In our previous text Jesus refused to go in a large

caravan of people from Capernaum to Jerusalem.  Instead He

waited until after the caravan had already left and then

went secretively to Jerusalem.

    The reason that Jesus did not travel with the caravan

was because He did not want to stir up more opposition from

the Jewish leaders at that present time.  It was not yet

time for Him to be crucified.

    Even after arriving at Jerusalem, Jesus did not at first

make Himself known.  John does not tell us just how He kept

His presence a secret.  It could be that He did not actually

go into the city of Jerusalem itself, but stayed out at

Bethany with some of His disciples who lived there.  It

could have been that He used His supernatural powers to hide

His identity so that He could go right into their midst

without them knowing who He was.

    As you might expect, the Jewish leaders were watching

for His arrival.  They had plotted His death and planned

that as soon as He arrived they would quietly arrest Him off

away from the crowds and put Him to death.  They would not

succeed.  The reason they would not succeed is because it

was not yet time for Him to die.


I.  The effort of the Jewish leaders to locate Jesus at the



    V. 11, "Then the Jews sought him at the feast, and said,

Where is he?"  They not only watched for Him personally

themselves, but they had others scattered throughout the

city watching for Him.  If any of their spies should see

Jesus His arrival would be immediately reported to the

higher authorities.  They also inquired among the common

people to find out if any of them had seen Jesus, but no one



II.  The discussion of common people about Jesus


    All of the hubbub and inquiry about Jesus got the masses

of common people to talking about Him.  It is very likely

that they would have discussed Him some anyway, because of

the great miracles which He had done back in Galilee.  But

all of this inquiry trying to learn of His arrival just

stirred up their interest in Jesus all the more.

    V. 12, "And there was much murmuring among the people

concerning him..."  The word "murmuring" as used here does

not mean that they were complaining about Jesus.  Rather, it

means that the common people were very quietly discussing

Jesus among themselves.  Their answer to the Jewish

authorities who inquired of them was simply, "No, we have

not seen Him."  But after the authorities moved out of

earshot, they quietly discussed among themselves the fact

that the authorities were after Jesus and they knew that the

authorities wanted Jesus so that they could make trouble for

Him.  They probably did not know at a that time that the

authorities planned to kill Jesus, but they surely knew that

they planned to make trouble for Him one way or another.

    (V. 12), "... for some said, He is a good man..."  That

is, they said in effect, "We don't see why they would want

to bother Jesus.  Jesus is a good man!"  The majority of

people did not yet recognize Him as the Christ, but they did

recognize that He is a good man.  Most of them had not seen

Him perform miracles, but they all knew about the miracles

and some of them had witnessed them.  Many of them could

say, "He performed a miracle on me.  I am one of those whom

Jesus healed."  All of these agreed that Jesus is a good man

and did not deserve to be treated as an enemy by the Jewish


    Others even among the common people did not have such a

favorable attitude toward Jesus.  (V.  12), "...: others

said, Nay; but he deceiveth the people."  No doubt these

were the people who felt a strong loyalty the Jewish

leadership.  They, like the Jewish leaders, felt that Jesus

was an imposter.  They knew that the majority among the

common people considered Jesus to be a man sent from God,

but these did not feel that way.  They thought that Jesus

was a deceiver who had hoodwinked the majority of people and

they said so.

    V. 13, "Howbeit no man spake openly of him for fear of

the Jews."  Nobody among the common people discussed their

feeling about Jesus openly.  They knew that the Jewish

authorities were after Jesus to make trouble for Him and

they just did not want to get involved one way or another.

Those who favored Jesus discussed Him quietly among the

common people, but they did not say anything favorable about

Him in the presence of the authorities because they feared

what the authorities might do to them.

    Even those common people who were unfavorable toward

Jesus did not speak out against Him before the authorities.

They knew that if they did, the authorities would likely

demand that they help them in their cause against Jesus and

they just did not want to be involved.  They did not want to

get caught in a struggle between the great masses of common

who were favored Jesus and the authorities who were against

Him.  They just wanted to stay out of it altogether.

    After all the searching for Jesus by the authorities and

the quiet discussion about Jesus by the common people none

of them knew where Jesus was.  They did not know for sure

whether or not He had come to Jerusalem.  All they knew that

nobody had seen Him and nobody knew where He was.


