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A Harmony of the Gospels




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This section is naturally divided into three distinct scenes:

John 7:1-13 The Circumstances of the visit
John 7:14-36 The Discussions at the "midst of the feast"
John 7:37-52 The Discussions on the Last Day

The Circumstances of the visit   (Vs. 1-13)

John 7:1-13
(1)  After these things Jesus walked in Galilee;  for He did not want to walk in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill Him.  (2)  Now the Jews' Feast of Tabernacles was at hand.  (3)  His brothers therefore said to Him, "Depart from here and go into Judea, that Your disciples also may see the works that You are doing.  (4)  For no one does anything in secret while he himself seeks to be known openly. If You do these things, show Yourself  to the world."  (5)  For even His brothers did not believe in Him.
(6)  Then Jesus said to them, "My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready.  (7)  The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil.  (8)  You go up to this feast. I am not yet going up to this feast, for My time has not yet fully come."  (9)  When He had said these things to them, He remained in Galilee.
(10) But when His brothers had gone up, then He also went up to the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret.  (11)  Then the Jews sought Him at the feast, and said, "Where is He?"  (12)  And there was much complaining among the people concerning Him. Some said, "He is good"; others said, "No, on the contrary, He deceives the people."   (13)  However, no one spoke openly of Him for fear of the Jews.

This section is naturally divided into three distinct scenes:

John 7:1-13 The Circumstances of the visit
John 7:14-36 The Discussions at the "midst of the feast"
John 7:37-52 The Discussions on the Last Day

The Feast of Tabernacles

It was now autumn,  and all Galilee was in the stir of  preparation which preceded on starting of the annual caravan of pilgrims to one of the three great yearly feasts - the Feast of Tabernacles.
That feast - the Feast of Ingathering - was intended to commemorate the passage of the Israelites through the wilderness, and was celebrated with such universal joy,  that both Josephus and Philo call it  "the holiest and greatest feast," and it was known among the Jews as  "The Feast"  pre-eminently.
It was kept for seven consecutive days,  from the 15th to the 21st of Tisri (September, October),  and a holy convocation celebrated the 8th day.

During the seven days the Jews,  to recall their desert wanderings,  lived in little booths made of  thickly foliaged boughs of olive,  and palm,  and pine,  and myrtle,  and each person carried in his hands a  "lulab,"  consisting of palm branches,  or willows of the brook,  or fruits of peach and citron.

During the week of  festivities all the courses of  priests, were employed in turn;

70 bullocks were offered in sacrifice for the 70 nations of the world;
the Law was read daily;
on each day the Temple trumpets sounded 21 times an inspiring and triumphant blast.
The joy of the occasion was doubtless deepened by the fact that the feast followed only four days after the awful and comforting ceremonies of the Great Day of Atonement, in which a solemn expiation was made for the sins of all the people.

His brothers said ... show yourself

On the eve of their departure for this feast the family and relatives of  Jesus came to Him with the language of criticism,  of discontent,  almost of reproaches and complaints.
"Why this unreasonable and incomprehensible secrecy?  It contradicts your claims;  it discourages your followers.  You have disciples in Judaea:  go there,  and let them too see your works that you do.  If you do these things,  manifest yourself to the world."

There was also,  probably,  a touch of vanity in it:  "You have many disciples in Judea; here in Galilee they are fast dropping off. ..."

Psalm 69:8
I have become a stranger to my brothers,
And an alien to my mother's children.

The Discussions at the "midst of the feast"     (Vs. 14-36)

John 7:14-36
(14)  Now about the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and taught.  (15)  And the Jews marveled, saying, "How does this Man know letters, having never studied?"
(16)  Jesus answered them and said, "My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me.  (17)  If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority.  (18)  He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the one who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him.  (19)  Did not Moses give you the law, yet none of you keeps the law? Why do you seek to kill Me?"
(20)  The people answered and said, "You have a demon. Who is seeking to kill You?"
(21)  Jesus answered and said to them, "I did one work, and you all marvel.  (22)  Moses therefore gave you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath.  (23)  If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath, so that the law of Moses should not be broken, are you angry with Me because I made a man completely well on the Sabbath?  (24)  Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment."
(25) Now some of them from Jerusalem said, "Is this not He whom they seek to kill?  (26)  But look! He speaks boldly, and they say nothing to Him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is truly the Christ?  (27)  However, we know where this Man is from; but when the Christ comes, no one knows where He is from."
(28)  Then Jesus cried out, as He taught in the temple, saying, "You both know Me, and you know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know.  (29)  But I know Him, for I am from Him, and He sent Me."
(30)  Therefore they sought to take Him; but no one laid a hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come.  (31)  And many of the people believed in Him, and said, "When the Christ comes, will He do more signs than these which this Man has done?"
(32)  The Pharisees heard the crowd murmuring these things concerning Him, and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take Him.  (33)  Then Jesus said to them, "I shall be with you a little while longer, and then I go to Him who sent Me.  (34)  You will seek Me and not find Me, and where I am you cannot come."
(35)  Then the Jews said among themselves, "Where does He intend to go that we shall not find Him? Does He intend to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks and teach the Greeks?  (36)  What is this thing that He said, 'You will seek Me and not find Me, and where I am you cannot come'?"

