Jesus opposed by the leaders

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Opposition continues

Some quick reminders where we just came from.
John 7:37–38 NASB95
37 Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38 “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’ ”
John 7:39 NASB95
39 But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
(Insert Important Facts PowerPoint here)
Jesus went up to the feast on the last day
This is the eighth day of the feast, a reminder of God’s provision for a hungry and thirsty Israel and his provision.
Jesus stood and cried out
Stood and cried out because what He was about to say was important
Important because where He said it (in temple courts)
Important because when He said it (last day of Tabernacles when no water was poured out and on previous days it was.
Important how He said it (crying out) a great contrast to His normal ministry as foretold by Isaiah
Isaiah 42:2 NASB95
2 “He will not cry out or raise His voice, Nor make His voice heard in the street.
(Insert Important Facts PowerPoint again here)
Important for what He cried out. (Let anyone who thirsts come to Me).
This was more than to the Jews, to the elite but to all, regardless of anything to openly come to Him.
Important for there must be a belief of a need to be filled.
The requirement is they needed to know they were thirsty, that there was a need.
There needed to be a belief in Him
Important due to the promised results
Rivers of living water would flow out
So, we will see tonight about the Holy Spirit within, but this shows the Holy Spirit flowing out too.
Commentator Morris (College press) “ Jesus did not only speak of something coming into a person, but something flowing out of them as well. It was not only a blessing received, but also becoming a source of blessings to others.”
Important because Jesus says “as the scripture has said.”
Now Jesus does not quote or reference any particular scripture, but they knew the scripture and would know this to be fulfillment of the living waters mentioned by Zechariah (Zec13:1, 14:8) and also what Isaiah said (Isa44:3, 55:1)
Important because Jesus gives the meaning - believers would receive the Holy Spirit.
(Transition) this now leads us to our passage tonight.
The division (7:40-43)
The distraction (7:44-49)
The declaration (7:50-53)

The Division

Are there things that can cause division in your life?
Are there things that can cause division in your church?
Some division are avoidable, others are unavoidable. When it comes to Jesus and division it is a matter of faith, of belief. Let’s glean from first section of scripture.
John 7:40–41 NASB95
40 Some of the people therefore, when they heard these words, were saying, “This certainly is the Prophet.” 41 Others were saying, “This is the Christ.” Still others were saying, “Surely the Christ is not going to come from Galilee, is He?
John 7:42–43 NASB95
42 “Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the descendants of David, and from Bethlehem, the village where David was?” 43 So a division occurred in the crowd because of Him.
What general observations do you make here? Ask the who, what, where, why and how questions.
What were some of the people saying (v.40)?
What were others saying (v.41)?
Why was there division (v.43); better look at (v.42) too?
Some said one thing, others said something else, but you will notice, everyone had an opinion. We too can do that, we are good at voicing it too, sometimes without investigating it first.
When it comes to Jesus there is no fence sitting, you choose to believe or chose to disbelieve. The invitation was given (v.38) but the invitation brought about division, didn’t it?
During Jesus earthly ministry it brought division
Some believing and taking up His cause
Others wishing to lay hands on him and kill Him
Alford stated “The division did not come because Jesus spoke foolishly, He spoke on a theologically controversial topic. He spoke about Himself, the Messiah —and He spoke clearly, not in dark mysterious sayings.”
Jesus spoke of division/judgment in other places too, consider (Mt10:34-36)
Matthew 10:34–36 NASB95
34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 “For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; 36 and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.
As Christians we should not have any such divisions. Spurgeon said
“We can sometimes even fight with one another for what we believe to be the truth, and rebuke each other to the face if we think there is an error; but when it comes to Christ and his dear cross, give me thy hand brother. you are washed in the blood, and so am I. You are resting in Christ, and so am I. You have put all your hope in Jesus; and that is where all my hope is, and therefore we are one. Yes, there is no real division among the true people of God because of Christ.”
Let me take a minute and may we consider what the division was about.
He is a good man or a deceiver (Jn7:12)
John 7:12 NASB95
12 There was much grumbling among the crowds concerning Him; some were saying, “He is a good man”; others were saying, “No, on the contrary, He leads the people astray.”
H is the promised “Prophet” (Jn7:40; Deut18:15)
John 7:40 NLT
40 When the crowds heard him say this, some of them declared, “Surely this man is the Prophet we’ve been expecting.”
They did not think, investigate the history. They thought Jesus came from Galilee but He came from Bethlehem just as prophesy predicted (Jn1:45-46, 7:52)
John 7:52 NLT
52 They replied, “Are you from Galilee, too? Search the Scriptures and see for yourself—no prophet ever comes from Galilee!”
We will get to that verse later and discuss in more detail. So hold on, for their assumption is wrong, their knowledge of scripture is wrong.