III.  The sudden appearance of Jesus in the temple


    V. 14, "Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up

into the temple, and taught."  All of a sudden Jesus just

appeared in the midst of the people in the temple.  The

feast lasted for a week and about half of it had already

gone by without any sign of Jesus, but all of a sudden He

appears in the temple teaching the people.  Nobody saw Him

as He entered the city.   Nobody saw Him in the streets

coming toward the temple.  Nobody saw Him enter any of the

temple gates.  The first the authorities heard about Him was

that He was in the temple teaching the people.

    His presence was no longer a secret.  We can be sure

that this news swept throughout the city of Jerusalem like

wildfire.  Soon there was a huge crowd of people gathered

around Him.  Great numbers of common people were there.

Many of the Jewish officials were there.  In that crowd He

was safe from the leaders who wanted to kill Him.  They did

not dare to touch Him in a crowd.

    There was no mention of any miracles at this time, but

He was teaching.  He was teaching the people the truths of

God.  We are not told the subject matter, but we can be sure

that He was saying something that would enable them to be

saved if they wanted to be saved.


IV.  The people marvelling at His great knowledge


    V. 15, "And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this

man letters, having never learned?  The people marvelled at

His teaching.  They were greatly impressed that a man who

had no formal education and could know so much.  They knew

that He had not attended any of the schools of the rabbis.

Yet He spoke with far greater knowledge than any of the


    Jesus knew their thoughts and what He said would answer

their question.  V. 16, "Jesus answered them, and said, My

doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me."  In effect,

Jesus said, "God is the One who sent to preach and teach and

what I say to you is from God.  God is the One who gave me

this information."


V.  Jesus putting the people to the test


    But what Jesus said to them did more than just answer

their question.  It would put them to the test.  I talked to

you a couple of Sundays ago about Jesus putting the twelve

apostles to the test.  Now He puts the whole multitude of

people to the test.

    Jesus said to them that His message did not originate

within Himself.  Rather it originated from God the Father in

heaven.  What God in heaven says is the absolute truth.

Whatever God says ought to be believed.  It is to be

believed fully without any reservation.

    Now here comes the test.  V. 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."  Jesus said, in effect, "You

are under no obligation to believe me if I do not speak the

truth of God.  But if I speak the truth of God, you are

under obligation to believe me."  Further He said, "If you

want to do the will of God, you will find out whether I am

telling you the truth or not.  If you really want to do the

will of God, you will go to the Holy Scripture and study

them to find out if I am telling you the truth.  This is

what the church at Thessalonica did about the Apostle Paul's

preaching and teaching.  They searched the Scriptures daily

to see if those things were so.

    You will also go to God, Himself, through prayer, and

ask God to help you to find out if I am telling you the

truth or not.  So if you want to do God's will, you can and

you will find out whether or not I speak the truth of God."

    Jesus then gave additional evidence that He is from God

and speaks the truth of God.  V. 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."  In all of the things that Jesus had said and in

all of the miracles that Jesus had done, He never sought to

take the glory for Himself.  He always sought to glorify God

the Father in heaven.  He had always sought to lead the

people to follow the will of God.  He had never sought

wealth.  He sought only to help the cause of God.  Any

self-seeking man who had the speaking ability which He had

and had the miracle working power which He had would have

used those powers to seek to gain wealth, fame and power for

himself.  But Jesus had always sought only to do good for

the people and to bring glory to God who had sent Him to the


    Now if any man was interested in finding out the truth

of God so that he could do the will of God could and would

find out from God if Jesus was telling the truth or whether

He was just seeking glory for Himself.


VI.  The problem and the answer for the unsaved today


    There is a problem for the unsaved today who wants to

learn how to get saved.  The unbeliever is faced with so

many different messages about Jesus Christ and about God.

The unbeliever is faced with so many different ideas about

what is necessary in order to go to heaven.  How in the

world can the unsaved know what to believe?  It is a

perplexing situation.

    Some orientals say that there is no heaven.  They say

that after death the spirit just floats around is some kind

of oblivion.  One is in neither bliss nor torment.  He just

knows nothing after death.  Thus they teach that the best

that one can hope for in the hereafter is to be in oblivion.

    Other orientals say that the spirit of man returns to

this life again in some kind of animal.  They say that the

kind of animal is determined by the works that a man does.

If he lives a righteous life, he will come back as a good

animal, but if he lives an unrighteous life he will come

back as some bad animal.

    Even in the Christian world, there are some who tell us

that Jesus is not the Son of God.  They say that Jesus is an

illegitimate son of a German soldier who was stationed near


    There are some who acknowledge that Jesus is the Son of

God but deny that His death on the cross of Calvary has

anything to do with the salvation of souls.  They say His

death was a tragic mistake.  They say that there is no such

thing as blood bought salvation.  They say that one's

eternal destiny depends entirely upon his own efforts and

not upon the saving grace of God through Jesus.

