Category Archives: JOHN 7

The teaching of the Lord Jesus at the Feast of Tabernacles

JOHN 7

JOHN CHAPTER 7

 

The gospels of Luke and John give to us details about the last journeys of the Lord Jesus to Jerusalem that are not found in Matthew and Mark.  (It is interesting to notice that Matthew does not record the Lord as being in Jerusalem at all until He went there to die, and this in the gospel of the King who would reign from Jerusalem, the city of the great King, Matthew 5:35). 
John’s practice is to concentrate on events in the city itself, for ideally this was the “Place of the Name”, where the glory of God should be seen.  The inhabitants of Jerusalem were given the opportunity to see “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ”, 2 Corinthians 4:6.
Luke, however, is more concerned with the way in which Christ mingled as a man amongst men, eating and drinking with them in their houses, frequenting the synagogues with them, dealing with the problems and difficulties of the common people, as the Physician of the souls of men.

There are at least eight matters that would come up for consideration at the feast of tabernacles, and John 7:1-10:21 shows us how the Lord Jesus relates to these, as follows:
(a) We learn from Deuteronomy 16:14 that the feast was to be a family feast, where the household would be united together in a common rejoicing in the goodness of God.  This corresponds to John 7:1-13, where the Lord Jesus is found conversing with the children of Mary and Joseph.
(b) It was God’s command that the law should be read in its entirety every seven years, and this was to be done during the days of this feast, Deuteronomy 31:10-11.  So in John 7:14-36 the relationship between the teaching of Moses and Christ is dealt with.
(c) There was remembrance of God’s provision in the desert by way of water from  the rock.  The Lord Jesus declares in John 7:37-8:1 that He is the true source of living water.
(d) The Lord had led them through the wilderness by means of a pillar of cloud, which not only told them the way to go, but also protected them from the heat of the sun, Psalm 105:39.  So in John 8:2-11 the Lord Jesus protects the woman spoken of there from the unkind and unjust actions of the Pharisees, and also tells her the way to go, for He said to her, “Go, and sin no more”.
(e) They would remember that the pillar of fire had led them through the trackless wilderness.  In John 8:12-29 the Lord presents Himself as the light of the world, not just Israel.  There is also the reminder that when God judged sinners He did so as He looked through the pillar of fire, Exodus 14:24, and those who contended with Christ are warned that they are in danger of the same sort of judgement.
(f) As the Chosen Seed, they laid claim to the land they had travelled to from Egypt.  This matter of being the seed of Abraham comes up in John 8:30-59.
(g) As they travelled through the desert, the ark, the symbol of God’s presence with them, went before to search out a resting-place for them, Numbers 10:33,34.  So it is that in John chapter 9 a blind man is healed, so that he may follow the Lord Jesus intelligently.
(h) The nation had been led through the wilderness as if they were a flock of sheep following their shepherd, see Psalm 80 and Psalm 95.  So John 10 is the chapter that reveals the Lord as the Good Shepherd.

THE WORDS OF THE BIBLE, THE CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES, AS OUND IN THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN CHAPTER 7, VERSES 1-13

7:1  After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for He would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill Him.

7:2  Now the Jew’s feast of tabernacles was at hand.

7:3  His brethren therefore said unto Him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that Thy disciples also may see the works that Thou doest.

7:4  For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If Thou do these things, show Thyself to the world.

7:5  For neither did His brethren believe in Him.

7:6  Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is alway ready.

7:7  The world cannot hate you; but Me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.

7:8  Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast: for My time is not yet full come.

7:9  When He had said these words unto them, He abode still in Galilee.

7:10  But when His brethren were gone up, then went He also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret.

7:11  Then the Jews sought Him at the feast, and said, Where is He?

7:12  And there was much murmuring among the people concerning Him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but He deceiveth the people.

7:13  Howbeit no man spake openly of Him for fear of the Jews.

(a)    7:1-13    THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES AND THE FAMILY

7:1  After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for He would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill Him. 
Notice the hatred of the Jews for Christ, but also the fact that He would not court danger, even though He knew that His hour was not yet come.  The “after these things” must refer to the events in Jerusalem of chapter 5, when the Jews sought to slay Him, 5:16,18.  The events of chapter 6 took place in Galilee.