In the middle of the feast

He had let them depart in the completed uncertainty as to whether or not He intended to follow them.
And suddenly,  in the midst of all the murmuring and discussions,  in the middle of the feast,  He appeared in the Temple and taught.
For a time they listened to Him in awe-struck silence;  but soon the old scruples recurred to them.
Jesus understood their looks.
He interpreted their murmurs.

In ONE sense He told His hearers,  they knew the Law of Moses;
in another they were pitiably ignorant of it.
They could not understand its principles,
because they were not  "faithful to its precepts."

The feeding of the 5,000 and the healing of the paralyzed man  had aroused the interest of the crowd.
Because Jesus healed the man on the Sabbath,  the Jews said He was not from God.
They called Him demon-possessed (v. 20)  and even talked of killing Him;  but God's time was not ready (v. 30). The Jews debated five different topics as they discussed Jesus at the feast:

His Character (vv. 10-13)
Some called Him "good,"  others said He was a  "deceiver."
Why were they confused?
Because they feared the Jewish leaders.
"The fear of man brings a snare,"  warns Proverbs 29:25 (NKJV).
Christ's character was so spotless that when they finally did arrest Him,  they had to get false witnesses to speak against Him. Pilate,  Judas,  and even a Roman soldier all pronounced Him faultless.
His Doctrine (vv. 14-18)
The Jews were amazed at Christ's spiritual knowledge because He had never attended their schools or studied with a rabbi.
Education is a blessing,  but it is better to be taught by God than to borrow the ideas of men.
Christ's doctrine comes from heaven;  man's teaching comes from his darkened mind.
Paul warns of what is falsely called  "knowledge [science]"  (1 Tim 6:20, see also Col 2:8 ff).
John 7:17 could be read,  "if any man is willing to do My will" ... A willingness to obey is the secret of learning God's truth.
F. W. Robertson said,  "Obedience is the organ of spiritual knowledge."
His Works (vv. 19-24)
They pretended to defend the Law by accusing Him of working on the Sabbath;
but He showed that their desire to kill Him was contrary to the very Law they revered.
How inconsistent are people who oppose Christ and reject His Word!  A man can be circumcised on the Sabbath,  but he cannot be healed on the Sabbath!
Like many today,  they were shallow,  judging by appearance,  not truth.
His Origin (vv. 25-31)
Verse 27 is not a contradiction of v. 42.
The Jews knew where the Messiah would be born,  but they also knew that His birth would be supernatural (Isaiah 7:14).
In other words,  they would not know where He was from (see v. 28).
The record states that Christ was born of the virgin Mary,  but the Jews would not believe this.
John 8:41 suggests that they accused Jesus of being born in sin;
Mary's condition before she married Joseph would perhaps make people say this.
In vv. 28-29, Christ affirms that He was sent from the Father and that if they knew the Father,  they would know the Son.
His Warning (vv. 32-36)
The  "little while"  that Christ spoke of lasted about six months.
It is important that people seek the Lord  "while He may be found" (Isaiah 55:6).
Many lost sinners who reject Christ today will seek Him tomorrow and He will be gone from them (Proverbs 1:24-28) .
The Jews were ignorant of spiritual truth and thought He was talking about going to the Jews scattered among the nations.
Because they were unwilling to obey the truth,
they could not know the truth; they argued with Christ and lost their souls.
(from The Bible Exposition Commentary. Copyright (c) 1992 by SP Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.)

The Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take Him

The Discussions on the Last Day     (Vs. 37-52)

John 7:1-52
(37)   On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.  (38)  He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water."  (39)  But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
(40)  Therefore many from the crowd, when they heard this saying, said, "Truly this is the Prophet."  (41)  Others said, "This is the Christ."
But some said, "Will the Christ come out of Galilee?  (42)  Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the seed of David and from the town of Bethlehem, where David was?"  (43)  So there was a division among the people because of Him.  (44)  Now some of them wanted to take Him, but no one laid hands on Him.
(45)  Then the officers came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, "Why have you not brought Him?"
(46)  The officers answered," No man ever spoke like this Man!"
(47)  Then the Pharisees answered them, "Are you also deceived?  (48)  Have any of the rulers or the Pharisees believed in Him?  (49)  But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed."
(50)  Nicodemus (he who came to Jesus by night, being one of them) said to them,  (51)  "Does our law judge a man before it hears him and knows what he is doing?"
(52)  They answered and said to him, "Are you also from Galilee? Search and look, for no prophet has arisen out of Galilee."

