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Exposition of the Gospel of John
CHRIST TEACHING IN THE TEMPLE
Below is an outline Analysis of the passage which is to be before us:¬ó
1. Christ in the Temple, teaching: verse 14.
2. The Jews marvelling and Christ¬ís answer: verses 15-19.
3. The people¬ís question and Christ¬ís response: verses 20-24.
4. The inquiry of those of Jerusalem: verses 25-27.
5. The response of Christ: verses 28, 29.
6. The futile attempt to apprehend Christ: verse 30.
7. The attitude of the common people: verse 31.
In the last chapter we discussed the first thirteen verses of John 7, from which we learned that notwithstanding "the Jews" (Judean leaders) sought to kill Him (verse 1), Christ, nevertheless, went up to Jerusalem to the Feast of tabernacles (verse 10). We pointed out how this manifested the perfections of the Lord Jesus, inasmuch as it demonstrated His submission to the will and His obedience to the word of His Father. Our present chapter records an important incident which transpired during the midst of the Feast. The Savior entered the Temple, and, refusing to be intimidated by those who sought His life, boldly taught those who were there assembled.
"Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught" (John 7:14). Twice previously has "the temple" been mentioned in this Gospel. In John 2 we behold Christ as the Vindicator of the Father¬ís house, cleansing the Temple. In verse 14 we read how Christ found in the temple the impotent man whom He had healed. But here in John 7, for the tint time, we find our Lord teaching in the Temple.
The Holy Spirit has not seen well to record the details of what it was that our Lord "taught" on this significant occasion, but He intimates that the Savior must have delivered a discourse of unusual weight. For in the very next verse we learn that even His enemies, "the Jews," marvelled at it. In keeping with His usual custom, we doubt not that He took advantage of the occasion to speak at length upon the different aspects and relations of the Feast itself. Most probably He linked together the various Old Testament scriptures which treat of the Feast, and brought out of them things which His hearers had never suspected were in them. And then there would be a searching application of the Word made to the consciences and hearts of those who listened.
"And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?" (John 7:15). "These words undoubtedly refer to our Lord¬ís great acquaintance with the Scrip tures, and the judicious and masterly manner in which He taught the people out of them, with far greater majesty and nobler eloquence than the scribes could attain by a learned education." (Dr. Philip Doddridge). But how their very speech betrayed these Jews! How this exclamation of theirs exposed the state of their hearts! It was not their consciences which were exercised, but their curiosity that was aroused. It was not the claims of God they were occupied with, but the schools of men. It was not the discourse itself they were pondering, but the manner of its delivery that engaged their attention.
"How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?" How like the spirit which is abroad today! How many there are in the educational and religious world who suppose it is impossible for man to expound the Scriptures gracefully and to the edification of his hearers unless, forsooth, he has first been trained in some college or seminary! Education is an altar which is now thronged by a multitude of idolatrous worshippers. That, no doubt, is one reason why God¬ís curse has fallen on almost all our seats of learning. He is jealous of His glory, and anything which enters into competition with Himself He blights and withers. An unholy valuation of human learning, which supplants humble dependence upon the Holy Spirit is, perhaps, the chief reason why God¬ís presence and blessing have long since departed from the vast majority of our centers of Christian education. And in the judgment of the writer, there is an immediate and grave danger that we may shortly witness the same tragedy in connection with our Bible Schools and Bible Institutes.
If young men are taught, even though indirectly and by way of implication, that they cannot and must not expect to become able ministers of God¬ís Word unless they first take a course in one of the Bible Institutes, then the sooner all such institutions are shut down the better both for them and the cause of God. If such views are disseminated, if a course in some Bible School is advocated in preference to personal waiting upon God and the daily searching of the Scriptures in private, then God will blast these schools as surely as He did the seminaries and universities. And such an event is not so far beyond the bounds of probability as some may suppose. Already there are not wanting signs to show that "Ichabod" has been written over some of them. One of the principle Bible training schools in England closed down some years ago; and the fact that one of the leading Institutes in this country is constantly sending out urgent appeals for financial help is conclusive evidence that it is now being run in the energy of the flesh.
"Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me" (John 7:16). Let every young man who reads these lines ponder carefully this sentence from Christ. If he is fully assured that he has received a call from God to devote his life to the Lord¬ís service, and is now exercised as to how he may become equipped for such service, let him prayerfully meditate upon these words of the Savior. Let him remember that Christ is here speaking not from the standpoint of His essential glory, not as a member of the Godhead, but as the Son of God incarnate, that is, as the Servant of Jehovah. Let him turn to John 8:28 and compare its closing sentence: "As my Father hath taught me, I speak these things." It was in no human schools He had learned to teach so that men marvelled. This discourse He had delivered originated not in His own mind. His doctrine came from the One who sent Him.
It was the same with the apostle Paul. Hear him as he says to the Galatians, "But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ" (John 1:11, 12). And these things, dear brethren, are recorded for our learning. No one has to take a course in any Bible School in order to gain a knowledge and insight of the Scriptures. The man most used of God last century¬óMr. C. H. Spurgeon¬ówas a graduate of no Bible Institute! We do not say that God has not used the Bible schools to help many who have gone there; we do not say there may not be such which He is so using today. But what we do say is, that such schools are not an imperative necessity. You have the same Bible to hand that they have; and you have the same Holy Spirit to guide you into all truth. God may be pleased to use human instruments in instructing and enlightening you, or He may give you the far greater honor and privilege of teaching you directly. That is for you to ascertain. Your first duty is to humbly and diligently look to HIM, wait on Him for guidance, seek His will, ,and the sure promise is, "The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way" (Ps. 25:9).
"My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me." These words were spoken by Christ to correct the Jews, who were unable to account for the wondrous words which fell from His lips. He would assure them that His "doctrine" had been taught Him by no man, nor had He invented it. "My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me." How zealous He was for the Father¬ís honor! How jealously He guarded the Father¬ís glory! Let every servant of God learn from this blessed One who was "meek and lowly in heart." Whenever people praise you for some message of help, fail not to disclaim all credit, and remind your God¬ódishonoring admirers that the "doctrine" is not yours, but His that sent you.
"My doctrine is not mine." Observe that Christ does not say "My doctrines are not mine," but "My doctrine." The word "doctrine" means "teaching," and the teaching (truth) of God is one correlated and complete whole. In writing to Timothy, Paul said, "Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine" (not doctrines¬ó1 Timothy 4:6). And again he wrote, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine" (2 Tim. 3:16). In striking contrast from this, Scripture speaks of "the doctrines of men" (Col. 2:22); "strange doctrines" (Heb. 13:9); and "doctrines of demons" (1 Tim. 4:1). Here the word is pluralized because there is no unity or harmony about the teachings of men or the teachings of demons. They are diverse and conflicting. But God¬ís truth is indivisible and harmonious.
"If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself" (John 7:17). The wording of this verse in the A.V. leaves something to be desired; we give, therefore, the translation found in Bagster¬ís Interlinear: "If any one desire his will to practice, he shall know concerning the teaching whether from God it is, or I from myself speak." The Greek word here rendered "desire" signifies no fleeting impression or impulse, but a deeply rooted determination. The connection between this verse and the one preceding is as follows: "What you have just heard from My lips is no invention of Mine, but instead, it proceedeth from Him that sent Me. Now if you really wish to test this and prove it for yourselves you must take care to preserve an honest mind and cultivate a heart that yields itself unquestioningly to God¬ís truth."
"If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself." In this declaration our Lord laid down a principle of supreme practical importance. He informs us how certainty may be arrived at in connection with the things of God. He tells us how spiritual discernment and assurance are to be obtained. The fundamental condition for obtaining spiritual knowledge is a genuine heart-desire to carry out the revealed will of God in our lives. Wherever the heart is right God gives the capacity to apprehend His truth. If the heart be not right, wherein would be the value of knowing God¬ís truth? God will not grant light on His Word unless we are truly anxious to walk according to that light. If the motive of the investigator be pure, then he will obtain an assurance that the teaching of Scripture is "of God" that will be far more convincing and conclusive than a hundred logical arguments.
