John 7:25-31 “When Men Think They Know Something and They Don’t”

Introduction: We learn much about Jesus from this text.  We learn that He is:

The man the Jews were trying to kill.

The man who speaks boldly.

The man the rulers are afraid to confront.

The man whose background everyone knows.

The man sent from God.

The man plotted against.

The man who knows God the Father.

The man who is from God the Father.

The man who was sent by the God the Father.

The man no one could trap.

The man believed on by many.

The man who preformed the most miracles.

When men think they know something and they do not mistakes are made.

Men think that life began with a big bang and they send probes into space to collect dust that they might find the answer to where we come from.  They think they know.  They should be putting their efforts into confirming what God has said about the origin of the universe.  Men who proceed under false ideas will come to false conclusions.   We shall learn from this text what men thought they knew and what they should have know.


(John 7:25)  Then said some of them of Jerusalem, Is not this he, whom they seek to kill?

            The people described here are the citizens of Jerusalem.  They live in the shadow of the Temple which is the center and holiest site of the Jewish religion.  All the major teachers and scholars were located in Jerusalem.  The people of Jerusalem respected educated men.  They trusted them and depended on them for instruction in what God requires of men.  They would listen and would believe whatever they thought they understood.  They watched every move their leaders made and they hung on every word they spoke.  They knew of the plot to kill Jesus.  The leaders had made no secret of what they intended to do.  Such hatred is difficult if not impossible to hide.  The common people who had come to the feast of Tabernacles from regions beyond did not know of this plot to kill Jesus and had told Jesus that He had a devil for thinking that someone was trying to kill Him.  The Jewish leaders knew that Jesus was right and so did the people of Jerusalem.  The Jewish leaders do not fear the locals but they did fear the common people over whom they had little influence.


(John 7:26)  But, lo, he speaketh boldly, and they say nothing unto him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is the very Christ?

            The Jewish leaders have, by their silence made a grave error.  Their actions are perceived as condoning Jesus’ claim to be the Messiah.  Jesus spoke boldly and accused them all of breaking the Law of Moses.  The Jews did not utter a word of condemnation nor of agreement.  The people of Jerusalem were amazed.  They begin to question among themselves the stand of the Jewish leaders.  Let me paraphrase what they were saying here.  “Surely the rulers don’t think that this is indeed the Christ?”  Their rulers have disappointed them.  They are taking no actions against Jesus at all.  This behavior has the people confused.


(John 7:27)  Howbeit we know this man whence he is: but when Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence he is.

            They reason in themselves that this can not be the Christ for we know him and by this they mean that they know where He is from.  They know that He is from Nazareth in Galilee.  They know that He is a carpenter’s son.  They have been either taught that when the Christ comes no one will know where He is from or they have concluded this having misunderstood what they were taught.  In verse 42 and verse 52 the Jewish leaders show that knowing where the Christ will come from is important because without this information it will be impossible to know if ones claim of being the Christ is legitimate.  They know he must come from Bethlehem of the linage of David.   They also are mistaken for they claim that the scriptures say nothing about the Christ coming from Galilee when in fact it does.  Isaiah chapter nine beginning at verse one tells about the people of the area of Galilee seeing a great light and goes on to tell about the Messiah. 

            People often do not have the time to study God’s word with the intensity which is needed to properly interpret and understand its meaning.  Most of the things commanded by God in His word are simple and plain.  Most scriptures have been well translated and are easily understood.  When the Bible says thou shalt not commit adultery it means exactly that.  When it says thou shalt not bear false witness it is plain to most everyone that they are not to tell a lie.  Much of the Bible is plainly written and easily understood.  There are however many places were the meaning is not readily apparent.  One must do much research and study to find its meaning.  This process is called Hermeneutics and involves proper analysis.

            hermeneutics n. (used with a sing. v.) 1. the art or science of interpretation, esp. of the Scriptures. 2. the branch of theology that deals with the principles of Biblical exegesis.

            exegesis n., pl. ses (sz). critical explanation or interpretation, esp. of Scripture. exegetic exegetical, adj. exegetically, adv.