The last day, that great day

The eighth,  the close of the whole festival,  and kept as a Sabbath (Leviticus 23 :36).
It was called  "The Day of the Great Hosanna,"  because a circuit was made seven times round the altar with "Hosanna" sung.
It was also called the "Day of Willows," and the "Day of Beating the Branches," because all the leaves were shaken off the willow-boughs,  and the palm branches beaten in pieces by the side of the altar .

At early morning the people repaired to the Temple,  and when the morning sacrifice had been laid on the altar,  one of the priests went down with a golden ewer to the Pool of Siloam,  not far from the foot of Mount Zion.  There,  with great solemnity,  he drew three logs of  water,  which were then carried in triumphant procession through the water gate into the Temple.

As he entered the Temple courts the sacred trumpets breathed out a joyous blast,  which continued till he
reached the top of the altar slope,  and there poured the water into a silver basin on the western side,  while wine was poured into another silver basin on the eastern side.

Then the great Hallel was sung,  and the people chanted,  "With joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation."

And when they came to the verse  "Oh give thanks unto the Lord,  for He is good: for His mercy endures forever,"  each of the gaily-clad worshippers as he stood beside the altars,  shook his lulab in triumph.

On this high occasion,  "Jesus stood,  and cried,  If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink!"
And, "Out of his innermost being shall flow RIVERS OF LIVING water!"
It was Jehovah's ancient proclamation now sounding forth through human flesh,.

Isaiah 55:1
Ho! Everyone who thirsts,
Come to the waters;
And you who have no money,
Come, buy and eat.      (NKJV)

Now it would be RIVERS - not WELLS

WELLS Human Effort
RIVERS No Human Effort

Conditions for the Rivers of Water

v. 37 THIRST Keen, famishing, craving
  COME Complete Surrender
v. 38 DRINK Whole-hearted reception
  BELIEVE Includes obedience  (Not necessarily understanding)

The Holy Spirit was not yet given

Certain measures of the Holy Spirit had been vouchsafed from the beginning of the world to believers and unbelievers: but that ABUNDANT EFFUSION of  His graces spoken of by Joel the Prophet, chapter 2:28,
which peculiarly characterized the Gospel times,  was not granted till after the ascension of Jesus Christ.

The Spirit in its plenitude was to come in consequence of His atonement;
and therefore could not come still after His crucifixion.

Joel 2:28-29
"And it shall come to pass afterward
That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your old men shall dream dreams,
Your young men shall see visions.
And also on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days.      (NKJV)


Nicodemus enters the picture again,  and this time we see him defending Christ's legal privileges.
In John 3,  he was in the darkness of confusion;  but here he is experiencing the dawn of conviction,  willing to give Christ a fair chance.
Because of this, Nicodemus learned the truth,  for a willingness to obey the Word is the secret of learning God's truth (v. 17).
In John 19  we see Nicodemus in the daylight of confession, openly identifying himself with Christ.

John 19:39-41
And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds.  Then they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury.    (NKJV)
How did he come to make this decision?  He studied the Word and asked for God to teach him.
The rulers told him,  "Search and look!"  and that is just what he did.
Anyone who will read and obey the Word of God will move out of darkness into God's marvelous light.
(from The Bible Exposition Commentary. Copyright (c) 1992 by SP Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.)


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John 7:53 - 8:11
(53)  And everyone went to his own house.
(8:1) But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
(2)   Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them.  (3 ) Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst,  (4)  they said to Him, "Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act.  (5)  Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?"  (6)  This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.
(7)  So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, "He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first."  (8)  And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.  (9)  Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. (10)  When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, "Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?"
(11)  She said, "No one, Lord."
And Jesus said to her, "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more."

Caught in adultery

It is admitted that adultery was exceedingly common at this time,  so common that they had ceased to put the law in force against it.

Such should be stoned

In the Jewish method of stoning,  the criminal was cast from a 10 or 12-foot scaffold (or down a precipice of some kind) half naked,  with hands tied in the back.
The witnesses did the pushing with great force,  and if this did not kill him or her a witness then would take a large stone and dash it upon the breast.
On occasions where mobs stoned a man no scaffold was used,  but certain accusers threw the first stones and then all could throw until the victim was dead.

It is not strictly true that Moses ordered all adultery in general to be punished by stoning:

1. The law simply says that the adulterer and the adulteress shall be put to death
(Leviticus 20:10; Deuteronomy 22:22).
2. The rabbins say they were strangled.
This they affirm was the ordinary mode of punishment,  where the species of death was not marked in the law.
3. If a person guilty of an act of this kind had been betrothed,  but not married,  she was to be stoned (Deuteronomy 22:23).
4. But if  she was the daughter of a priest,  she was to be burned alive.   (Leviticus 21:9).
"...if she profanes herself by playing the harlot" - indicates a life pattern, not a one-time mistake. 
5. It appears,  from Ezekiel 16:38,40,  that adulteresses in the time of that prophet were stoned,  and pierced with a sword.