The Distraction

Have you ever heard something that distracted you from what you were going to do?
I get it all the time, set out to do something and get distracted by other things along the way to do the thing I set out to do in the first place.
Let’s see who get’s distracted by Jesus words in our passage
John 7:44–45 NASB95
44 Some of them wanted to seize Him, but no one laid hands on Him. 45 The officers then came to the chief priests and Pharisees, and they said to them, “Why did you not bring Him?”
John 7:46–47 NASB95
46 The officers answered, “Never has a man spoken the way this man speaks.” 47 The Pharisees then answered them, “You have not also been led astray, have you?
John 7:48–50 NASB95
48 “No one of the rulers or Pharisees has believed in Him, has he? 49 “But this crowd which does not know the Law is accursed.” 50 Nicodemus (he who came to Him before, being one of them) said to them,
Any general observations?
You can see a couple of moods of the people, what are they?
The officers were amazed (implied) because no one had ever spoken like this Man before.
The Pharisees were upset that the officers did not bring Him, arrest Him and that maybe some of them were being deceived and did not know the law.
Some wanted to seize him, but what happened (v.44)?
No one laid hands on Him, wonder why? His time, His hour had not come yet.
This festival, this celebration was the last one on Jewish calendar before the Passover in which Jesus would have hands laid on Him. This is about six months before His crucifixion.
What did the Pharisees question (v.45)?
Why did you not bring Him?
What was the soldiers response (v.46)?
Never has a man spoken the way this man speaks.
The Pharisees make a very direct accusation (vv.47-49), what is it?
You are being led away, distracted. None of us have been, for we know the scriptures and the crowd, they do not and they are accursed.
But think about this, if they knew the scripture, believed the scripture they would know that Jesus fulfilled the prophesies of the scripture. (More on this to follow in a few minutes)
“The leaders refused to face facts honestly, but passed judgment on the basis of their superficial examination of the facts” (Wiersbe)
The leaders also are saying the common people, the crowd know nothing about the Law (scripture) And none of us, the elite, the educated do not believe so you common folk are wrong.
The officers being around the synagogues had heard lots of the Rabbis teaching and Jesus spoke different than all of them. Even the people knew that.
Mark 1:22 NASB95
22 They were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
Tenney says “The religious snobbishness of the rules was revealed in their contemptuous dismissal of the guards testimony.”
Can we do that today, be presupposed and not listen to, consider and dismiss others?
(Transition) not all the leaders felt the same and now we will hear from the descending opinion, someone we know.

The Declaration (dissension)

Sometimes a dissension comes from a place of common sense, so let’s see what Nicodemus has to say.
John 7:50–51 NASB95
50 Nicodemus (he who came to Him before, being one of them) said to them, 51 “Our Law does not judge a man unless it first hears from him and knows what he is doing, does it?”
John 7:52–53 NASB95
52 They answered him, “You are not also from Galilee, are you? Search, and see that no prophet arises out of Galilee.” 53 Everyone went to his home.
General observations?
Where have we seen Nicodemus before in John?
John chapter 3 is conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus, a thought provoking, and life changing conversation that is played out later in the gospel.
Who is Nicodemus addressing (v.50; look in context for answer)?
The Pharisees (v.47)
What is Nicodemus response in addressing the Pharisees (v.51)?
The law, he uses the law, something they should know and adhere too, he uses what they claim against them.
What is the assumption being made from (v.52)?
That Jesus is from Galilee; and maybe even Nicodemus was
No prophet has ever come from Galilee
To the elite, the Jews who come from Jerusalem and Judea they despised people from Galilee. They thought nothing good could come from Galilee.
They were wrong on that:
Jonah came from Gath Hepher (2Kn14:25)
2 Kings 14:25 NASB95
25 He restored the border of Israel from the entrance of Hamath as far as the Sea of the Arabah, according to the word of the Lord, the God of Israel, which He spoke through His servant Jonah the son of Amittai, the prophet, who was of Gath-hepher.
There was also Elijah of Thisbe (1Kn17:1)
1 Kings 17:1 NASB95
1 Now Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the settlers of Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord, the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, surely there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.”
Alford says “their contempt for Galilee made them lose sight of historical accuracy.”
Now let me go back to Nicodemus for a minute; He knew that law, and maybe he is thinking of
Deuteronomy 19:15–16 NASB95
15 “A single witness shall not rise up against a man on account of any iniquity or any sin which he has committed; on the evidence of two or three witnesses a matter shall be confirmed. 16 “If a malicious witness rises up against a man to accuse him of wrongdoing,
Deuteronomy 19:17–18 NASB95
17 then both the men who have the dispute shall stand before the Lord, before the priests and the judges who will be in office in those days. 18 “The judges shall investigate thoroughly, and if the witness is a false witness and he has accused his brother falsely,
Deuteronomy 19:19–20 NASB95
19 then you shall do to him just as he had intended to do to his brother. Thus you shall purge the evil from among you. 20 “The rest will hear and be afraid, and will never again do such an evil thing among you.
Deuteronomy 19:21 NASB95
21 “Thus you shall not show pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.
Think about this, Nicodemus wanted them to think, to consider
His words and his works (Jn5:32)
John 5:32 NASB95
32 “There is another who testifies of Me, and I know that the testimony which He gives about Me is true.
We too need to remember His words and His works that prove who He is.
It is sad for those in this portion of scripture, there was division because of the various ways people responded to Jesus. the end result was (v.53) they all went back to their homes.
May we be a people who do not make same mistake and let prejudices and superficial evaluations blind us to the truth.
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