7:2  Now the Jew’s feast of tabernacles was at hand. 
One of the journeys prominent in the ministry of Christ was to this feast of tabernacles, about six months before His crucifixion.  The feast had two aspects, as detailed in Leviticus 23.  There was that aspect which emphasised the thanksgiving for the in-gathering of the harvest, and Luke deals with this side of things as he records the Lord’s teaching in regard to giving, covetousness, riches, and so on.  Opportunity was given to Israel to give to God as He had prospered them during the year, “Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord Thy God which He hath given thee”, Deuteronomy 16:17, words no doubt on the mind of the apostle Paul when he exhorts believers to give “as the Lord has prospered”, 1 Corinthians 16:2. 
John, however, focuses on the other aspect to the feast, that of the dwelling in booths.  The basic requirement during the feast of tabernacles or booths was that the Israelites should leave their permanent homes for seven days, and construct for themselves temporary shelters from tree branches. 
This had a three-fold purpose, to do with the past, the then-present, and the future.  It would give them opportunity to remember the goodness of God to their forbears as they travelled as pilgrims though the wilderness, time to reflect on their situation now that they were in the land, and opportunity to look forward to the day when Messiah would come and they would be in the land under Him, with no oppressors to tread them down. 
Now the Lord Jesus, as one made under the law, Galatians 4:4, and who magnified the law and made it honourable, Isaiah 42:21, went up to the feast of tabernacles.  John records what took place immediately before the feast, during the feast, and afterwards, in chapters 7 to 10 of his gospel.  As he does so, he presents Christ to us in relation to various matters that would come to attention during the feast.

7:3  His brethren therefore said unto Him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that Thy disciples also may see the works that Thou doest. 
John opens his long passage about the feast of tabernacles with the only record of a conversation between Christ and the sons of Joseph and Mary, John 7:1-9.  The matters they raise were possibly prompted by the family character of the feast we have noticed from Deuteronomy 16:14.  The words of these brothers are said to be Old Testament in character, and reflect the fact that they were godly Israelites, waiting for the manifestation of Messiah’s kingdom, even though they did not believe in Christ personally as yet.
These words were spoken in Galilee, verse 9, so they are exhorting Him to go to Jerusalem and Judaea from the place where most of His mighty works had been done, but where, also, He had been largely rejected, see Matthew 11:20-24.  The brothers are suggesting that He should go to Judaea and make disciples there, since His ministry in Galilee did not seem to have succeeded. There does not seem to be any sinister connection between the fact that the Jews in Judaea were seeking to kill Him, and their suggestion that He should go there.

7:4  For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If Thou do these things, shew Thyself to the world. 
To them it was not Messianic to take the lowly place, for was not the Messiah the glorious king?  They are clearly frustrated by His refusal to court the acclaim of the crowds, which they feel, if He is the true Messiah, He should do.  How could He hide Himself?  They had not learnt the lesson of Isaiah 42:2, that the Anointed One would not strive or cry, or lift up His voice in the streets. 
To these men, the world was centred in Jerusalem.  Alas, it was the princes of this world at Jerusalem that crucified the Lord of Glory, 1 Corinthians 2:8.

7:5  For neither did His brethren believe in Him. 
This is all the more interesting because after the resurrection of Christ they did believe in Him, for they were found in the upper room with the apostles and other believers, Acts 1:14.  So after living with Him for thirty years, after seeing His works and hearing His words, they did not believe on Him.  And then He was crucified between two malefactors, seemingly confirming the rightness of their disbelief.  Yet a few weeks later they are convinced believers!  Such is the power of the resurrection of Christ.  Nothing but a true resurrection from the dead could have brought about this dramatic change in attitude.

7:6  Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is alway ready.
The response of Christ to their complaint is most interesting.  He speaks of His time, and their time.  His time was the time of the national recognition of Him as the Messiah by Israel, whether we think of this as when He would ride into Jerusalem at the next Passover season, or whether we think more long-term, and relate it to His manifestation to Israel at His return to earth.  Their time was the personal opportunity they had even then to receive Him as Messiah. 

7:7  The world cannot hate you; but Me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.
They needed to learn that although they were religious and fervent, they were part of the world that hated Him.  Until men come to terms with Christ’s exposure of their sin, they will hate Him, for darkness hates light, John 3:20.  To be told, in effect, that they were part of the world, must have shaken them to the very foundations.
This word reinforced what He had taught them previously, when He had exclaimed that His mother, brothers, sisters, were those who did the will of God because they responded to the word of God, Matthew 12:46-50, Luke 8:19-21.  And when He had said to His mother, “What have I to do with thee, mine hour is not yet come”, John 2:4.  They must learn that relationship with Him can only be on a spiritual level, and that can only be achieved through what He would do during “His hour” at the cross. It was not that He was indifferent to them, for He showed supreme care for His mother even while in agony upon the cross.  And He cares for them as brothers too, not only by reminding them that their time is always ready, but also exhorting them to go up to the feast, for that will give them further opportunity to hear Him teaching in the temple.  He will not go up to the feast in the spirit of opportunism they advocate, but in humility, and a total absence of self-seeking. 
Once He was risen from the dead He would call His disciples His brethren, for a new relationship would have been established by death and resurrection, as Psalm 22:22 had long before predicted.  And this is not reserved for those from Israel alone, for all, whether Jew or Gentile, who are God’s chosen and called are predestined to be conformed to the image of God’s Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren, Romans 8:29.