"If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself." How this word rebuked, again, these worldly-minded Jews; and how it reverses the judgment of many of our moderns! One does not have to enter a seminary or a Bible Institute and take a course in Christian Apologetics in order to obtain assurance that the Bible is inspired, or in order to learn how to interpret it. Spiritual intelligence comes not through the intellect, but via the heart: it is acquired not by force of reasoning, but by the exercise of faith. In Hebrews 11:3 we read, "Through faith we understand," and faith cometh not by schooling but by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God! Thousands of years ago one of Israel¬ís prophets was moved by the Holy Spirit to write, "Then shall we know, if we follow on to know THE LORD" (Hos. 6:3).
"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" (John 7:18). Christ here appealed to the manner and purpose of His teaching, to show that He was no impostor. He that speaketh of, or better from, himself, means, he whose message originates with himself, rather than God. Such an one seeketh his own glory. That is to say, he attracts attention to himself: he aims at his own honor and aggrandizement. On the other hand, the one who seeks the glory of Him that sent him, the same is "true" or genuine (cf. "true" in John 6:32 and 15:1), i.e. a genuine servant of God. And of such, Christ added, "and no unrighteousness is in him." Interpreting this in the light of the context (namely, verses 12 and 15), its evident meaning is, The one who seeks God¬ís glory is no impostor.
"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." What a searching word is this for every servant of God today! How it condemns that spirit of self-exaltation which at times, alas, is found (we fear) in all of us. The Pharisees sought "the praise of men," and they have had many successors. But how different was it with the apostle Paul, who wrote, "I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle" (1 Cor. 15:9). And again, "Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints" (Eph. 3:8). And what an important word does this eighteenth verse of John 7 contain for those who sit under the ministry of the professed servants of God. Here is one test by which we may discover whether the preacher has been called of God to the ministry, or whether he ran without being sent. Does he magnify himself or his Lord? Does he seek his own glory, or the glory of God? Does he speak about himself or about Christ? Can he truthfully say with the apostle, "We preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord" (2 Cor. 4:5)? Is the general trend of his ministry, Behold me, or Behold the church, or Behold the Lamb of God?
"Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me?" (John 7:19). Here Christ completely turns the tables upon them. They were saying that He was unlettered, and now He charges them with having the letter of the Law, but failing to render obedience to it. They professed to be the disciples of Moses, and yet there they were with murder in their hearts, because He had healed a man on the Sabbath. He had just declared there was no unrighteousness in Himself; now He uncovered the unrighteousness which was in them, for they stood ready to break the sixth commandment in the Decalogue. His question, "Why go ye about to kill me?" is very solemn. It was a word of more than local application. Where there is no heart for the truth, there is always an heart against it. And where there is enmity against the truth itself there is hatred of those who faithfully proclaim it. No one who is in anywise acquainted with the history of the last two thousand years can doubt that. And it is due alone to God¬ís grace and restraining power that His servants do not now share the experiences of Stephen, and Paul, and thousands of the saints who were "faithful unto death" during the Middle Ages. Nor will it be long before the Divine restraint, which now holds Satan in leash and which is curbing the passions of God¬ís enemies, shall be removed. Read through the prophecies of the Revelation and mark the awful sufferings which godly Jews will yet endure. Moreover, who can say how soon what is now transpiring in Russia may not become general and universal!
"The people answered and said, Thou hast a devil: who goeth about to kill thee?" (John 7:20). "The people" evidently refers to the miscellaneous company of Israelites in the Temple courts. At that season they came from all parts of Palestine up to Jerusalem to observe the Feast. Many of them were ignorant of the fact that the Judean leaders had designs upon the life of Christ; and when He said to the Jews (of verse 15) "Why go ye about to kill me?" (verse 19, and cf. verse 1), these "people" deemed our Lord insane, and said "Thou hast a demon," for insanity is often one of the marks of demoniacal possession. This fearful blasphemy not only exposed their blindness to the glory of Christ, but also demonstrated the desperate evil of their hearts. To what awful indignities and insults did our blessed Lord submit in becoming incarnate! "Thou hast a demon:" is such an aspersion ever cast on thee, fellow-Christian? Then remember that thy Lord before thee was similarly reviled: sufficient for the disciple to be as his Master.
