John 7:11-18 “Seeking Jesus”

(John 7:11)  Then the Jews sought him at the feast, and said, Where is he?

            The Jewish leaders are meant by the word “Jews” in this verse.  They not only were looking for him themselves but they were also inquiring of the common people saying “Where is He?”  They seek Him that they might quietly arrest Him for the purpose of killing Him.  The question “Where is He?”  is one that would be asked of those who would or should know the answer.  I believe this question was directed at the brothers and sisters of Jesus.  They should know the whereabouts of Jesus being His family.  They would have responded that they did not know but that He had said He would come to the feast later.  Jesus most likely was staying in Bethany to the east of Jerusalem and celebrating the feast with friends and disciples there.  He had come quietly and secretly to the feast so as not to stir up the Jews who were seeking to kill Him.  This will set the stage for the need of one to betray Jesus for He was successful in coming to the feast undetected.  They will not be able to take Him without the help of an insider. 

            It seems ironic to me that these spiritual leaders of the Jews can be so blind.  Does not the feast of Tabernacles and the sacrifices required during its observance show forth the work of the savior.  I wish that I could go back in time and take these men by the hand and show them Jesus whom they seek.  I would say to them see yonder the lamb being slain in the temple that is Christ.  See him being offered up that is Jesus.  See the ashes being carried by the priest without the city there goes the great I AM.  God told Moses that He had come down to redeem His people.  The feast of Tabernacles was a time of rejoicing.  They were to rejoice in the salvation and deliverance God had so graciously brought to them in Egypt.  If these men had opened their eyes of faith they would see Jesus in all the events occurring around them.  Instead they see not the savior they see a system of works which they trust will save them.  These men sought Jesus who was the fulfillment of all the sacrifices of the Law.  It is not by the blood of bulls and goats but by the blood of Jesus Christ that men are redeemed unto God.


(John 7:12)  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.

            The people begin to murmur because the Jewish leaders are making no secret of the fact they are looking for Jesus.  They also do not keep it a secret what they intend to do to Him when the find Him.  They will at the least arrest Him for deceiving the people, breaking the law of the Sabbath and for blaspheme.  Non of these had Jesus violated.  The Jews stir up the people and the discussion begins.  They murmur because they do not want to proclaim openly for or against Jesus.

            Notice in this verse there are two sides to this argument.  Some are saying that Jesus is good or more specifically He is a good man.  Jesus is a man and He is good.  These words do not completely or even adequately describe Jesus.  He is the God/man.  He is the only God/man that has ever lived or ever will live.  He is more than good.  Jesus asks the question in (Mark 10:18) … Why callest thou me good? [there is] none good but one, [that is], God.  Men are altogether wicked and evil.  There is none righteous, no not one.  There is none that doeth good. All have sinned and come short of the Glory of God.  Jesus is the only one who is good and He is perfect in His righteousness for there is no darkness in Him at all.  The other side of this argument is that Jesus is a deceiver.  He comes lying to the people.  He comes claiming to be something that He is not.  He seeks people to follow Him under false pretense and the usual motive is fame, fortune and power.  The fact that Jesus has come to the feast secretly should have been enough to persuade them that He was not seeking fame, fortune or power.  When the men of Galilee wanted to make Jesus King He went away from them.  This would not be the actions of a deceiver.  Jesus would have welcomed a crowd of over 15000 people going with Him to Jerusalem to insist that the Priests anoint Jesus as King had He been looking for fame, fortune or power.  His actions do not support the notion that He is a deceiver. 


 (John 7:13)  Howbeit no man spake openly of him for fear of the Jews.

            The Jews would put you out of the synagogue if you spoke in open support of Jesus.  This means that you would be an out cast and no one would do business with you and your children would not be allowed to marry any one of the Jewish religion. 

            This applied to both the ones who thought Jesus was good and to the ones who thought He was a deceiver.  Those who though He was good feared being put out of the synagogue and those who thought He was a deceiver feared the multitude for they held Him to be a prophet of God. 

            Fear is most often that which causes the child of God to not speak of Jesus in public.  We have no reason to fear what men may do to us.  They can only kill the body.  We need to fear the one who can kill both the body and the soul.  These people feared the Jewish leaders for they had power to put them out of the synagogue.  This action had grave consequences.  Your children would not be allowed to marry Jewish children and Jewish people would not sell to you nor buy from you if you were put out of the synagogue.  When faced with such consequences one must remember that God is in control.  If we are mistreated God will take care of our needs for His Glory.  Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego did not worry about what men could do to them.  They did what was right.  They said “our God is able to deliver us  but whether He chose to or not they would still do what He had instructed.  Do not be afraid to take a stand for Jesus.  God will be Glorified when we stand.


(John 7:14)  Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught.

            The feast lasted seven days.  On the fourth day of the feast Jesus departed the place were He was observing the feast and went to the temple.  He was not detected as He came into town.  No one saw Him coming to town and no one went running to the Jewish leaders to announce that they had seen Jesus.  Jesus very quietly enters town and goes into the Temple.  Jesus did not perform any miracles but simply began to teach those who gathered around Him in the Temple.  This is the feast of Tabernacles and there would have been fewer vendors in the Temple than there were at the feast of Passover.  Jesus had cleansed the Temple of these vendors on an earlier trip to the Temple.  Jesus makes no scene as He did on that occasion.  He simply begins to teach the people.  What did He teach?  I suspect that He spoke to them of the kingdom of God and how they must repent of sin and turn to God for pardon and forgiveness.  He quoted the Old Testament and evidently showed a considerable knowledge and understanding of the scriptures for we see in the next verse that the Jews marvelled.


(John 7:15)  And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?

            Here Jesus gives them another piece of evidence that He is no ordinary man.  He knows things without having attended any of the schools of that day.  Remember that at the age of twelve Jesus amazed the Doctors of the Temple.  Jesus is still amazing these men with His words.

            The Jews of this verse are the very ones who are seeking to kill Jesus.  Their minds are so blinded by their prejudice against Jesus that they must think that His amazing words come to Him from a demonic source.  They know that something supernatural is happening here but they do not or will not consider that His power is from God.


(John 7:16)  Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.

            Jesus gives an answer to their question.  His teaching is not His own.  His words are the words of the one who sent Him.  He is but a messenger of a higher source.  His words are those of His own making.  He will explain to them that credibility of a messenger is found in the messenger’s faithfulness to the one who sent him.


(John 7:17)  If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or [whether] I speak of myself.

            Now Jesus is saying that God the Father has sent Him to teach His truth and those who want to do the will of God will know without a doubt that the teachings of Jesus are of God or if He is speaking as some suppose of and for himself and His own glory.  Men may know if a teaching is from God or not. 

The first step to knowing if a teaching if from God or not is to seek earnestly the will of God.  If you want to do the will of God then ask God to help you to know the truth.  God has given man the ability to reason.  God says “come let us reason together.”  Those who earnestly desire the truth of God can know it.


(John 7:18)  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.

            One of the main ways to know if something is from God is to examine the motive behind the one bringing the message.  If the person speaking is teaching something he has invented then He is not true.  If he is seeking glory for himself his words are not from God.  Jesus came speaking only the words which God the Father gave Him to say.  Jesus never sought His own fame or glory but always sought bring Glory to God the Father.

            There was no unrighteousness in Jesus Christ.  He did His Father’s will 100% of the time.  He spoke only the words of the Father.  He worked on the works of His Father.  This made Him the perfect sacrifice for our sins, one without spot or blemish.  God did indeed provide Himself a sacrifice for our sins and not for ours only but for all who will believe.