It is possible that the woman in this case was the same as that mentioned in  #3 above:
"If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto a husband,  and a man find her in the city,  and lie with her;  then he shall stone them with stones that they die,

The damsel because she cried not out
The man because he hath humbled his neighbor's wife.

Some suppose that the apparent indulgence with which Jesus treated her insinuates that she had suffered some sort of violence,  though not entirely innocent herself.

That they might ... accuse Him

Had He condemned the woman to death,  they might have accused Him to Pilate,  as abrogating to Him the
power of life and death,  which the Romans had taken away from the Jews;  besides,  the Roman laws did not condemn an adulteress to be put to death.

On the other hand,  if He had said she should not be put to death,  they might have represented Him to the people as one who decided contrary to the law,  and favored the crime of which the woman was accused.

Excerpts from Farrar
At the close of the day recorded in the last chapter,  Jesus withdrew to the Mount of Olives. Whether He went to the garden of Gethsemane,  and to the house of its unknown but friendly owner,  or whether - not having where to lay His head - He simply slept,  Eastern fashion,  on the green turf under those ancient olive trees,  we cannot tell.
But when the day dawned His duties lay once more within the city walls,  and in that part of the city where,  almost alone,  we hear of His presence - in the courts of His Father's House.  And with the very dawn His enemies contrived a fresh plot against Him,  the circumstances of which made their malice even more actually painful than it was intentionally perilous.
It is probable that the hilarity and abandonment of the Feast of Tabernacles,  which had grown to be a kind of vintage festival,  would often degenerate into acts of license and immorality ,  and these would find more numerous opportunities in the general disturbance of ordinary life caused by the dwelling of the whole people in their little leafy booths.  One such act had been detected during the previous night,  and the guilty woman had been handed over to the Scribes and Pharisees.  But the spirit that actuated these accusers was not by any means the spirit of a sincere and outraged purity . In the decadence of national life,  in the daily familiarity with heathen degradations,  in the gradual substitution of a Levitical scrupulosity for a heartfelt religion,  the morals of the nation had grown utterly corrupt.  The ordeal of the  "water of Jealousy"  (If a husband suspect his wife of unfaithfulness,  he may bring her to the Sanctuary for an oath of purgation and the drinking of the  "the water of bitterness".  If she is innocent,  no injuries result;  if guilty,  the combined oath and ordeal produce physical effects that proclaim her guilt to the world. (Ref. Numbers 5:14-28),  had long been abolished,  and the death by stoning as a punishment for adultery had long been suffered to fall into disuse.
Not even the Scribes and Pharisees - for all their external religiosity - had any genuine horror of an impurity with which their own lives were often stained.  They saw in the accident  (if indeed it was an accident,  and not plotted by the accusers themselves)  which had put this guilty woman into their power nothing but a chance of annoying,  entrapping,  possibly even endangering this Prophet of Galilee,  whom they already regarded as their deadliest enemy.
"Let him that is without sin among you,  first cast the stone at her."  It was not any abrogation of the Mosaic Law;  it was,  on the contrary ,  an admission of its justice,  and doubtless it must have sunk heavily as a death warrant upon the woman's heart,  but it acted in a manner wholly unexpected.
The terrible law stood written;  it was not the time,  it was not His will,  to rescind it.  But,  on the other hand,  they themselves,  by not acting on the law,  by referring the whole question to Him as though it needed a new solution,  had practically confessed that the law was at present valid in theory alone,  that it had fallen into disuse,  and that even with His authority they had no intention of carrying it into action.  Since,  therefore,  the whole proceeding was on their part illegal and irregular,  He transfers it by these words from the forum of law to that of conscience.
(Life of Christ by Dr. Frederic W. Farrar Copyright: 1949)


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John 8:12-30
(12)  Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life."
(13)  The Pharisees therefore said to Him, "You bear witness of Yourself; Your witness is not true."
(14)  Jesus answered and said to them, "Even if I bear witness of Myself, My witness is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going; but you do not know where I come from and where I am going.  (15)  You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one.  (16)  And yet if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent Me.  (17)  It is also written in your law that the testimony of two men is true.  (18)  I am one who bears witness of Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness of Me."
(19)  Then they said to Him, "Where is Your Father?"
Jesus answered, "You know neither Me nor My Father. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also."
(20)  These words Jesus spoke in the treasury, as He taught in the temple; and no one laid hands on Him, for His hour had not yet come.
(21)  Then Jesus said to them again, "I am going away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin. Where I go you cannot come."
(22)  So the Jews said, "Will He kill Himself, because He says, 'Where I go you cannot come'?"
(23)  And He said to them, "You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.  (24)  Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins."
(25)  Then they said to Him, "Who are You?"
And Jesus said to them, "Just what I have been saying to you from the beginning.  (26)  I have many things to say and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I heard from Him."
(27)  They did not understand that He spoke to them of the Father.
(28)  Then Jesus said to them, "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things.  (29)  And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him."  (30)  As He spoke these words, many believed in Him.