7:8  Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast: for My time is not yet full come. 
The sense is that He had no intention of going to the feast in the spirit of self-seeking advocated by His brethren.  He would go unobserved, to demonstrate He was not seeking popular acclaim.  His time to die would only fully come six months later, when He would die at Passover time as the Lamb of God.

7:9,10  When He had said these words unto them, He abode still in Galilee.  But when His brethren were gone up, then went He also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. 
Once His brothers were gone, He made His way unnoticed to the feast, for He was not willing to allow the religious fervour of the crowds to sweep Him along.  He would bide His Father’s time for everything. 

7:11  Then the Jews sought him at the feast, and said, Where is He? 
This bears testimony to the fact that they expected Him at the feast, for He had never been known to miss.  Every Israelite male was required to be present at Jerusalem for the three seasons of feasts, the two at the beginning of the year, the one fifty days afterwards, and the three at the end of the religious calendar, which included the feast of tabernacles.  John calls the authorities Jews, and this distinguishes them from the multitude, the common people.

7:12  And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but He deceiveth the people. 
Even amongst those who were more inclined to follow Him there was a difference of opinion.  He had not come to bring that sort of peace on the earth which is the result of compromise, see Luke 12:51-52.  Man can provide that spurious peace if he is so minded.  Christ came to divide men into those who believed in Him and those who did not, between the light and the darkness, which cannot mix. 

7:13  Howbeit no man spake openly of Him for fear of the Jews. 
“The fearful” are amongst those persons who shall be in the Lake of Fire, Revelation 21:8.  Those who believe on Him are not ashamed, Romans 10:11, even if, like Nicodemus, they are slow to make a public stand.  The Jews were clearly unsure of themselves, as all are who seek to maintain their religion by force of one sort or another. 

THE WORDS OF THE BIBLE, THE CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES, AS OUND IN THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN CHAPTER 7, VERSES 14-36

7:14  Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught.

7:15  And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?

7:16  Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not Mine, but His that sent Me.

7:17  If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of Myself.

7:18  He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but He that seeketh His glory that sent Him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him.

7:19  Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill Me?

7:20  The people answered and said, Thou hast a devil: who goeth about to kill Thee?

7:21  Jesus answered and said unto them, I have done one work, and ye all marvel.

7:22  Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision; (not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers;) and ye on the sabbath day circumcise a man.

7:23  If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at Me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath day?

7:24  Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

7:25  Then said some of them of Jerusalem, Is not this He, whom they seek to kill?

7:26  But, lo, He speaketh boldly, and they say nothing unto Him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is the very Christ?

7:27  Howbeit we know this man whence He is: but when Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence He is.

7:28  Then cried Jesus in the temple as He taught, saying, Ye both know Me, and ye know whence I am: and I am not come of Myself, but He that sent Me is true, whom ye know not.

7:29  But I know Him: for I am from Him, and He hath sent Me.

7:30  Then they sought to take Him: but no man laid hands on Him, because His hour was not yet come.

7:31  And many of the people believed on Him, and said, When Christ cometh, will He do more miracles than these which this man hath done?

7:32  The Pharisees heard that the people murmured such things concerning Him; and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take Him.

7:33  Then said Jesus unto them, Yet a little while am I with you, and then I go unto Him that sent Me.

7:34  Ye shall seek Me, and shall not find Me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come.

7:35  Then said the Jews among themselves, Whither will He go, that we shall not find Him? will He go unto the dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles?

7:36  What manner of saying is this that He said, Ye shall seek Me, and shall not find Me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come?

(b) 7:14-36    THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES AND THE READING OF THE LAW

7:14  Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught.
Go to the feast He did then, but not in the manner His brothers suggested, and about the midst of the feast He is found teaching.  As we have noted, Deuteronomy 31:10,11 instructed the people to read the law at the feast of tabernacles. There is brought together then at this feast the reading of the law and the teaching of Christ in the temple courts, with ample opportunity to test His doctrine by what Moses had written.