    There are others who tell us that in order to get to

heaven one must be a member of a particular kind of

religious denomination.  When we lived at Jacksonville, a

man died and the preacher who preached his funeral told the

family that their loved one would not be in heaven because

he had not joined the kind of denomination to which the

preacher belonged.

    While I was at Longview, I personally heard one

prominent radio and television speaker say something to this

effect: "Some folks tell you that if you repent of your sin

and trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior that you will go to

heaven." He said, "I am here to tell you that there is not

one word of truth to that statement.  If you are ever going

to make it to heaven, you have got to keep the Ten


    As a child, I grew up under the influence of my

grand-daddy, who was a preacher.  He preached that nobody

knows whether or not he is saved and going to heaven.  He

said that the only thing that one can do is to live good and

hope he is in the number that God had already chosen to go

to heaven.

    Now what I want you to see is that from the human point

of view, it would be extremely difficult for an unsaved

person to learn how to get saved so that he can go to

heaven.  In fact, it would seem almost impossible for a lost

sinner to find the truth and know what God requires in order

to get to heaven.

    But from the heavenly point of view, there is an answer

for every honest inquirer.  Jesus said that if one wants to

do God's will, he can know the truth.  If one really wants

to know how to get saved so that he can do what God requires

and get saved, he can know the truth.

    The first thing one must do is to look to the word of

God and let God tell him from the Bible what is necessary

for salvation.  I want you to compare what all others say

about salvation to what Jesus has to say.  In John 3:14-15

Jesus said, "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the

wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That

whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have

everlasting life."   In verse 16 Jesus said, "For God so

loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son that

whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have

everlasting life."  In John 5:24 Jesus said, "Verily,

verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word and

believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and

shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death

unto life."  In John 6:37 Jesus said, "...him that cometh

unto me I will in no wise cast out."  One must be willing to

believe what God has to say about the matter.

    Yet even after being willing to look to the word of God,

there is still one problem.  One must allow God to help him

to properly understand what the Bible says.  Even those who

maintain that you have to belong to a particular

denomination or that you have to keep the Ten Commandments

or that you have to be baptized or that you have to take the

Lord's Supper claim to get their message from the Bible.

But they certainly do not understand the Bible to teach what

I believe the Bible teaches.

    What I want to point out to you that the lost sinner

should not say, "I chose to believe what this preacher says

because I like him."  That would be a good way to miss out

on heaven altogether.  One just might chose to believe the

wrong man.  It is not a matter of believing a man.  It is a

matter of finding out what God teaches and believing God.

    When the lost sinner is confused about who to believe,

what he needs to do is to go right to the One who really

knows and ask Him for the truth.  He should go right

straight to God and ask God to show him the way.  If he

really wants to be saved, that is what he will do.  He will

not take a chance on being misled by a preacher, no matter

how sincere that preacher might be.  He will go right to God

and depend of God to show him from the word of God how to be

saved.  If a lost man will do that, he will learn the truth

about salvation.  He will learn the truth about Jesus the


    He may not get his answer the very instant that he asks,

but he will get his answer.  He just needs to be patient and

wait on God and God will give him the answer.  God will help

him to understand the word of God sufficiently well to learn

how to be saved.

    So it is not really so hard after all to learn the

truth.  Just turn to God with a sincere heart and with a

desire to do what God requires and let God show you how to

be saved.  Somewhere along the line, God will open up your

understanding so that you will know what to do.  It will

then be up to you to do what God has shown you that you must

do in order to be saved.  It may be during a preaching

service.  It may be in a Sunday school class.  It may be

while you are in bed at night.  It may be when you are

driving down the highway.

    But when you do learn the truth, you will then need to

do what God has shown you that you must do in order to be





    There may be someone here this morning whose

understanding has already opened up and you now understand

that you cannot gain salvation by working for it.  You may

have already learned that you are a sinner and need to

repent of your sin.  You may have already learned that Jesus

Christ is the Savior and that what you need to do is to

place your faith in Jesus Christ and ask Him to save your

soul.  If you have already learned this and you are now

ready to do something about it then we invite you to come

forward during the invitation hymn and place your faith in

Jesus Christ.  Come and ask Him to be you Savior and trust

Him to save you.

    There might also be someone who is already saved who

wishes to come forward in order to commit yourself to doing

the will of God in your live now that you are saved.  You

may wish to be baptized or to move your membership to this

church.  If so, will you come?