John 7:19-24  Keeping the Law of Moses”

Introduction:  To understand this passage one must realize that there are six groups of people in the crowd on this occasion.

1. The common people who believe Jesus is a good man.  They saw His benevolent works and could only conclude that He was a good man but just a man.

2.  The common people who believe Jesus is a deceiver.  These people saw Jesus as only the son of Joseph the carpenter.  They could not accept Him because a prophet is not without honor except in his own country.

3.  The people of Jerusalem who are heavily influenced by the Jewish leaders and make their judgments based upon the reaction of their leaders. vs. 25-26

4.  The Jewish Leaders who believe Jesus is a false prophet.  These make up the vast majority of the Jewish leaders.  They are very much self righteous.  They can not see their sin for they think that they are keeping the Law.

5.  The Jewish Leaders who believe Jesus is from God.  Nicodemus and Joseph are the ones most famous to us of this category.  They know Jesus is from God.

6.  The disciples of Jesus who believe Him to be the Christ the Savior.  These have accepted Jesus as their savior by faith.  They believe the testimony of Jesus and of the Holy Prophets.  They believe the works of Jesus and the things He teaches are in complete harmony with the Old Testament scriptures.


(John 7:19)  Did not Moses give you the law, and [yet] none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me?

            1.  Moses gave Israel the Law of God.

                        A. God gave the Law to Moses because the people feared.

                        B.  The people did not accuse Moses of making up the Law.

                        C.  Moses came down and bore a true witness of what God said.

                        D.  Jesus came down from Heaven and bore a true witness also.

                        E.  Moses was human and was believed.

                        F.  Jesus is God and should have been believed even more.

            2.  No man has ever kept the Law of God.

A.  (James 2:10)  For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one [point], he is guilty of all.

B. (Romans 3:10)  As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

C. (Romans 3:12)  They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

D. (Psalms 14:2-3)  The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, [and] seek God.  3)  They are all gone aside, they are [all] together become filthy: [there is] none that doeth good, no, not one.

E.  (John 8:7)  So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

                        F.  Jesus had said that the world could not hate His brothers.

                        G.  Jesus said that the world hated Him because he reproves them.

                        H.  Jesus did not say none of us keep the Law!

            3.  Jesus gives an example of their breaking the Law.

                        A. Murder breaks the Law.

                        B.  If you hate your brother you are guilty of murder in your heart.

C.  They hated Jesus which was breaking the Law.

D. (Lev 19;17)  Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart; thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.


(John 7:20)  The people answered and said, Thou hast a devil: who goeth about to kill thee?

            1. The people react with their own accusation.  This is a common reaction for those accused of wrong.  The reaction is to turn the spot light away from self and onto the accuser.

            2.  The people accuse Jesus of being paranoid.  They say He is talking crazy like one who is demon possessed.

            3.  Yet in verse 25 they admit knowledge of the plot to kill Jesus.  At least those who lived in Jerusalem knew of the plot against the life of Jesus.


(John 7:21)  Jesus answered and said unto them, I have done one work, and ye all marvel.

            1.  Jesus here refers to the last time He was at Jerusalem.  He healed a man who had been lame for 38 years.  They all knew this man and knew that the miracle was real.  Jesus had indeed done a marvelous work.  It had been over six months since Jesus had done this miracle but it was still on the minds and lips of the people.

            2.  They all had not kept the law of Moses.  They all marvelled at the works of Jesus.  Every one of them was guilty of sin.  Every one deserved to be condemned to Hell.  Every one of them did not deserve the blessings of God. 

            3. Is it so amazing and marvelous to us that God is powerful?  We should stand in awe of God.  But His works should not surprise us.  He is powerful, Loving, Merciful, Kind, compassionate. 

            4.  I am still awed when God answers my prayers.  I do not marvel at it for I know that He has the power. 

            5.  What amazes me is His grace for it is not in my nature to be gracious.  It is in my nature to hate those who hate me.  This difference be me and my God humbles me before Him.  He is Holy and I am common and profane.


(John 7:22)  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.

            1. Jesus here gives another example of the liberty they had taken with the Law of Moses.  They circumcised babies on the Sabbath day.  The law said that a child was to be circumcised when he was eight days old.  The Law says do not work on the sabbath.  A conflict would then naturally arise.  Women do not get to choose when a child is born.  If they went into labor on a Friday and the child was born then his circumcision would fall on the sabbath day.  What is one to do when there seems to be a conflict in the perfect law of God.  They rightly concluded that it was ok to circumcise on the Sabbath.  The did not carry this to its natural conclusion.  The Sabbath is a day for men to rest and worship God.  It is worshiping God when we obey His commands.  So circumcision being an act of obedience to God is permissible to do on the Sabbath.

            2.  When the man who Jesus healed carried his bed on the Sabbath it was ok because it was an act of obedience to God. 

            3.  Doing good on the Sabbath is always appropriate.



(John 7:23)  If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath day?

            1.  God says to men “come let us reason together.”

            2.  If it is ok to mar the body of a man on the Sabbath is it not even more ok to make a man whole again?

            3.  They were permitted and required to rescue the Ox from the ditch on the Sabbath is not a man better than an Ox?

            4. Remember right here that the problem the Jews had with Jesus is that He had broken the Sabbath Law as far as they were concerned.  This makes Jesus a sinner and thus a false prophet, in their estimation. 

            5.  Men are never right to be angry with God.  Men often are angry with God but men are unjust in this action. 

            6.  How can you be angry with the very one who has not only given you life but also sustains your life moment by moment?

            7.  How can you be angry with the very person who died a cruel death for you in your place that you might have life?


(John 7:24)  Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

            1.  Be reasonable.  Judge not according to the appearance of a matter but do that which is right. 

            2.  Don’t be blind.  (Romans 3:3-4)  For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? 4)  God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.

            3.  The Jews were not judging Jesus fairly.  They were using a double standard.  None of them had the ability to heal a lame man.  The problem then would never come up.  Jesus can heal.  When He does they should have judged His actions based upon the spirit of the Law.  But instead they Judged Him saying that it was work and thus violated the Law.  Nothing is said in the Law about healing a man on the Sabbath.  The spirit of the law certainly would not forbid one being healed on the Sabbath.



Conclusion:   From this text let us learn:

1.  All have sinned, none are righteous, all need a savior.

2.  God is always right!  When you think that He is not think again!

3.  Never be angry with God.  He loves you.  He does what is best for you.

4.  Do not let your personal prejudice and bias keep you from being reasonable.