7:15  And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?                                                                            He had never been to the schools of the Rabbis to be instructed in their commentaries.  How then, did He acquire the things He taught?  The Lord Jesus had increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and men, Luke 2:52 tells us, and at every stage of His development, whether mentally, physically, spiritually or socially, He was perfect.  Yet not in such a manner as to draw attention to Himself.  He was not, in that sense, a child prodigy, with abilities inappropriate for His years.  Certainly He did not do miracles as a child, as some of the false gospels that heretics circulated, (and which modern novelists and film-makers love to dredge up for money-making purposes), suggested.  John assures us, (and he was present, as the writers of the false gospels were not), that the Lord’s first miracle was in Cana of Galilee, after He had been baptised and entered into His public ministry.  His miracles were a support of His doctrine, and an illustration of it.  This being the case, the public teaching and the miracles must begin at the same time.

7:16  Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not Mine, but His that sent Me.                                                                                             He could say, “I speak to the world those things which I have heard from Him”, John 8:26.  He had not come to support some particular Rabbi’s teaching, nor had He come to set forth some novel idea of His own, but to speak His Father’s words in the ears of the people.  His own ear was opened morning by morning to the Father’s voice, that the day’s task might be set out, Isaiah 50:4,5.  In His subject place, He waits for His Father’s bidding.  Of course all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are His, Colossians 2:3, but as to the time and manner of the transmission of that knowledge, He is dependant upon His Father.

7:17  If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of Myself. 
Such is the character of the teaching He gives, that those who are willing to do God’s will discover the true nature of His doctrine, that it is indeed of the Father. This is a principle that is true for sinner and saint alike.  When the word of God is approached with an honest and unbiased heart, God graciously reveals His truth, see Luke 8:15.  For the Bible is like no other book, being self-authenticating, and those who come to it with an earnest desire to find the truth will surely do so.  The believer may also come to the Word of God for guidance in any department of life, and may rest assured that God will reveal His mind through it.  Note the close connection between the law of God being in the heart, and doing God’s will, in Psalm 40:8.  Also, the close connection between being obedient to things already learnt, and then waiting upon God for further guidance, Genesis 24:27, “I being in the way, the Lord led me”.

7:18  He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but He that seeketh His glory that sent Him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him. 
The second issue raised about Christ’s teaching was concerning His motives.  Because He insisted that He did not speak from Himself but from His Father, there was a clear-cut distinction between Himself and the rabbis.  They tended to seek glory for themselves, priding themselves on their prowess as exponents of the law, all the while holding the unlearned in contempt- “This people that knoweth not the law are cursed”, John 7:49.  Christ however was marked by a total lack of this spirit of self-seeking, for He sought the glory of His Father alone in His teaching ministry.  For this reason He can claim to be true, for He corresponds to the ideal that God looks for in a teacher, and there is no unrighteousness in Him, for He deals in a balanced and just way with God’s truth.  Truth may be defined as that which corresponds to reality.

7:19  Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me? 
The Lord shows that He is able to read their thoughts, a thing no rabbi could do, however wise he might be.  He challenges the Jews as to whether they really did keep the law they professed to love.  The Lord had entrusted the law to Moses, and he had faithfully passed it on to them at Sinai.  But the mention of being true, not having unrighteousness, and not seeking one’s own glory have perhaps come home to their consciences, and they realise that they fall short.  Instead of humbling themselves before God for their failure, however, they reacted by hating the one whose life and teaching exposed their sin.  He that hateth his brother is a murderer, see 1 John 3:15, and they are intent on expressing their deep hatred towards Him by seeking His death.
He also gives them opportunity to show a righteous reason why they should kill Him.  If they can do so, then perhaps the charge of unrighteousness would not be levelled against them. 

 7:20  The people answered and said, Thou hast a devil: who goeth about to kill thee?                                                                                  The answer comes, not from the Jewish authorities, but from the multitude, who accuse Him of having a devil, and therefore with mind deranged.  This is typical of those who are ignorant of God, for they lash out with wild accusations which are so obviously false.  They are coming close here to committing the sin against the Holy Spirit, which consists of attributing Christ’s ministry to the power of the Devil, Matthew 12:22-32.  All the while a person persists in that belief, there is no hope for him.

7:21  Jesus answered and said unto them, I have done one work, and ye all marvel. 
If they will not say, or do not know, then He will tell why they seek to kill Him.  It is because of a work done months before, at the un-named feast of John 5.  The impression left by the healing of the blind man, and the doctrine of His equality with God that was based on it, reverberated still.  And understandably so, for His claim to Deity was central, and breathtaking in its boldness.  In chapter 5 the Lord had distinguished between marvelling and believing.  Alas, they still seem to come into the former category.