            Analysis is the breaking down into separate components the elements which make up a thing.  When studying a text to understand its meaning one must ask the following questions.  Who is speaking?  To whom is he speaking? About what is he speaking? When is he speaking? Where is he speaking? Why is he speaking? What language was he speaking?  Is my translation correct? What is he talking about? What is the context of this text?  These are all questions asked in the process of Bible analysis.  Extra Biblical sources are sometimes needed to aid in this process.  The meaning of words may be cleared up by consulting other uses of the word by writers of that same time period.  Historical accounts of what life was like during the period of time in question and explanation of customs are needed to understand terms that have been used in the text. 

            Because this process takes much time people often rely upon men who have dedicated their lives to studying God’s Word for explanation and interpretation of scriptures.  The Ethiopian eunuch well stated the problem when asked “do you understand what you are reading?” by saying “how can I except some man should guide me?”  The people of Jerusalem relied upon their spiritual leaders to guide them in proper understanding of the scriptures.  The problem they faced was that their leaders did not understand the scriptures.  What they did understand they had not properly taught to the people for the people thought that no one would know where the Christ was from.  The Jewish leaders knew in part but had not successfully communicated what they did know to their followers. 


(John 7:28)  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.

            Jesus cries out to the people their in the Temple as they murmur about these things.  They do indeed know who He is.  He is Jesus of Nazareth.  They could also have known with just a little investigation that He was born in Bethlehem.  They also could properly conclude, as had Nicodemus, that He was come from God.  They know that God is true and Jesus lets them know that He is from God.  God has sent Him.  

            Jesus here drops a bomb shell on them.  He announces that they do not know God.  They think they know Him but they do not.  They do not keep His Law and they don’t even know who He is.  How sad for a people so religious and who seem to be so righteous yet they do not know the God the claim to worship.

Until one knows Jesus as their savior they will never know God. 


(John 7:29)  But I know him: for I am from him, and he hath sent me.

            Jesus knows God the Father better than anyone else.  He and His Father are one.  The Father sent His Son into the world because He loved the all the people of the world.  The Father does not want anyone to perish in the fires of Hell.  So He sent His Son to die for the sins of mankind to redeem men from the bondage of sin and death.

            These people should have and could have known this had they read the scriptures.  Isaiah 53 would have told them all about the suffering Messiah and why He had to suffer and die.


(John 7:30)  Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come.

            The Jewish leaders were keeping silent and were doing nothing to stop Jesus so the people sought to take him but for some reason which they did not understand they could not seize Him.  They could not because God the Father prevented them.  The time was not yet come for Jesus to die.  Until the time was right God the Father would not let men kill His only begotten Son.


(John 7:31)  And many of the people believed on him, and said, When Christ cometh, will he do more miracles than these which this [man] hath done?

            Many who heard the teachings of Jesus and saw the miracles which He did and saw the silence of the Jewish leaders rightly concluded that Jesus was indeed the very Christ of God.  They believed on Him.  They believed that He was their savior and somehow also their Lord and King.  They well concluded that if this is not the Christ will Christ do more miracles that these.  Will He do greater miracles than these?  The works which Jesus did confirmed who He was.  All that is left for men to do after hearing the words of the Prophets and seeing the works of Jesus is to believe in Him as the promised Savior.  What will you do with Jesus?  If you do not believe that you are a sinner you are misinformed and are believing a lie.  If you think that you have no need of a Savior you are wrong.  Stop and consider the possibility that you do not know the truth.  Look again into God’s Holy Word and seek the truth.  All have sinned and come short of the Glory of God.  He that believeth not is condemned already.  Except you repent of your sin you will perish.  All who will come to God seeking His forgiveness and mercy will be saved.   This is what the Bible teaches and if you will believe the message you can be saved.