had hitherto been enjoyed by no one, and which could be
enjoyed by none until after that he himself was
glorified." - Robert Milligan, Scheme of Redemption,
2) "This, it would seem, could not have reference to the
mediate agency of the Spirit, through the written word
and the ordinary workings of God's providence; for
through these media the Spirit had always operated on the
minds of both Jews and Patriarchs." - ibid.
3) "Christ is speaking here of what is peculiar to his own
personal reign and administration." - ibid.
4. A promise extended to all believers - Jn 7:39
a. Not just to select disciples with special tasks, such as
apostles and prophets
b. Which is why I do not believe it refers to miraculous
manifestations of the Spirit, such as the gifts of the
Spirit, for not all Christians had such; note also:
1) This promise of the Spirit had not yet been given
2) Yet miraculous manifestations of the Spirit had been
experienced prior to the glorification of Jesus - e.g.,
5. A promise given after Jesus was "glorified" - Jn 7:39
a. I.e., after His resurrection and ascension to heaven
b. "The first and second chapters of the Book of Acts is the
best comment upon this passage. When Jesus ascended to the
right hand of the Father and was glorified, he sent forth
the Spirit upon his apostles on the day of Pentecost, and
the apostles in turn promised the gift of the Spirit to all
who would believe, repent, and be baptized." - J. W.
McGarvey (Fourfold Gospel)
B. FROM OTHER TEXTS...
1. We conclude that it refers to the gift of the Holy Spirit
a. Promised to all who repent and are baptized - cf. Ac 2:38-39
b. Given to all who obey - cf. Ac 5:32
c. Imbibed by all who are baptized - cf. 1 Co 12:13
d. Sent into our hearts because we are God's children - cf. Ga
2. We conclude that it refers to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit
a. Who indwells all that belong to Christ - cf. Ro 8:9-10
b. Making their bodies a temple of the Spirit - cf. 1 Co 6:19
[That this promise refers to the gift or indwelling of the Spirit given
to all Christians becomes more apparent as we now focus our attention
II. THE BLESSINGS OF THE PROMISE
A. THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT...
1. Remember what Jesus said of those who receive the Spirit - Jn
a. "out of his heart will flow rivers of living water"
b. I.e., they will become a blessing to others; note again:
1) "When a man turns himself to the Lord, he shall be as a
fountain filled with living water, and his streams shall
flow to all the nations and tribes of men" - Kuinoel
2) "...those who are Christians shall diffuse large, and
liberal, and constant blessings on their fellowmen"
2. Especially when they bear the fruit of the Spirit in their
lives- Ga 5:22-23
a. Such as love, joy, peace
b. Such as longsuffering, kindness, goodness
c. Such as gentleness, faithfulness, self-control
-- Bearing such fruit of the Spirit, they bless the lives of
B. THE AID OF THE SPIRIT...
1. The fruit of the Spirit becomes possible with the aid of the
a. Who helps us to put to death the deeds of the body - Ro 8:
12-13; cf. Co 3:5-8
b. Who enables us to be filled with joy and peace, abounding in
hope - Ro 15:13
2. For the Spirit is God's instrumental agent to strengthen the
a. Strengthening with might through the Spirit in the inner man
- Ep 3:16
b. With a power working in us - Ep 3:20
-- We are able to be a blessing to others, with the aid of the Spirit
working in us!
[Jesus therefore offers us the opportunity to be blessed by the Spirit's
indwelling, so we can be useful in blessing the lives of those around
us. But to ensure that we receive this blessing of the Spirit, let's be
careful to consider...]
III. THE RECEPTION OF THE PROMISE
A. GIVEN TO THOSE WHO OBEY...
1. By believing in Jesus Christ
a. The need to believe emphasized twice in our text - Jn 7:
b. For faith is necessary to receive "life in His name" - cf.
2. By repenting of our sins
a. The gift of the Spirit promised to those who repent - Ac 2:
b. Those who repent will experience "times of refreshing" (what
could be more refreshing than "rivers of living water"?)
- cf. Ac 3:19
3. By being baptized for the remission of our sins
a. Those baptized are promised the gift of the Spirit - Ac 2:
b. They are made to drink into one Spirit - cf. 1 Co 12:13
-- As Peter put it, God gives the Holy Spirit to those who obey
Him - Ac 5:32
B. EXPERIENCED BY THOSE WHO GROW...
1. By singing psalms, hymns, spiritual songs
a. We are to be filled with the Spirit - Ep 5:18
b. Which we can do by singing - Ep 5:19
2. By studying the Word of God
a. Which is the sword of the Spirit - Ep 6:17
b. The means by which the Spirit teaches and instructs the
Christian, for it contains the revelation of God given by
the Spirit to inspired men who wrote it for our benefit- cf.
1 Co 2:9-13; Ep 3:5-7
3. By praying, making requests regarding the Spirit
a. That God would fill one with all joy and peace in believing,
abounding in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit - Ro 15:13
b. That God would strengthen one with might through His Spirit
in the inner man - Ep 3:16
4. By turning away from sin
a. Lest they grieve the Spirit - cf. Ep 4:29-31
b. Lest they quench the Spirit - cf. 1 Th 5:19
1. What a wonderful promise Jesus offers in our text...
a. The Holy Spirit to those who believe in Him
b. A refreshing drink that can become rivers of living water
1) First refreshing our souls
2) Then refreshing the souls around us by His impact on our lives
2. How sad if we quench the Spirit Who is intended to quench our
a. By failing to obey the Lord
b. By failing to grow in the Lord
May our attitude and heart's felt desire be similar to that of the
Samaritan woman, when Jesus spoke to her at Jacob's well...
"Jesus answered and said to her, 'Whoever drinks of this water
will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall
give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him
will become in him a fountain of water springing up into
everlasting life.' The woman said to Him, 'Sir, give me this
water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.'" (Jn 4:13-15)
Are you willing to say to Jesus, "Sir, give me this water, that I may
not thirst" by coming to Him in faithful obedience...?