In our text two Sundays ago, on the last day of the

Feast of Tabernacles, after the priest dipped water from the

Spring of Siloam in a golden bowl, Jesus cried aloud.  He

invited all who thirst to come to Him and drink.  He

explained that He was not talking about drinking literal

water.  He was talking about believing in Him.  He promised

that if any man would believe in Him that rivers of living

water would flow from the belly of that man.

    In our text last Sunday the Apostle John, the writer of

the Book of John, explained to his readers that the rivers

of living waters which Jesus was talking about, is the work

of the Holy Spirit, who takes up residence within the inward

spirit of the man at the time he believes in Jesus.  John

further explained that the reader should not confuse this

that Jesus is talking about with the outpouring of the Holy

Spirit which took place on Pentecost following the ascension

of Jesus.

    In our text today John once again focuses our attention

on the scene at the Spring of Siloam and upon a division

among the people because of Jesus.


I.  The people as a whole


    V. 40, "Many of the people therefore..."  The word

"people," as used here, refers to the masses of common

people as in contrast to the Jewish leaders.  These were

people who helped to make up that great crowd of people who

were present for the ceremony in which the priest dipped

water from the Spring of Siloam on that last day of the

Feast of Tabernacles.  John is about to tell us the reaction

of these people to the words which Jesus spake to that great

assembly.  John will reveal to us the attitude which these

people now have toward Jesus.  He will tell what they now

think about Jesus.

    The word "many" in this verse informs us that this is

not the attitude of all the people.  Yet, it does seem from

the over-all passage of Scripture that this is the attitude

of the majority of the people.

    (V. 40), "...when they heard this saying..."  That is,

they heard Jesus invite all men who thirst to come unto Him

and drink.  They heard Him explain that what He was really

inviting them to do was to believe in Him.  They heard Him

explain that if anyone would believe in Him that rivers of

living water would flow from the inwards parts of that



II.  The first division:  Those who thought Jesus is the



    Here is what many people in that crowd said when they

heard the words of Jesus:  (V. 40), "...said, Of a truth

this is the Prophet."  They were evidently familiar with

Deuteronomy 18:15 in which Moses said, "The Lord thy God

will raise up a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy

brethren, like unto me..."  In verse 18 of that same passage

Moses recorded the words of God, Himself:  "I will raise

them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee,

and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto

them all that I shall command him."  It seemed to a great

many of the people present who heard Jesus speak that He is

that Prophet who is spoken of in those Old Testament


    However, it appears from the next verse that they

stopped short in their understanding and in their faith.  It

seems that they mistook the prophecies in Deuteronomy to the

forerunner of Jesus.  Other Old Testament prophecies

foretold that there would be a special prophet who would be

the forerunner of the Christ.  That special prophet was to

be a voice in the wilderness crying out to the people to get

ready for the coming of Christ the King.  It seems that the

majority of these people mistakenly thought of Jesus as

being that forerunner of the Christ rather than the Christ


    We now know that John the Baptist was the forerunner and

that Jesus is the very Prophet who was promised in



III.  The second division:  Those who believed in Jesus as

      the Christ


    John goes on to tell us that there were actually some

present in that very crowd of people who rightly understood

the prophecies and understood that Jesus is not the

forerunner.  V. 41, "Others said, This is the Christ..."

They said, in effect, "No, Jesus is not the forerunner.  He

is the very Christ of God."

    We cannot be certain of the exact number of people who

continued to think of Jesus as being only the forerunner of

the Christ and how many believed that He is the Christ.  It

seems, however, from the overall teachings of Scripture that

those who believed in Jesus as the Christ were in the

minority.  Jesus taught in Matthew 7:13-14 that

comparatively speaking there relatively few who get on the

narrow road that leads to heaven and that the great majority

travel the broad road which leads to destruction.

    So what we see here in this passage is that the vast

majority in this great crowd of people still esteemed Jesus

very highly.  Jesus was still very popular with them.  But

those who actually accepted Him as the Christ were still in

the minority.

    So we have seen two divisions among the people, the

common people.  We have seen the great majority who see

Jesus as a great prophet of God, but do not see Him as the

Christ.  These people are still unsaved.  That is one

division.  We see also the minority who have believed in Him

as the Christ and are saved.  That is a second division.


IV.  Those who opposed Jesus


    Our text reveals also a third division.  (V. 41), "But

some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee?"  This group

expresses doubt.  They have more than just doubt, as we will

see later.  They have outright disbelief.  But in view of

the vast majority proclaiming Him as a prophet of God and a

number of people proclaiming Him as the Christ, they did not

at this time express their unbelief.

    What they did was to bring up what they thought was a

legitimate objection to His being the Christ.  They thought

they had Scripture evidence that Jesus is not the Christ.

They said, "Shall Christ come out of Galilee?"  V. 42, "Hath

not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of

David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?"

They were either ignorant of the fact that Jesus was born in

Bethlehem or they deliberately ignored that fact.  I'm

inclined to believe that they just deliberately ignored it.

I get the impression from what is said back in verse 27 that

most of the people knew that He was born in Bethlehem.  But

they here at least pretend to think that He was born in

Galilee because He had lived in Galilee and most of His

ministry had been in Galilee.

    They were right is saying that the Scripture had

foretold that He would be born in Bethlehem, but they were

wrong in saying, or at least insinuating, that He was born

in Galilee.  They had their facts all wrong.  Isn't it

strange that some people who hold to erroneous ideas

concerning the Christ, will take Scriptures and misapply

them in order to try to prop up their false teaching.

    It was people from this group which had earlier even

before Jesus arrived at Jerusalem, voiced opposition to Him.

Others had said, "He is a good man, but these said, "Nay,

but He is a deceiver," V. 12.