I am the Light of  the world

As the former references to:

(1) WATER (Chapter 4 & 7)
(2) BREAD (Chapter 6)
were occasioned
by Outward Occurrences,
so also is this:
(3) LIGHT (v 12)

In  "the Treasury"  where it was spoken (V. 20)  stood four golden candelabra,  each with four golden bowls,
each one filled from a pitcher of oil by a youth of priestly descent.
These were lighted on the first night of the Feast of Tabernacles.
It is probable that they may have suggested the Lord's figure,  but the figure itself was familiar both from prophecy and from tradition.

According to tradition,  Light was one of the names of the Messiah.

He could also have drawn from still another illustration -
The Jews added a 9th day to this feast,  which day they termed,  "The Feast of Joy For The Law;"  and on that day they were accustomed to take all the sacred books out of the chest where they had been deposited,
and put a  "lighted candle"  in their place,
in allusion to Proverbs 6:23:  "For the commandment is a lamp (or candle) and the law is life:"
or to Psalm 119:105:  "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."
If  this custom existed in the time of Jesus,  it is most likely that it was taking place at about the same time in which these words were spoken.

You judge

The thought of  "knowledge"  (v. 14)  passes into that of  "judgment."
The Pharisees had not the knowledge,  nor could they in their present state gain the knowledge.
They judged  "after the flesh."
They were content to form their conclusions on an imperfect,  external,  superficial examination.
Without feeling any necessity for deeper or wider insight,  they decided according to the appearance of things;  and so by that part of our nature that deals with appearances.
Christ,  on the other hand,  though He embraced in this knowledge all the circumstances,  and aspects,  and issues of life,  "judge no man."  The time for this was not yet.

The Treasury

The Treasury was in the Court of the Women,  so called,  not because it was appropriated to the worship of women exclusively,  but because they were not allowed to proceed further,  except for sacrificial purposes.
The court covered a space upwards of  200 square feet,  and was surrounded by a colonnade,  within which,  and
against the wall,  were the thirteen trumpet-shaped chests,  called  "trumpets"  from their shape,  for charitable contributions.  In the 13th only the women were permitted to put their offerings.  Probably the other 12 were placed there in reference to the 12 tribes;  each perhaps inscribed with the name of one of Jacob's 12 sons.
The mention of the locality adds force to the notice of the Lord's immunity from violence that follows.  For the Sanhedrin held their sittings ordinarily in the chamber that was situated between the Court of the women and the inner Court.  Jesus continued to teach within earshot of His enemies!

Will he kill himself?

The bitterness of the mockery,  like the sternness of the denunciation, is increased (7:35).
The questioners assume that no way can be open to Jesus which is not equally open to them,  unless it be the way to Gehenna opened by self-murder.  Thither indeed they could not follow Him.  The Jews placed suicide on the same level with murder;  and the darkest regions of the world below were supposed to be reserved for those who were guilty of the crime.

When you lift up the Son of man

This is the plainest  PUBLIC  intimation He had yet given of the manner and authors of His death.


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John 8:31-59
(31)  Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.  (32)  And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
(33)  They answered Him, "We are Abraham's descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, 'You will be made free'?"
(34)  Jesus answered them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.  (35)  And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever.  (36)  Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
(37)  "I know that you are Abraham's descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you.  (38)  I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father.
(39)  They answered and said to Him, "Abraham is our father."
Jesus said to them, "If you were Abraham's children, you would do the works of Abraham.  (40)  But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this.  (41)  You do the deeds of your father."
Then they said to Him, "We were not born of fornication; we have one Father -- God."
(42)  Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me.  (43)  Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word.  (44)  You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.  (45)  But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me.   (46)  Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me?  (47)  He who is of God hears God's words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God."
(48)  Then the Jews answered and said to Him, "Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?"
(49)  Jesus answered, "I do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me.  (50)  And I do not seek My own glory; there is one who seeks and judges.  (51)  Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death."
(52)  Then the Jews said to Him, "Now we know that You have a demon! Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and You say, 'If anyone keeps My word he shall never taste death.'  (53)  Are You greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? And the prophets are dead. Who do You make Yourself out to be?"
(54)  Jesus answered, "If I honor Myself, My honor is nothing. It is My Father who honors Me, of whom you say that He is your God.  (55)  Yet you have not known Him, but I know Him. And if I say, 'I do not know Him,' I shall be a liar like you; but I do know Him and keep His word.  (56)  Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad."
(57)  Then the Jews said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?"
(58)  Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM."
(59)  Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

To get a fuller and clearer understanding of this dialogue between Jesus and those present at His teaching, we will go back to John 8:21 and begin there:

JESUS (v.21) Declaration "I go away  ...  you cannot come"
JEWS (v. 22) Misconception "will He kill Himself?"
JESUS (v.23,24) Declaration "You are from beneath,  I am from above"