7:22,23  Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision; (not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers;) and ye on the sabbath day circumcise a man.  If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath day? 
He thus exposes their inconsistency.  They are careful to circumcise the eighth day, even if the child is born on Friday.  They thereby seem to break the law of the sabbath by keeping God’s commandment.  Even as the priests seemed to do when they changed the showbread on the sabbath, Matthew 12:5.  If they were free to do this, then surely He could make entirely whole, and not merely ceremonially whole, on the sabbath.

7:24  Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgement. 
If only they learnt to judge not according to outward things, the external impression that their law-keeping presented to view, and began to judge aright as to the righteous principle that motivated Him, they would not have been angry with Him.  A man could be assessed as circumcised by physical appearance, but that gave no indication as to his state of heart.  See Romans 2:25-29.
Believers need constantly to be aware of this, for so often we allow outward impressions to influence us in our judgement of things, and fail to see the principle at work.  We are not able to read the heart of our fellow-believer, so we should not be hasty in our assessment of his motive.  “Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant?  To his own master he standeth or falleth.  Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him to stand”, Romans 14:4.

7:25,26   Then said some of them of Jerusalem, Is not this He, whom they seek to kill?  But, lo, He speaketh boldly, and they say nothing unto Him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is the very Christ? 
Unbelief is perplexed.  He is sought by the authorities, yet speaks boldly in their centre of power, the temple.  Can it be because the rulers secretly know He is the Messiah, and are keeping this from us?  We know this man is Jesus of Nazareth, yet He teaches and acts as if He is more than man.

7:27  Howbeit we know this man whence He is: but when Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence He is. 
The tradition had grown up amongst the Jews that the Messiah would burst upon the scene without warning, so that they would not have the opportunity to know Him during His life.  “The Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to His temple”, Malachi 3:1, was the sort of text they would quote to support this idea.  They must have forgotten Micah 5:2 and Isaiah 53:2.

7:28  Then cried Jesus in the temple as He taught, saying, Ye both know Me, and ye know whence I am: and I am not come of Myself, but He that sent Me is true, whom ye know not. 
As He teaches, the Lord responds to their questioning, not by direct statement, but by referring them to what He had already told them in chapter 5.  He had declared then that He was equal with the Father in every respect, and He had just told them in verses 16 and 18 that He was sent of the Father, and thus they knew Him intellectually, but not personally.  The fact that He had not appeared unsent amongst them was a sign that His mission was of the utmost importance, and therefore denial of the truth God was setting before them in Christ was serious indeed.  Because they knew not the true God who had sent Him, they knew not the truth that God disclosed to them through Christ.

7:29  But I know Him: for I am from Him, and He hath sent Me. 
They reason from a position of ignorance, He teaches from a position of full insight into the things of God, because He, as the Son, has intimate knowledge of the Father.  Moreover, He was conscious of having been sent, and had the responsibility of discharging His duty by teaching the truth.

7:30  Then they sought to take Him: but no man laid hands on Him, because His hour was not yet come. 
John has identified three classes of people in the temple courts that day.  There are ‘the Jews’, verse 15, ‘the people’ in verse 20, ‘and some of them of Jerusalem’ in verse 25.  Since the people tended to side with Christ during His ministry, (with the exception, sadly, of the men of Nazareth, Luke 4:28,29), it seems that the Jews are the ones who seek to take or arrest Him here.  Perhaps this is the same arrest attempt as is mentioned in verse 45-48.

7:31  And many of the people believed on Him, and said, When Christ cometh, will He do more miracles than these which this man hath done? 
Their belief on Him is still of the same sort as that of John 2:23-25, and the Lord does not respond to this superficial faith, especially as their next words show that it is only an interim one, until the proper Messiah comes.  They probably still cling to the notions expressed by the Lord’s brothers at the beginning of the chapter, that the Messiah is necessarily, and only, a glorious conquering hero, a warrior-king who shall subdue their enemies.

7:32  The Pharisees heard that the people murmured such things concerning him; and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take him. 
As soon as the word Christ, meaning Messiah, is connected to the name of Jesus of Nazareth, those in authority feel threatened.  The return of this arrest party is recorded in verses 45-52. 

7:33  Then said Jesus unto them, Yet a little while am I with you, and then I go unto Him that sent Me. 
In the face of a threatened arrest, the Lord assures the people that He will be with them a little while longer- He knows His Father’s will, and that the authorities have no power to arrest Him until God’s time comes.  Further, instead of being at the mercy of the Jews, He makes His own dignified way to heaven, via the cross.  The one who sent Him is the one who shall welcome Him back with honour.

