By Tyson Thorne

July 16, 2019

John 22 Large

Our text today takes place during the Feast of Tabernacles. Jesus was teaching around Galilee when the feast came to pass. He knew the religious leaders in Jerusalem were plotting to kille him, so he avoided them in the hillside. Jesus told his half-brothers his time had not yet come, but it would within a single year of this event. Not wanting to miss out on an opportunity, however, and snuck into the city. Halfway through the feast, Jesus decided to break cover and begin teaching in the temple. Verses 14-24 are a very compressed dialogue between Jesus and all present.

The scene begins just like another in the life of the Messiah, nearly 20 years earlier. While teaching in the Temple courts at the age of 13 the teachers of the law were astonished with his knowledge of Scripture. At this time, they asked each other, “How does this man know so much when he has never had formal instruction?” It never occurred to them that maybe he was who he claimed to be, the author.

When I mentioned this was a compressed dialogue I meant that it appears large sections of this story appear to be missing. I think Jesus did that thing where he knows what was in their hearts and what they were thinking, for while the Pharisees did ask the question among themselves, they did not direct it at Jesus. Even so, he answers them. At first, Jesus' speech makes sense; "My teaching is not from me" he explains. He then tells them that one who speaks on his own authority is looking to be honored, conversely those who speak to honor God have integrity. But then he switches topics and asks a question that appears to come from out of nowhere, "Why do you want to kill me?"

There are a number of ways this could have played out. Unfortunately we have too little detail to know for certain, but I'll tell you what I think happened.

Let's take a trip down memory lane to John chapter five. After healing a man at the Pool of Bethesda, Jesus was being persecuted by the Pharisees. They even wanted to kill Jesus (5.18). It is likely that the Pharisees from chapter five are the same as those here in chapter seven. At first the crowd thought Jesus' discourse had taken a subtle turn while he was really answering the Pharisees question regarding his education. I like to think of Jesus looking directly at the conspiratorial Pharisees. When he asked the question, "why do you want to kill me?" the crowd may have been confused, but the religious authorities knew exactly what Jesus was talking about.

When someone shouted from the crowd, "You're possessed by a demon!" I think it was in jest. Jesus was known to cast out demons, perhaps he even did so arlier in the discourse. I can see someone taking this sudden and contextually out of order question of Jesus' and making a joke. The next person to shout was more serious, asking, "Who is trying to kill you?" Perhaps they even looked off in the same direction Jesus was, trying to ascertain the threat.

Still speaking to the Pharisees, Jesus explained his actions at the Passover event in chapter five. They were mad because Jesus healed a man on the Sabbath, but as Jesus points out, it is lawful to circumcise a male child on the Sabbath. The two are equal. Jesus did not disobey the Law of Moses, he fulfilled it. This ends the conversation with the Pharisees, but the crowd begins putting the pieces together.

Learn Biblical Hebrew Online


English French German Italian Portuguese Russian Spanish



How to setup an RSS of Windows Reader Service