    It will, no doubt, be this group which will join in with

the Jewish leaders to bring about His crucifixion at a later

time.  They will be happy to join the leaders who demand of

Pilate that he crucify Jesus.

    V. 43, "So there was a division among the people because

of him."  As we have seen, there were three different

divisions.  The majority of the people thought He was a

Prophet of God.  A smaller group had come to believe that He

is indeed the Christ.  This group will continue to grow as

more and more people believe in Jesus and get saved.  The

third and smallest group of all were those who were

altogether opposed to the idea that He is the Christ.  This

group, too, will continue to grow.  More and more of the

people who once looked upon Jesus as a prophet will become

convinced that He is an imposter, who is merely pretending

to be the Christ.

    V. 44, "And some of them would have taken him..."  Some

of those who were outspoken against Him actually wanted to

capture Him.  They knew that the Pharisees wanted to arrest

Him and kill Him and they wanted to do the same thing.

    (V. 44), "...but no man laid hands on him."  They, like

the Pharisees wanted to capture Jesus and kill Him, but,

also like the Pharisees, they were afraid of the great

majority with whom Jesus was so popular.  Let me ask you

something right here.  Does it not seem strange that these

people were not afraid of what God would do to them if they

captured and killed a man, would not touch Him because they

were afraid of man?  It seems to me that God is the One whom

they should fear --- not man.  The scribes and Pharisees,

although they wanted to kill Him, would not lay a hand on

Him.  The temple guards, although ordered to capture Him,

would not lay a hand on Him.  Now the common people, who

also hated Him enough to kill Him, would not lay a hand on



V.  A comparison between that day and our own day


    Let us take another look at the situation that existed

that day.  The great majority of the people of Israel

believed that Jesus was a good man, but did not believe in

Him as the Christ.  A minority group really believed in Him

as the Christ and were saved.  An even smaller minority

group despised Him.  They hated Him and wanted to put Him to

death.  But the fact is that regardless of what men thought

of Him, He was and is the Christ and nobody could be saved

and go to heaven unless they believed in Him as the Christ

and trusted Him as Savior.

    Today, if we look at the total world population, roughly

62% of the people of the world belong to religions which are

not Christian.  Then include the Moslems, the Hindus, the

Confucianists, the Buddhists, the Shintoists, the Taoists,

and the Jewish.  Only about 38% are counted as Christians

and that includes all manner of sects and cults and

so-called "Christianity" which is altogether heretical.

    The total percentage of genuine Christians even among

the so-called Christians is small.  Therefore, the total

percentage of genuine Christians in the world would be

pitifully small.

    Some of the non-Christian religions are radical

opponents of Christianity in any denomination or form.  It

is their radical opposition to Christianity which is the

motivation for most of the terrorism which is going on in

the world today.  For instance the fairly recent blowing up

of the World's trade building in New York City is an example

of their work.  They are constantly in the news today.

    Let us take a look at the situation here in America.  We

live in a nation that is still called "A Christian Nation."

I think we would all agree that it is very doubtful if

America is really a Christian nation.  Yet I do suppose that

if you were to take a survey of the people that an

overwhelming majority of the American people would speak out

in favor of Christianity much like the majority in Israel

would speak out in favor of Jesus.  They think Christianity

is a good thing much like the people of Israel thought Jesus

was a good man.  But there is no doubt in my mind that the

vast majority of people in America are unsaved.  What a

mission field for those of us who truly are saved!

    But even here in America there are those who are

bitterly opposed to Christianity.  It seems that many of the

forces of our land have banded together in a united effort

to stamp Christianity from sea to sea.   Even many

politicians today speak openly and accuse all Christians as

being radicals and extremists.  Even a casual observer of

television will acknowledge that most of the entertainment

world is opposed to Christianity.  Likewise, many of the

news media are equally opposed to Christianity.

    Even within family lines we may see these same three

divisions.  One or more family members may be somewhat

favorable toward Christianity without actually being saved.

they recognize that it is good to be saved and they will

acknowledge that they ought to be saved.  They ought to be a

Christian, but they are not.  most of them really do not

intend to ever be a Christian.  I said they somewhat favor

Christianity.  I think a more accurate description would be

that they tolerate Christianity.

    Then within that family there may be one or more who

really believe in Jesus Christ as Savior.  They have trusted

in Him for the salvation of their soul and they are

genuinely saved by the grace of God.

    Yet within that same family there may be those who are

bitterly opposed to Christianity.  They openly speak against

it.  They work against it in every way that they can.

    Yet in spite of this, it is still true that a personal

trusting faith in Jesus Christ as Savior is the only hope of

men staying out of the fires of hell.  It is the only hope

that any man, woman, boy or girl has of going to heaven.

    I want to tell you that it is high time for men, women,

boys and girls to repent of sin and turn to Jesus Christ and

call upon Him for the salvation of their soul.  It is also

high time for all who are genuine believers in Jesus Christ

as the Son of God and as the Savior of the world to speak up

and speak out and to take a stand for Jesus.  It is high

time for all who claim to be Christians to live their lives

for Jesus.

    Let me say to you, that no matter what the great

majority of the world may do, it is vitally important for

you to get concerned about your own personal destiny and

place your faith in Jesus Christ.  Even if every other

person in this whole land were to stand up and denounce

Christ and Christianity, you still need Jesus as your

personal Savior or you will never make it to heaven.




    I am going to ask you to come this morning and call upon

Jesus for the salvation of your soul.  But if your are going

to be saved, I want you to know that you are going to have

to make up your mind to trust in Jesus no matter what

anybody else does -- no matter what anybody else says about

it or what anybody else thinks about it.  Will you come and

put your faith in Jesus?