7:34  Ye shall seek Me, and shall not find Me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come.  When He has gone back to heaven, He will be out of their reach, for they are not fit for heaven.  Note the “where I am”, not “where I shall be”, for the Lord Jesus was conscious of being in His Father’s presence at all times.  He is the only-begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, John 1:18.  Compare 3:13, “The Son of Man who is in heaven”.

7:35,36   Then said the Jews among themselves, Whither will He go, that we shall not find Him? will He go unto the dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles?  What manner of saying is this that He said, Ye shall seek Me, and shall not find Me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come? 
Being unbelieving, their horizon is limited to earth.  Being Jews, they would be free to associate with those who were still scattered after being taken into captivity, the so-called “lost ten tribes”, but they would not want to mix with the Gentiles if He went to teach amongst them.  They reason that perhaps His “manner of saying” is in the form of a parable, whose solution evades them.

THE WORDS OF THE BIBLE, THE CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES, AS OUND IN THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN CHAPTER 7, VERSES 37-53, AND CHAPTER 8 VERSE 1

7:37  In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink.

7:38  He that believeth on Me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

7:39  (But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

7:40  Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet.

7:41  Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee?

7:42  Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?

7:43  So there was a division among the people because of Him.

7:44  And some of them would have taken Him; but no man laid hands on Him.

7:45  Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought Him?

7:46  The officers answered, Never man spake like this man.

7:47  Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived?

7:48  Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on Him?

7:49  But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed.

7:50  Nicodemus saith unto them, (he that came to Jesus by night, being one of them,)

7:51  Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth?

7:52  They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet.

7:53  And every man went unto his own house.

8:1  Jesus went to the mount of Olives.

(c)    7:37-8:1    THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES AND WATER FROM THE ROCK

The feast of tabernacles was one of rejoicing, for the harvest and vintage was safely gathered in, and Israel could relax and reflect on the goodness of God to them.  Not just for the previous year, but also in the historical past.  Had He not supplied their needs in the wilderness, giving them bread from heaven and water from the rock?  To commemorate the latter, there had grown up a ceremony performed on the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles.
Three companies would assemble in the temple courts.  One to prepare the altar; another that had cut down palm trees with which to decorate the altar; a third to follow a priest as he made his way to the Pool of Siloam, where he would fill a golden urn with water and make his way back to the temple courts.  As the company returned with him, they sang such words as “Save now…send now prosperity”, Psalm 118:25, and, “With joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation”, Isaiah 12:3.  Arriving at the altar, the water would be poured through a golden funnel at the corner, with much rejoicing.  For the Jews saw in the pouring out of the water a prefiguring of the pouring out of the Spirit when Messiah comes, as Joel 2:28,29 specifies.
Little did they realise, however, that there was one in their midst who could bring in the reality of which this ceremony was a faint foreshadowing.  After all, had they not used the word “yeshua” as they sang about the wells of salvation?  Unwittingly they had said that Jesus was the well of salvation!

7:37  In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 
With impeccable timing, a voice rang out across the temple courts, possibly during that interval as the altar received its final preparations for the sacrifice.  With loud voice, full of earnestness and power, One stands in those courts claiming that He, Jesus, “Yeshua”, is the true well of salvation.  His words were clear and confident, and He is claiming to be the true rock whence flows that water which satisfies the thirst once and for all.
For all their enthusiastic singing, every one in the crowd would have to admit to an unsatisfied longing in the heart.  Sing about joy as they might, they realised they had not yet found its true source.  It was the last day of the last feast- religion had nothing more to offer them.  Yet here in their midst was one claiming to fulfil their deepest longing.  Did they truly thirst for the things of God, for righteousness?  Then let them come to Him and drink.  So doing, they will find true joy and salvation.