"You are of this world,  I am not of this world'
(They were capable of  Murder and He was not)

JEWS (v. 25) Question "Who are you?"
JESUS (v.25,26) Declaration "As I said before He that sent me is true"
JEWS (v. 27) Not Understanding "That He spoke ... of the Father"
JESUS (v.28,29) Declaration "I do always the things that please Him"
JEWS (v. 30) Result "Many believed"
JESUS (v.31,32) Promise "Abide in my word ... the truth shall make you free"
JEWS (v. 33) Assertion "We have never been in bondage"
(This assertion was not only false, but it was ridiculous in the extreme; seeing their whole history is full of recitals of their servitude in Egypt, Chaldee, under the Babylonians, Persians, Macedonians, Syrians, and at present Romans.)
JESUS (v.34-38) Denial "He who commits sin is servant of sin...You seek to kill Me...You do the things of your father"
(v.35: A slave has no RIGHT or INHERITANCE -an obvious allusion to Ishmael (Gen. 21: 10), who, as the son of a servant, was cast out).
JEWS (v. 39) Assertion "Our father is Abraham"
JESUS (v.39-41) Counter Assertion "Ye seek to kill me you do the works of your father"
JEWS (v. 41) Denial "We were not born of fornication"
(This can also be taken as an insinuation:  "We were not born illegitimately").
JESUS (v.42-47) Accusation "You are of your father the devil...the lusts of your father you determine to do...you are not of God'
(v. 44  "he speaks of his own"  he has no outside temptation;  it is purely self-begotten).
JEWS (v. 48) Counter Accusation "You are a Samaritan , and have A devil"
JESUS (v.49-51) Denial & Declaration "I do not have a devil ... if a man keep my word;  he shall never see death"
JEWS (v. 52,53) Accusation & Question "We know that you have a devil ... Who do you make Yourself to be?"
JESUS (v.54-56) Counter Accusation "My Father glorifies Me ... you have not known Him"
JEWS (v. 57) Assertion & Question "You are not yet 50 years old,  and have you seen Abraham?"
(50 years was supposed to be the crisis of completed manhood - Num. 4:3).
JESUS (v.58) Revelation "Before Abraham became, I AM"
(The contrast here is between the Created and the Creator;
the Temporal and the Eternal)
JEWS (v. 59) Hostility The took up stones to cast at Him.

It all started when they brought the woman caught in adultery.
Once again it goes to motive - they were not concerned with her sin, or the sin of the man she was with.
They were only concerned with laying a trap for Jesus, hoping to accuse Him.
At the end of the debate, they no longer wanted to stone the woman, now their true motives were laid bare -
They wanted to stone Jesus!
If they could  not convince Him that THEY were right, they would destroy Him.


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Matt 8:19-22
(9)  Then a certain scribe came and said to Him, "Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go."
(20)  And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head."
(21)  Then another of His disciples said to Him, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father."
(22)  But Jesus said to him, "Follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead."


Luke 9:51-62
(51)  Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem,  (52)  and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him.  (53)  But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem.  (54)  And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, "Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?"
(55)  But He turned and rebuked them, and said, "You do not know what manner of spirit you are of.  (56)  For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives but to save them." And they went to another village.
(57)  Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, "Lord, I will follow You wherever You go."
(58)  And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head."
(59)  Then He said to another, "Follow Me."
But he said, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father."
(60)  Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God."
(61)  And another also said, "Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house."
(62)  But Jesus said to him, "No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."

When the time had come

Or literally,  "the days were being fulfilled,"  or  "approaching their fulfillment"  that He should be received up. We have here a sublime expression,  taking the sweep of His whole career,  as if at one bound He was about to vault into glory.
The work of Christ is here divided into two great stages:

1. All that preceded this - He formally came to His own
2. From this point on - The consequences of His own receiving Him not

Steadfastly set His face

Isaiah 50:7  "I have set my face like a flint,"  Not to be turned aside from His purpose -

where once he avoided publicity,
He now almost courts it -
all now hastening to maturity.

Excerpts from Farrar:
Crossing the plain, and passing Taanach and Megiddo,  He would reach the range of hills that form the northern limit of Samaria;  and at the foot of their first ascent lies the little town of En-gannim,  or the "Fountain of Gardens." This would be the first Samaritan village at which He would arrive,  and there,  apparently,  He had sent two messengers  "to make ready for Him."  Possibly these messengers could have been James and John themselves,  who would thus be likely to feel with special vividness the insult of His rejection.
At any rate the inhabitants - who to this day are not remarkable for their civility to strangers - absolutely declined to receive or admit Him.  Previously indeed,  when He was passing through Samaria on His journey northward,  He had found Samaritans not only willing to receive,  but anxious to detain His presence among them, and eager to listen to His words.  But now the circumstances were different:

