John 7:32-36 UNABLE TO FIND JESUS
In our text last Sunday we saw two very opposite
reactions toward Jesus among the common people. Some of the
local people of
Him. They not only refused to believe that Jesus is the
promised Christ, but they sought to capture Him and put Him
to death. Apparently they decided that the Jewish leader
were never going to do so and so they decided to attempt to
do so themselves.
However, many of the common people had the very opposite
reaction to Jesus. They accepted Him as the promised Christ
and trusted in Him to the salvation of their souls.
In our text today Jesus makes a startling statement. He
told the Jews that they could not find Him and that they
could not go where He would go.
I. The things which the people had said about Jesus
V. 32, "The Pharisees heard that the people murmured
such things concerning him..." The Pharisees spoken of in
this verse were among the Jewish leaders. Not all Jewish
leaders were Pharisees. Some were Sadducees. However, a
goodly number of Jewish leaders were Pharisees and the
Pharisee leaders were the ones who were more aggressive in
their opposition to Jesus. These are the ones who had
earlier prompted the chief priest to seek to kill Jesus when
He first arrived in
They are very much aware of how the people had been
reacting to the speech of Jesus in the temple. They did not
hear what the people had said. But they did very quickly
hear about what they had said.
For instance, they heard that some of the locals had
begun to lose confidence in them. They gotten mixed
signals from them. The locals knew that the Pharisees had
planned to kill Jesus as soon as He arrived and were
confused because they had not done so. As far as the locals
could tell, they had made no effort to arrest Him. He was
teaching openly within the temple courtyard and they had
made to effort to stop Him from speaking. The locals were
beginning to think that the Pharisees may have changed their
minds about Jesus and may have become convinced that He
really is the Christ after all.
Therefore, the Jewish leaders decided that it was not time
to set the locals straight and let them know in a positive
way that they had not changed their minds about Jesus. They
were still just as much opposed to Him as ever and were
still determined to put Him to death.
What was even more disturbing to the Pharisees is that
they had heard that a great many of the common people had
taken a favorable view of the teaching of Jesus in the
temple. A majority were very much enthralled at His
teachings. Many of them were actually saying that they now
believed that Jesus really is the Christ.
This really burned the Pharisees up. They could see
that they would have to take some kind of stronger action or
else the number who believed in Jesus would continue to
grow. They must take stronger action to put a stop to this
growing number of believers.
II. The decision by the Jewish leaders to arrest Jesus
(V. 32), "...and the Pharisees and the chief priests
sent officers to take him." Note the two groups of people
in this verse. First there are the Pharisees. These are
the chief culprits. They are the chief instigators of the
opposition to Jesus. Then there are the chief priests. The
chief priests are the ones who had authority to make
arrests. They were in charge of the temple guards and could
issue orders to the guards to go and arrest Jesus. So the
Pharisees go immediately to the chief priests and persuade
them that a stronger action must be taken and they persuaded
the chief priests to issue the orders to the temple guards
that they should go ahead and arrest Jesus even there within
Remember that prior to this time, the orders had been to
arrest Him on the outskirts of the city when relatively few
people would be around. But now the orders are given to
arrest Him even within the temple grounds -- and if there
was no other way -- arrest Him right in the midst of the
III. The arrival of the officers
Before going on to the next verse, I want you to get the
picture as those officers arrive. Jesus is still the center
of attraction in the great crowd of people. He is the
speaker. He has everybody's attention. A goodly number of
people in the audience are very angry at Him and want Him
dead, but a great majority are still His ardent admirers.
Although He performed no miracles at this gathering, they
are very much aware of the greatness of the miracles He had
already performed. They stand in awe at the great knowledge
He has just displayed in His speech. Many of them had fully
believed in Him as the promised Christ and have just been
saved by His marvelous grace.
In march the temple guards and work their way into the
crowds to form a circle around Jesus. This action on their
part could hardly have gone unnoticed by the crowd.
But those temple guard were no dummies. There was only
a bare handful of opponents of Jesus present compared to
those who favored Him. A very small minority were bitterly
against Him, but a vast majority were spell-bound at His
words. He was looked upon as a great miracle worker, a
great prophet of God. A goodly number of them were
proclaiming Him to be the very Christ of God, the promised
Messiah. Therefore, the temple guard just took their places
around Him, but they did not dare to lay a hand on Him.
IV. A startling announcement from Jesus
V. 33, "Then said Jesus unto them, Yet a little while am
I with you, and then I go unto him that sent me." Jesus
announced that He would soon depart from them. He did not
specify just how long it would be before He would leave, but
we know now that it would be about six months from this
time. He would be with them about six months longer and
then He would leave them. He would first be crucified.
Then He would arise from the dead. Soon thereafter He would
arise in the air and go back to heaven where He had come
from. He would return to the One who had sent Him. God the
Father had sent Him and He would return to God the Father in
V. 34, "Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me..."
Again, Jesus does not go into any detail. He just says that
they will seek Him and not find Him. They were aware that
God had promised to send the Christ to them to be their
Redeemer. However, they had rejected Him as the Christ and
would, therefore, still be looking for the coming of the
Christ. They would look for Him. They would seek for Him.
But they would not find Him.
Jesus did not mention it, but He knew that it would not
be long until the Jews would rebel against the Romans and
that the Romans would send an overwhelming army to conquer
them. In the year of 70 A. D. the Romans would take the
city of Jerusalem, destroy the temple, plow the ground where
the temple had stood, kill many of the people and take many
captives. Those who managed to escape would be scattered
among the nations. The Jews would desperately seek the
Christ of God to come and deliver them from their woes, but
they would not be able to find Him. They would desperately
pray to God and ask Him to send the Christ, but God would
not answer their prayers. He had already sent the Christ to
them and they had rejected Him and crucified Him and God
would not send them back to deliver them from the Romans.
(V. 35), "...and where I am, thither ye cannot come."
First of all this means that they would be here on earth and
that Jesus would at that time be in heaven and that they
would not be able to go up there and find Him. But there is
a meaning which much more sombre than that. It would not be
long until these very people who now sought to end the life
of Jesus would come to the end of their own lifes and they
would go out into eternity. They were counting on going to
heaven when they die, but they would not be able to go
They would not be able to go there because they had
rejected the Christ who could save them from their sins.
They would not be able to go to heaven where Jesus is. That
means that they would go into the fires of hell and spend
eternity in the fires of hell. They could not go where
Neither can any man go where Jesus is who rejects Jesus
as the Christ and as his Savior. Any man who will repent of
his sins during this lifetime and trust in Jesus Christ to
be his Savior can find Jesus Christ and he will go to heaven
when he dies, but any man who will not repent and trust
Jesus will never make it to heaven. Instead, he will spend
eternity in the torments of hell. In John 14:6 Jesus said,
"...no man cometh to the Father but by me." In John 3:18
Jesus said, "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but
he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath
not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."
The Jewish leaders totally misunderstood what Jesus was
talking about. They thought He was saying that He would
leave the land of Canaan and go off into foreign lands. V.
35-36, "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, an teach the Gentiles? What
manner of saying is this that he said, Ye shall seek me, and
shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come?"
V. What The Bible promises those who believe in Jesus
Jesus, Himself, promised that He will come again and
receive them to Himself so that they will be where He is,
John 14:3. In I Thessalonians 4:16-17 the Bible renews the
promise that He will come for the believers and pledges that
they will ever be with the Lord.
One who will not be saved is no better off than one who
cannot be saved.