This week we will study John 7:14-24. So let’s read the passage,“About the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and began teaching. The Jews therefore marveled, saying, “How is it that this man has learning, when he has never studied?” So Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority. The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood. Has not Moses given you the law? Yet none of you keeps the law. Why do you seek to kill me?” The crowd answered, “You have a demon! Who is seeking to kill you?” Jesus answered them, “I did one work, and you all marvel at it. Moses gave you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath. If on the Sabbath a man receives circumcision, so that the law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with me because on the Sabbath I made a man’s whole body well? Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.””
We saw last week that Jesus had not yet appeared publicly at the Feast of Booths, because the Jews wanted to kill Him. Now, this week we are in John 7:14-24, and we see that it was about the middle of the feast, when Jesus started teaching in the temple. But now Jesus appears publicly and no one lays a hand on Him. The Jews marveled at Jesus, because He knew so much, even though He had never studied. I wonder how they knew He had never studied, was it because He used different terms than everyone else in that day would have used, or was it because they had looked into Jesus’ up-bringing to see if He had been to school. Either way, they somehow knew that Jesus was extremely wise, but had never studied, this is another piece of evidence that Jesus is God. In Acts, when the disciples received the Holy Spirit, the people said something similar about the disciples (Acts 2:5-13, Acts 4:13). The people in Acts asked how are these men speaking our languages when they are unschooled Galileans and what made them so wise? They were wise because they had been with Jesus and were filled with the Holy Spirit. If the disciples were wise because they had been with Jesus, what does the Bible tell us about why Jesus is so wise? Jesus said in this passage, it is because His teaching is not His own, but is from the One who sent Him.
How is He Wise?
So why is Jesus so wise? It is because He is God and is from God. This is similar to how the disciples were wise because they had been with Jesus. Jesus tells them that anyone whose will is to do the will of God, they will know where Jesus’ teaching is from and whether He is speaking of His own authority. What do you believe about Jesus? Do you believe that He is God? If not, why not? All throughout the gospels, it clearly states that He is God and Man and that there are no other options as to who Jesus is. I encourage you to nail down who you believe Jesus is, one great way to do this is by reading through the gospels and praying that God will reveal Himself to you. If you are ready to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, trusting that He is who He says He is, all you have to do is to admit that you are a sinner, repent of your sins (repent means turn away), believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sins and God raised Him from the dead, then confess Him as Lord and Savior of your life (Romans 10:9).
Who are you Glorifying?
Jesus then tells us that anyone who speaks of his own authority, seeks his own glory, but the one who seeks the glory of Him who sent Him is true and in Him, there is no falsehood. This is a reference that calls back to John 5:19-29 when Jesus says, He only does what He sees His Father doing. This also shows us something new about Jesus’ relationship with the Father. We see that Jesus is not seeking His own glory, but glory for the Father who sent Him and that there is no falsehood in Jesus. Also, if you speak of your own authority, then you seek your own glory. This is why as Christians, it is important for us not to speak of our own authority, because we should not be seeking our own glory, but seeking to give glory to the One who sent us. We should stick close to the Bible because that will keep our roots in the authority of the One who sent us, because when we do, we will not seek our own glory, but rather glorify Him. Because as Christians, we have all been commissioned by Jesus to carry the gospel unto all the earth and to be a part of the world, but not of it. If we seek our own glory, it will fade in probably seconds to years after what we do, but if we point to Jesus, we will be participating in the glory that never fades and that will never end. In John 17:6-26, we see that Jesus is not only praying for His disciples, but also for us, we are the ones that He refers to in verses twenty through twenty-one. We are the ones who would believe through the disciple’s words. I can not wait till we get to study this together, I hope you will stick around until we get there. If you have never read Jesus’ prayer in John 17:6-26, or if it has been a while, I encourage you to read it today and remember that Jesus is praying it over us, as well as His disciples. Because this is one of the many times when we see Jesus commissioning us to shine His light into all the world and to be seeking to glorify Him instead of ourselves.
Judge with Right Judgement
We see that Jesus asked them, did not Moses give you the law? And yet none of you keep it. As to testify to the fact that everyone had sinned, He gave evidence to that by saying, the Jews wanted to kill Him. Jesus took the law and magnified it, by saying that, if you merely hated someone in your heart then you have committed murder (1 John 3:15, Matthew 5:20-21). The crowd then says that Jesus has a demon. They also claimed they were not trying to kill Him. There are two views of this, the first is that they were not the same Jews that wanted to kill Jesus, but the ones who were there to celebrate the feast. The other view is that they were lying, which would prove Jesus’ point that no one has kept the law. We then see that Jesus tells them that they marveled when He did one sign, but they hated Him because He healed someone on the Sabbath. Yet, they would circumcise a boy on the Sabbath to keep the law, but to make a man whole was against the law in their minds. Jesus said that they care less about people and more about the law when the law was made for people (Mark 2:23-28). Jesus then says, they should not judge by appearances, but instead judge with right judgment. This is the same today, we should not judge by appearances, but with right judgment, which only comes from the only true righteous One, Jesus Christ. We can do this by drawing close to Him in prayer and reading His Word. So this week, know that Jesus is worthy of all honor and glory. Also, know that Jesus is who He said He is and that you should trust Him with your all. Meditate on His authority and do His will, because when you do it will glorify the One who sent us. Also, read John 17:6-26, which goes along with this passage and should encourage all Christians to glorify Jesus and share the gospel.