7:38  He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 
This gift is to all who believe in Him.  A Gentile does not have to embrace Judaism to receive it.  The apostle Paul makes clear that Jew and Gentile have been made to drink into one Spirit when they believed, 1 Corinthians 12:13.  Not “made to drink” as if unwillingly, but made to drink by force of circumstances- there is only one thing to drink.  Every believer has the Spirit as a gift from God.  Galatians 3:2 and Romans 8:9, and other scriptures besides, make that abundantly clear.
This is not to say that believers are always on the pinnacle of Mount Joy.  We are not always as joyous as we might be, which is why the apostle prayed that the Lord might fill us “with all joy and peace in believing”, Romans 15:13.  So the secret is in the believing, that trustful attitude of heart which causes us to lean upon Him, and not rely on ourselves.  Even the apostle made the mistake of looking within himself in Romans 7:7-20.  He used the words “I” and me” over 40 times, and concluded the chapter with the words “O wretched man that I am”.
When we think of those things which should give us joy, we think of things which are outside of ourselves, such as fellowship with the Father and the Son, 1 John 1:3,4; hearing of other believers walking in the truth, 3 John 4; hearing of sinners believing, Acts 11:20-23; even tribulations, for they are part of God’s process of educating and refining us, Romans 5:3.  Yet the fact is that as believers we too often “hew to ourselves cisterns, broken cisterns, which hold no water”, Jeremiah 2:13.  And by so doing we “forsake the fountain of living waters”, God Himself. 
In the modern world we are confronted by a bewildering array of means of entertainment.  Yet each one is a broken cistern!  Why do we take so long to realise it?  Occupation with that spurious joy the world offers will bring barrenness into our souls, and coldness into our hearts.  Which in turn will translate into having nothing worthwhile to say when we come together to remember the Lord.  The old preachers used to tell us that what we did on Saturday evening would affect what we did on Sunday morning.  And they were right- although why limit it to Saturday evening?
When the Lord spoke to the Samaritan woman about water, He indicated that it was the Spirit of God, who would motivate and energise the believer to worship the Father.  There would be an up-flow.  In chapter seven there is an out-flow, for the Saviour promises that after we have come to Him to drink, there flows out of our innermost being rivers of living water.  And this “as the scripture hath said”.  Apparently the readings in the synagogue for feast of tabernacle week included one from Ezekiel 47:1-12, which foretold that a living stream of water would flow from within the millenial temple, and eventually reach the sea.  If this is the allusion, how significant it is, for the believer’s body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, 1 Corinthians 6:19.  Just as there shall be an outflow from the temple in a day to come, so there should be an outflow from the believer now. 
We may learn important lessons from Ezekiel’s experience at the riverside.  The prophet first found the waters to be ankle-deep, reminding us that the Spirit enables us to walk in the Spirit, Galatians 5:16,25.  Like the man at the beautiful gate of the temple, our ankle bones have received strength. Acts 3:7.  Then the water was to the prophet’s knees, reminding us that a Spirit-led walk is fostered by Spirit-led prayer, “praying in the Holy Spirit”, Jude 20.  Then the waters were to the loins, reminding us that the apostle bowed his knees in prayer that the believers might be strengthened in might by His Spirit in the inner man, Ephesians 3:14-16.  Finally, the prophet found there was water enough to swim in, too deep to cross, reminding us that the proper environment for the Christian life is the Spirit, for we are no longer in the flesh, but in the Spirit, Romans 8:9.

7:39  (But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified). 
At this point John, who writes for the world, not just Jews, explain to us the meaning of this saying.  The water Christ offers is the Spirit of God.  To have Him within is to have the source of true joy within.  For the Spirit will always point to Christ and glorify Him, thus filling the believer with joy as he contemplates Him, see John 16:14.  John makes clear that this could not happen until Jesus was glorified.  Not indeed, glorified at His coming to the earth as Israel’s Messiah, (the event at the back of the mind of the Jews in the temple courts that day), but when He would return to heaven after the cross, for God raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, 1 Peter 1:21.  There is not to be a long delay, but it is necessary that the foundation of all blessing is firmly laid at Calvary, before the Spirit can be given.  The Spirit of God does not indwell unforgiven sinners.  Only those who have repented and believed are fit recipients of the great blessing.  So when a person believes in Him and is given the Spirit of God, that belief includes belief in Him as the one who was crucified, buried and raised.

7:40  Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet. 
The one promised by God in Deuteronomy 18:18 would be like unto Moses, and bring the word of God to them without the terror of Sinai.

7:41,42  Others said, This is the Christ.  But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee?  Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was? 
They clearly are speaking of the Prophet and Christ as two different people, as their leaders did in John 1:20,21 in their questioning of John the Baptist.  Even the Samaritans did not make this mistake, John 4:19,25,26,29.  To these, who only accepted the five books of Moses, the prophet of Deuteronomy 18 was the only prophet expected, yet they called Him Christ also.  The apostle Peter left them in no doubt that He was the same person, Acts 3:22-26. 
Matthew records the move of the Lord from Nazareth to Capernaum as being in fulfilment of Isaiah 9:1,2.  The contrast in that passage is between the march of the ruthless Assyrians through the land on the “Way of the Sea”, the highway that swept down from the north, along the coast, inland through the Plain of Megiddo, and so out of Palestine, through Damascus, and back to Babylon.  This conquering army would bring darkness, gloom and death in its wake.  The coming of Christ to the same region, however, would result in light, life and salvation.  It could be said, therefore, that Christ did come out of Galilee, for He made Capernaum, a city on the shores of lake Galilee, His base.
Others emphasise that the Messiah is the son of David, and therefore must come from where David was before he became king.  These are right also, for Micah 5:2 had foretold the birthplace of Christ.  It is interesting to notice that we never read of Christ preaching in Bethlehem.