1. He was traveling to the city that they hated and the Temple that they despised.
2. He was attended, not by a few apostles, but by a throng who were accompanying Him as their acknowledged Prophet and Messiah.
Had Gerizim and not Jerusalem been the goal of His journey,  all might have been different.  Rejected by Galilee,  refused by Samaria,  without a word He bent His steps towards Peraea.
There is nothing so trying,  so absolutely exasperating,  as a failure to find food and shelter,  and common civility,  after the fatigue of travel,  and especially to begin a fresh journey when they expected rest.
Full,  therefore,  of the Messianic kingdom,  which now at last they thought was on the eve of  being mightily proclaimed,  the two brothers wanted to usher it in with a blaze of  Sinaitic vengeance,  and so to astonish and restore the flagging spirits of  followers who would naturally be discouraged by so immediate and a decided repulse.
(Life of Christ by Dr. Frederic W. Farrar Copyright: 1949)

Incidents Illustrative of Discipleship

1. The Rash Disciple
The preaching of Jesus had riveted and charmed him;  his heart had swelled;  his enthusiasm had been kindled;  and in this state of mind he will go anywhere with Him,  and feels impelled to tell Him so.
"Will you?" replies Jesus.
He does not reject this man's offer,  nor refuses him the liberty to follow Him.
Only He will have him know what he is doing, and  "count the cost."
He will have him weigh well the real nature and the strength of his attachment,  whether it is such as will abide in the day of trail.
2. The Procrastinating Disciple
This disciple did not,  like the former,  volunteer his services,  but he is quite willing;  only he is not ready just yet:  "Lord, I will - But "
There is a difficulty in the way just now;  but that once removed,  I am yours.
No doubt it was the common case of a son having a frail or aged father,  not likely to live long.
Jesus said: "Let the dead bury their own dead."
This man was concerned about the wrong funeral: he should have taken up his cross, died to self, and obeyed God's will.
3. The Irresolute Disciple
But for the very different replies given by Jesus, we should hardly have discerned the difference between this and the second case.
From the warning given against  "looking back,"  it is evident that this man's discipleship was not yet thorough,  his separation from the world not entire.
It is not a case of  GOING back, but of  LOOKING back.
We see not  ACTUAL RETURN  to the world,  but a  RELUCTANCE TO BREAK  with the world.

Having put his hand to the plow ... looking back

The plow was of  very rude and simple workmanship,  and usually had but one handle.
One hand guides the plow,  while the other holds the long goad by which the oxen are spurred on to their work.
The plow being light,  it is necessary for the plowman to lean forward with all his weight on the handle to keep the share in the ground.
If the laborer is looking back,  not only would he be unable to make a straight furrow,  but also he could not make any furrow at all.

The conditions for discipleship are given in Luke 9:23,

1. Deny Self
2. Take Up Cross
3. Follow Me
and these three men failed to meet them.
Their emphasis was  "me first."   No wonder the laborers are so few!


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Luke 10:1-24
(1)  After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go.  (2)  Then He said to them, "The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.  (3)  Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves.  (4)  Carry neither money bag, knapsack, nor sandals; and greet no one along the road.  (5)  But whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace to this house.'  (6)  And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest on it; if not, it will return to you.  (7)  And remain in the same house, eating and drinking such things as they give, for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not go from house to house.  (8)  Whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you.  (9)  And heal the sick there, and say to them, 'The kingdom of God has come near to you.'  (10)  But whatever city you enter, and they do not receive you, go out into its streets and say,  (11) 'The very dust of your city which clings to us we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near you.'  (12)  But I say to you that it will be more tolerable in that Day for Sodom than for that city.
(13)  "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.  (14)  But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you.  (15)  And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades.  (16)  He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me.
(17)  Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name."
(18)  And He said to them, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.  (19)  Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.  (20)  Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven."
(21)  In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, "I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight.  (22)  All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him."
(23)  Then He turned to His disciples and said privately, "Blessed are the eyes which see the things you see;  (24)  for I tell you that many prophets and kings have desired to see what you see, and have not seen it, and to hear what you hear, and have not heard it."

The Seventy

He not only chose 12 to be constantly  WITH  Him,
but He chose 70 others to  GO BEFORE Him.
He seemed to be forming His new church on the model of the Jewish church,  because it was the pattern shown by God Himself - the Divine form that pointed out the Heavenly Substance,  which now began to be established in its place.

As He had before chosen the 12 apostles in reference to the 12 Patriarchs,
He now publicly appointed 70 others,  as did Moses the 70 elders who assisted him in governing the people (Exodus 18:19; 24:1-9).

Greet no one along the road

This was not designed to forbid them from exercising the usual courtesies of life,  in giving a mere  "Shalom"  to those they might meet,  as is evident from the very next verse.
This is designed to remind them of the importance of their mission,  and of the necessity of diligence in its execution.
Hence,  they were not to observe the tedious and oft-repeated salutations with which the they loved to greet each other.