"Jesus answered and said unto them, I have done one work, and ye all marvel" (John 7:21). Christ ignored the horrible charge of "the people," and continued to address Himself to "the Jews." And herein He has left us a blessed example. It is to be noted that in the passage where we are told, "Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we should follow his steps," the Holy Spirit has immediately followed this with, "who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: who, when he was reviled, reviled not again" (1 Pet. 2:22, 23). What a beautiful illustration John 7 gives of this! When He was reviled, He "reviled not again." He made no answer to their blasphemous declamation. O that Divine grace may enable us to "follow his steps." When Christ said to the Jews, "I have done one work, and ye all marvel," He was referring to what is recorded in John 5:1-16.
"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?" (John 7:22, 23). Our Lord continued to point out how unreasonable was their criticism of Himself for healing the impotent man on the Sabbath day. He reminds them that circumcision was performed on the Sabbath; why then should they complain because He had made a poor sufferer whole on that day! By this argument Christ teaches us that works of necessity and works of mercy may be legitimately performed on the Sabbath. Circumcision was a work of necessity if the Law of Moses was to be observed, for if the infant reached its eighth day on the Sabbath, it was then he must be circumcised. The healing of the impotent man was a work of mercy. Thus are we permitted to engage in both works of necessity and works of mercy on the holy Sabbath.
It is to be observed that Christ here refers to circumcision as belonging to "the law of Moses." For a right understanding of the teaching of Scripture concerning the Law it is of first importance that we distinguish sharply between "the law of God" and "the law of Moses." The Law of God is found in the ten commandments which Jehovah Himself wrote on the two tables of stone, thereby intimating that they were of lasting duration. This is what has been rightly termed the moral Law, inasmuch as the Decalogue (the ten commandments) enunciates a rule of conduct. The moral Law has no dispensational limitations, but is lastingly binding on every member of the human race. It was given not as a means of salvation, but as expressing the obligations of every human creature to the great Creator. The "law of Moses" consists of the moral, social, and ceremonial laws which God gave to Moses after the ten commandments. The Law of Moses included the ten commandments as we learn from Deuteronomy 5.
In one sense the Law of Moses is wider than "the law of God," inasmuch as it contains far more than the Ten Commandments. In another sense, it is narrower, inasmuch as "the law of Moses" is binding only upon Israelites and Gentile proselytes; whereas "the law of God" is binding on Jews and Gentiles alike. Christ dearly observes this distinction by referring to circumcision as belonging not to "the law of God," but as being an essential part of "the law of Moses" which related only to Israel.
"Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment" (John 7:24). The connection between this verse and the preceding ones is dear. Christ had been vindicating His act of healing the impotent man on the Sabbath day. To His superficial critics it might have seemed a breach of the Sabbatic law; but in reality it was not so. Their judgment was hasty and partial. They were looking for something they might condemn, and so seized upon this. But their verdict, as is usually the case when hurried and prejudiced, was altogether erroneous. Therefore, did our Lord bid them; "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment." He exhorted them to be fair; to take into account all the circumstances; to weigh all that God¬ís Word revealed about the Sabbath. "In it thou shalt not do any work," was not to be taken absolutely: other scriptures plainly modified it. The ministrations of the priests in the temple on the Sabbath, and the circumcising of the child on that day when the Law required it, were cases in point. But the Jews had overlooked or ignored these. They had judged by appearances. They had not considered the incident according to its merits, nor in the light of the general tenor of Scripture. Hence, their judgment was unrighteous, because unfair and false.
"Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment." This is a word which each of us much need to take to heart. Most of us fail at this point; fail in one of two directions. Some are prone to form too good an opinion of people. They are easily deceived by an air of piety. The mere fact that a man professes to be a Christian, does not prove that he is one. That he is sound in his morals and a regular attender of religious services, is no sure index to the state of his heart. Remember that all is not gold that glitters. On the other hand, some are too critical and harsh in their judgment. We must not make a man an offender for a word. In many things we all offend. "There is not a just man on earth that doeth good and sinneth not" (Ecclesiastes 7:20). The evil nature, inherited from Adam, remains in every Christian to the end of his earthly course. And too, God bestows more grace on one than He does on another. There is real danger to some of us lest, forgetting the frailties and infirmities of our fellows, we regard certain Christians as unbelievers. Even a nugget of gold has been known to be covered with dust. It is highly probable that all of us who reach heaven will receive surprises there. Some whom we expected to meet will be absent, and some we never expected to see will be there. Let us seek grace to heed this timely word of our Lord¬ís: "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment."
"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?" (John 7:25, 26). In this chapter one party after another stands exposed. The Light was shining and it revealed the hidden things of darkness. First, the "brethren" of Christ (verses 3-5) are exhibited as men of the world, unbelievers. Next, "the Jews" (the Judean leaders) display their carnality (verse 15). Then, the miscellaneous crowd, "the people" (verse 20) make manifest their hearts. Now the regular inhabitants of Jerusalem come before us. They, too, make bare their spiritual condition. In sheltering behind "the rulers" they showed what little anxiety they had to discover for themselves whether or not Christ was preaching the truth of God. Verily, "there is no difference, for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." The common people were no better than the rulers; the Lord¬ís brethren no more believed on Him than did the Jews; the inhabitants of Jerusalem had no more heart for Christ than they of the provinces. How plain it was, then, that no man would come to Christ except he had been drawn of the Father! It is so still. One class is just as much opposed to the Gospel as any other. Human nature is the same the world over. It is nothing but the distinguishing grace of God that ever makes one to differ from another.
"Howbeit we know this man whence he is: but when Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence he is" (John 7:27). What pride of heart these words evidence! These men of Jerusalem deemed themselves wiser than their credulous rulers. The religious leaders might stand in some doubt, but they knew whence Christ was. Evidently they were well acquainted with His early life in Nazareth. Supposing that Joseph was His father, they were satisfied that He was merely a man: "We know this man" indicates plainly the trend of their thoughts.
"But when Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence he is." This sentence needs to be pondered with verse 42 before us. From Matthew 2:4, 5 it is also plain that it was well known at the time that the Messiah should first appear in Bethlehem. What, then, did these people mean when they said, "When Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence he is"? With Dr. Doddridge, we regard this statement as an expression of the Jewish belief that the Messiah would be supernaturally born, i.e. of a virgin, as Isaiah 7:14 declared.
"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" (John 7:28). It appears to the writer that in the first part of this utterance the Lord was speaking ironically. Some of them who lived in Jerusalem had declared, "we know this man whence he is." Here Christ takes up their words and refutes them. "Ye both know me, and ye know whence I am," such was their idle boast; but, continues the Savior, "I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true, whom ye know not." So they did not know whence He was. When Christ here declared of the Father, "He that sent me is true," He looked back, no doubt, to the Old Testament Scriptures. God had been "true" to His promises and predictions, many of which had already been fulfilled, and others were even then in course of fulfillment; yea, their very rejection of His Son evidenced the Father¬ís veracity.
"But I know him: for I am from him, and he hath sent me" (John 7:29). It was because Christ knew the Father, and was from Him, that He could reveal Him; for it is by the Son, and by Him alone, that the Father is made known. "No man knoweth the Son but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him" (Matthew 11:27). None cometh unto the Father but by Christ; and none knoweth the Father but by Him.
"Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour had not yet come" (John 7:30). This verse sets forth a truth which should be of great comfort to God¬ís people, and indeed it is so, when received by unquestioning faith. We find here a striking example of the restraining hand of God upon His enemies. Their purpose was to apprehend Christ. They sought to take Him, yet not a hand was laid upon Him! They thirsted for His blood, and were determined to kill Him; yet by an invisible restraint from above, they were powerless to do so. How blessed, then, to know that everything is under the immediate control of God. Not a hair of our heads can be touched without His permission. The demon-possessed Saul might hurl his javelin at David, but hurling it and killing him were two different things. Daniel might be cast into the den of lions, but as his time to die had not then come, their mouths were mysteriously sealed. The three Hebrews were cast into the fiery furnace, but of what avail were the flames against those protected by Jehovah?
"Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come." How this evidences the invincibility of God¬ís eternal decrees! "There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the Lord" (Prov. 21:30). God had decreed that the Savior should be betrayed by a familiar friend, and sold for thirty pieces of silver. How, then, was it possible for these men to seize Him? They could no more arrest Christ than they could stop the sun from shining. "There are many devices in a man¬ís heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand" (Prov. 19:21). What an illustration of this is furnished by the incident before us!
"No man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come." Not until the sixty-ninth "week" of Daniel 9:24 had run its courses could Messiah the Prince be "cut off." All the hatred of men and all the enmity of Satan and his hosts could not hasten Christ¬ís appointed death. Until God¬ís foreordained hour smack, and the incarnate Son bowed to His Father¬ís good pleasure, He was immortal. And blessed be God, it is our privilege to be assured that the hand of death cannot strike us down before God¬ís predestined "hour" arrives for us to go hence. The enemy may war against us, and he may be permitted to strike our bodies; but shorten our lives he cannot, anymore than he could Job¬ís. A frightful epidemic of disease may visit the neighborhood in which I live, but I am immune till God suffers me to be affected. Unless it is His will for me to be sick or to die, no matter how the epidemic may rage, nor how many of those around me may fall victims to it, it cannot harm me. "I will say of the Lord, he is my refuge and my fortress: my God, in him will I trust." His reassuring voice answers me: "Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee" (Ps. 91:2, 6, 7). Should any be inclined to think we have expressed ourselves too strongly, we ask them to ponder the following scriptures: "Is there not an appointed time for man upon earth? are not his days also like the days of an hireling?"¬óthat is, strictly numbered (Job 7:1 ). "Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass . . . If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come" (Job 14:5, 14).
"No man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come." How this brings out the fact that all of Christ¬ís sufferings were undergone voluntarily. He did not go to the Cross because He was unable to escape it; nor did He die because He could not prevent it. Far, far from it. Had He so pleased, He could have smitten down these men with a single word from His mouth. But even that was not necessary. They were prevented from touching Him without so much as a single word being spoken!
"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?" (John 7:31). Whether or not this was a saving faith it is rather difficult to ascertain. Personally, we do not think it was. Bather do we regard this verse as parallel with John 2:23: "Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did." But that theirs was not a saving faith is evident from what follows: "But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all." So here, the remainder of verse 31 seems to argue against a saving faith. "When Christ cometh," intimates that they did not really regard the Lord Jesus as the Messiah himself. And their closing words, ¬ĎWill he do more miracles than these which this (fellow) hath done?" shows what a derogatory conception they had of the incarnate Son of God.
The following questions bear upon our next chapter: John 7:32-53:¬ó
1. What is there in verse 34 which unmistakably brings out the Deity of Christ?
2. What does verse 35 go to prove?
3. Does verse 38 describe your spiritual experience? If not, why?
4. What solemn warning is conveyed by verses 41, 42?
5. What do verses 50, 51 go to show?
6. Were the Pharisees correct in verse 52?
7. What is there in this passage which magnifies Christ as "the Word"?
 This is a work we strongly recommend to those who desire to be students of the Word. It gives the original Greek and immediately beneath, a literal, word for word, English translation. Obtainable from the publisher of this book.
 See the author¬ís booklet "The Law and the Saint" for a fuller discussion of this subject. Obtainable from the publisher of this book. 30 cents.