The Scripture covered in this post is from John 7:40-53.
You recall that this is the first time that John records that Jesus had actually taught in the Temple court and that Jesus began to teach there beginning on the fourth day of the seven day Feast of Tabernacles (John 7:14). On the last day of the feast (John 7:37) Jesus speaks about the stream of living water that would flow from within those who believed in Him, which John 7:39 explains is the Holy Spirit, that would be a reality after Jesus was glorified.
And you also recall that the chief priests and Pharisees had sent Temple guards to arrest Jesus as He was speaking to this crowd (John 7:32).
John 7:40 records some of what this crowd was saying and it is interesting to note that speculation was prevalent. Some of them said “This is certainly the Prophet” which would be the Prophet that Moses has told Israel about that was to come.
Deuteronomy 18:15 NASB
“The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him.”
And Deuteronomy 18:18 New NASB
“I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him.“
Others indicated that Jesus must be the promised Messiah (John 7:41) but they were confused because they thought that Jesus had been born in and come from Galilee.
They correctly knew that the Messiah would be a descendant of David and would be born in Bethlehem (John 7:42) as foretold in:
Psalm 89:3-4 NASB
“I have made a covenant with My chosen;
I have sworn to David My servant,
I will establish your seed forever
And build up your throne to all generations.” Selah.”
And Micah 5:2 NASB
“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Too little to be among the clans of Judah,
From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.
His goings forth are from long ago,
From the days of eternity.”
And John 7:43 notes that the crowd was divided about who in fact Jesus was.
And some within the crowd, which I am thinking would be the Temple guards sent by the chief priests and Pharisees, wanted to arrest Jesus right there on the spot (John 7:44) but no one laid hands on Him.
And why was that, one might ask? Because it was not yet Jesus’ hour and God controlled every moment and aspect of what transpired with the ministry of Jesus, leading up to and including His crucification. Watch for this as we go through the rest of the Gospel of John.
John 7:45-47 NASB
“The officers then came to the chief priests and Pharisees, and they said to them, “Why did you not bring Him?” The officers answered, “Never has a man spoken the way this man speaks.” The Pharisees then answered them, “You have not also been led astray, have you?“
One can see a little of the frustration factor coming in when the guards return to the chief priests and Pharisees empty handed. They were expecting Jesus to be arrested, Something obviously happened in the minds of the guards because He wasn’t.
John 7:48-49 NASB
“No one of the rulers or Pharisees has believed in Him, has he? But this crowd which does not know the Law is accursed.”
This is the chief priests and the Pharisees indicating to the guards who returned empty handed, how that anyone who knows the Law would not have had a problem arresting Jesus but this unlearned crowd (evidently including the guards) is accursed or doomed because of their lack of understanding.
John 7:50-53 NASB
“Nicodemus (he who came to Him before, being one of them) said to them, “Our Law does not judge a man unless it first hears from him and knows what he is doing, does it?”They answered him, “You are not also from Galilee, are you? Search, and see that no prophet arises out of Galilee.” Everyone went to his home.”
Nicodemus tries to interject an aspect of the Law into the conversation with the chief priests and Pharisees, which would afford Jesus the opportunity, at a minimum, to state His case, but this interjection by Nicodemus is dismissed as both originating from someone who is unlearned (“You are not also from Galilee, are you?), which is basically an insult to Nicodemus, and as not necessary because clearly, anyone that knows the Law knows that no prophet arises out of Galilee.
Here we see that even the chief priests and the Pharisees were NOT aware that Jesus had been born in Bethlehem at this particular point in time.
And then we have the last line of this portion of Scripture: “Everyone went to his home.” That which the chief priests and Pharisees had wanted to happen, had not. It’s not difficult to sense the disappointment and growing resolve of the chief priests and Pharisees to rectify this situation.
And considering that it is the Apostle John who is authoring this transcript of the conversation that took place between the returning guards and the chief priests and Pharisees, one has to wonder how John became aware of what was discussed? Did Nicodemus later provide them with an overview of what was discussed or did one of the chief priests or Pharisees who later believed, provide John with an overview of the conversation?
Acts 6:7 NASB
“The word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith.“
Obviously the Apostle John does not tell us how he acquired knowledge of what was discussed but one can see how John could have become privy to this conversation.
More to follow:
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!