John 7:1-24

Chapters 7:1 – 10:21 give an account of Jesus’ visit to Jerusalem at the Feast of Tabernacles six months before his Crucifixion.

The story vividly portrays the various attitudes towards Jesus among different groups. These groups fall into two main classes: one, ‘the Jews’, who include the chief priests, Pharisees, rulers and ‘the people of Jerusalem’; and the other, ‘the people’, that is, the general multitude from all parts, who were attending the feast. The first of these two classes was, in the main, hostile to Jesus.

Notice & answer:

  1. How do the words of Jesus’ brothers in verses 3-8 show that they did not understand him?
    (a) What did Jesus mean by ‘my time’?
    (b) The world’s attitude to Jesus prevented him from showing himself to them, as other men might have (vv 4, 7) shown themselves. Can you expect any different reception from the world (cf. 15:18-21)?
    (c) Has verse 13 any reproach (similar restrain) for you?
  2. In verses 17, 18:  What two tests does our Lord suggest by which a man can discover whether Jesus’ teaching was true and of divine origin?
    (a) What will it cost you to apply these tests?


  1. Verses 8, 10. Jesus did not lie. He meant that he was not going up to the feast just then, and at their direction.
  2. Verses 21-24. The law of Moses commanded circumcision on the eight day after birth (Gen 17:12; Lev 12:3), and it was the practice of the Jews to perform the rite on that day, even if it fell on the Sabbath. Jesus argued that to make a man’s whole body well on the Sabbath had even more justification than to circumcise him.