Up to now, the Jewish leaders have only complained and grumbled about Jesus. As of this chapter, the Jewish leaders are now seeking to kill Jesus. I’m fairly certain this is because Jesus majorly offended the Jewish leaders in John 6.
However, the people are divided. They’re not sure what to think. Some believe, but others doubt. The Jewish leaders are treading carefully because they do not want to upset their people.
Jesus Calls The Jews Hypocrites
Has not Moses given you the law? Yet none of you keeps the law. Why do you seek to kill me?John 7:19
Jesus knows that the Pharisees care very much about the law. The Pharisees believe they are upholding the law by following each and every legal article.
However, Jesus directly challenges that the Pharisees are not actually keeping the law. He presents the following example about circumcision on the Sabbath.
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?John 7:22-23
This is in response to Jesus healing a man on the Sabbath (John 5:1-17). Jesus once again emphasizes that the spirit of the law is more important than the letter of the law, for the letter of the law was written to fulfill the spirit of the law.
He criticizes the Jews for being hypocritical of accusing Jesus for healing on the Sabbath when their ancestors performed circumcision on the Sabbath.
Division Among The People
I gathered every instance in this chapter about what the people are saying about Jesus:
- “He is a good man.”
- “No, he is leading the people astray.”
- “You have a demon!”
- “Is not this the man whom they seek to kill? And here he is, speaking openly, and they say nothing to him! Can it be that the authorities really know that this is the Christ? But we know where this man comes from, and when the Christ appears, no one will know where he comes from.”
- “When the Christ appears, will he do more signs than this man has done?”
- “Where does this man intend to go that we will not find him? Does he intend to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks and teach the Greeks? What does he mean by saying, ‘You will seek me and you will. not find me,’ and, ‘Where I am you cannot come’?”
- “This really is the Prophet.”
- “This is the Christ.”
- “Is the Christ to come from Galilee? Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the offspring of David, and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David was?”
- “No one ever spoke like this man!”
- “Does our law judge a man without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does?”
It’s clear that there’s division. Opinions on Jesus range from being the Christ all the way to having a demon.
Let’s bring this to present-day. Does Jesus still divide us today? I believe so.
Jesus speaks the truth. And as we’ve come to see, the truth is often not pleasant. It’s not something we want to hear. The truth hurts. It’s offensive.
Naturally, this divides people. Jesus did say in Matthew 12:30 that he who is not with him is against him. There’s no middle ground.
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