The ceremonies of salutation were numerous and slowly performed.

When two friends met each inquires of the other, again and again, concerning his health and the health of his family;  and repeated over and over again the best wishes for his prosperity and peace,  thanking God that he is permitted once more to behold his face.
These formalities were accompanied by numerous bowings and posturing of the body,  and sometimes repeated as often as ten times,  consuming much time and making great delay.
If they came upon men making a bargain,  or discussing any other matter,  they must pause and intrude their own Ideas,  and enter keenly into the business,  though it in nowise concerned them;  and,  more especially,  they could never resist the temptation to assist when accounts are being settled or money counted out.

Do not go from house to house

The exhortation to diligence in their work,  alluded to in the last note,  is repeated in a different form in this text.
As salutations were tedious and frequent, so etiquette required much visiting from house to house.
Jesus was telling them that He was not sending them on a social visit,  but a mission of  Divine importance.

The seventy returned with joy

Their Joy was a result of devils being subject to them TEMPORAL SAFETY
The Joy of Jesus was a result of having your name written in heaven ETERNAL SAFETY

Authority to trample

To trample upon means to have absolute mastery over.
This exemption from being hurt (v. 19) does not imply freedom from all physical or material injury,  for many died for Christ.
The  "serpents and scorpions"  and  "all the power of the enemy"  refers to demon powers primarily,  although immunity from any harm of wild beasts and from poisons is also promised.
But the whole passage here is speaking of:

1. Devils 4. Power of the enemy
2. Satan 5. Scorpions
3. Serpents 6. Spirits

It has also been mentioned by some that Jesus called the Scribes and Pharisees  "serpents"  and a  "brood of vipers"  (Matthew 23:33).
It was an ancient custom to trample on the kings and generals who had been taken in battle,  to signify the complete conquest that had been gained over them.


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Luke 10:25-37
(25)  And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?"
(26)  He said to him, "What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?"
(27)  So he answered and said, "'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,' and 'your neighbor as yourself.'"
(28)  And He said to him, "You have answered rightly; do this and you will live."
(29)  But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"
(30)  Then Jesus answered and said: "A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.  (31)  Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.  (32)  Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side.  (33)  But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion.  (34)  So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.  (35)  On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, 'Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.'  (36)  So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?"
(37)  And he said, "He who showed mercy on him."
Then Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."

Who is my neighbor?

The Jews gave a very narrow definition of the word  "neighbor."
The rabbins interpreted it to mean only those who were of the Jewish people.
The Gentiles and Samaritans were not considered neighbors.

Down from Jerusalem to Jericho

A distance of 19 miles northeast,  a deep and very fertile hollow.
The road passed through a wilderness that was so notorious for robberies and murders that a portion of it was called  "the red way"  or  "the bloody way,"  and was protected by a fort and a Roman garrison.

The Type:

1. Went down (willfulness ) THIEVES
2. Fell among thieves (result of willfulness)
3. Stripped him (lost blessings of spiritual life possessions)
4. Beat him (defeated)
5. Left him (forsaken)
6. Half dead (hopeless)

Priest ... Levite

This is the extent of the help of  "religious"  people who are bound by forms and rituals,  which cannot be broken even to save a life.
These did two things:

1. "looked on"
2. "passed by"
under the pretense of avoiding legal pollution.

A merciful,  compassionate and godly man would have saved the life regardless of pollution,  knowing that provision was made for him to become clean again.

Here Jesus showed the superiority of the Gospel over the Law,  teaching us to reject any religion or law that would neglect a deed of mercy.
However the  Law expressly required the opposite treatment even of the beast,  not only of their brethren,  but also of their enemy!    (Deuteronomy 22:4;  Exodus 23:4,5).

An examination of these three:

1. The Priest HE   SAW  HIM ...  HE  PASSED  BY
The only ones who had the privilege to minister at the Altar and in the Most Holy Place from the family of Aaron, tribe of Levi
2. The Levite CAME  AND  LOOKED ... HE  PASSED  BY
The Levites were considered a gift to Aaron and his sons - they occupied a lower place in the Tabernacle in that they did the manual labor
A total outcast from God and His worship as far as the Jews were concerned

Pouring oil and wine

It was considered a sovereign remedy,  especially for wounds produced by violence;  wool,  lint,  or pounded olive being first laid upon the wound.  The wine was supposed to cleanse,  and the oil to soothe and heal.

Two Denarii

34 cents in our money,  the ransom money for a life  (Exodus 30:12-13).
Equal to two days' wages for a common laborer .

The Type:

1. Bind up wounds (Restoration- former physical estate) TOTAL RESTORATION
2. Wine & Oil (Restoration- former spiritual estate)
3. Took to Inn (Restoration - former mental, emotional state)
4. Paid Costs (Restoration of spiritual life, possessions)


(End of Lesson Sixteen)



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