7:43  So there was a division among the people because of Him. 
Those who reject the truth that Christ came down from heaven must expect to be in the dark about Him.  They are limited in their thinking to earthly locations- the most important point is that He came from the Father.

7:44  And some of them would have taken Him; but no man laid hands on Him. 
These seem to be different to those sent to arrest Him in verse 32. 

7:45,46   Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought Him?  The officers answered, Never man spake like this man. 
Such was the power of the word of Christ, such was the newness of His doctrine, such was the greatness of His claim, that they could not bring themselves to believe that they had been sent to the right man.  They had probably been led to believe that their target was a rabble-rousing pretender to the Messianic throne.

7:47,48   Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived?  Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on Him? 
The authorities at once think in terms of themselves being right, without for a moment considering whether they may be wrong.  Such is the stubbornness of unbelief.  They imply that if they as teachers in Israel believe something, then it must be true.  Such is the arrogance of unbelief.

7:49  But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed. 
They dismiss the obvious response to their statement, that there are thousands of ordinary folk that believe in Him.  That must be, they say, because they do not understand the law, and are therefore under the judgement of God.  “God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are”, 1 Corinthians 1:27,27.  They were right in thinking that to know the law brought a blessing, but they ignored the fact that to know it and not respond believingly to it, brought a curse even for a Pharisee.

7:50  Nicodemus saith unto them, (he that came to Jesus by night, being one of them,)  Nicodemus has been criticised for not openly confessing Christ until the end.  Whatever his reasons for this, at least he was amongst the Sanhedrin at this moment to offer a word of wisdom.  John describes him in a two-fold way in his aside, (note the comma between the two phrases in the text), “He that came to Jesus by night”, and “being one of them”.  He is torn between the two, but thankfully sided publicly with Christ at the cross, John 19:39.

7:51  Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth? 
The law they say the people do not know, they claim to know.  And it requires that no penalty may be inflicted before the judges have satisfied themselves about the details of the case.  In the particular case of one who claims to be a prophet, they must assess his teaching by hearing him, hence the “hear him”, and then they must assess what the effect of his teaching is, hence the “know what he doeth”.  Luke is happy to record as gospel that which Jesus began to do and teach, Acts 1:1.

7:52  They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee?  Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet. 
Their response to Nicodemus is not a fresh resolve to re-assess the teachings of Christ, and to note what the effect of His teaching is.  They have long ago made up their minds about Him.  Their only response to Nicodemus was to ridicule him, and to suggest he was no better than the “ignorant” rustics from unsophisticated Galilee.  They are accusing Nicodemus of being like one of these, instead of an “orthodox” Jerusalemite and Pharisee.  Perhaps this answer finally convinced Nicodemus that it was no longer appropriate for him to associate with these men. 
God said He would raise up the Prophet, but He did not say from where.  So it was perfectly right to state that the prophet did not necessarily come from Galilee.  If they had said “any prophet” they would have been wrong, for Jonah was of Gath-Hepher.

7:53  And every man went unto his own house. 
8:1  Jesus went unto the mount of Olives.

It was customary for the residents of Jerusalem and the surrounding areas to offer hospitality to those who had come from foreign lands to worship at the feast.  It is a sad commentary on the state of heart of these people that at such a time, The Visitor, not from the uttermost parts of the earth, but from heaven itself, was not entertained, for Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.  It is still sadly true that oftentimes the Lord’s people are not given hospitality as they should, so that yet again the Lord is left outside, for “inasmuch as ye have not done it to one of the least of these, ye did it not unto Me”, and, “I was a stranger, and ye took Me not in”, Matthew 25:45,43.
As He sat upon the Mount of Olives, perhaps another prophecy about rivers of water came to mind, that found in Zechariah 14.  Living waters shall go forth from Jerusalem in a coming day, and the Lord shall be King over all the earth, but only after His feet have stood on the Mount of Olives when He comes to judge and reign.  That will be the signal for the true feast of tabernacles to begin, the rest and rejoicing of the kingdom age.  See Zechariah 14:4,8,9,16.