Knowledge, Love, and Obedience.

John 7 is a chapter full of assessments as people try to figure out who Jesus is and Jesus continues to make statements of Himself and His divine authority. It occurs in the middle of the week-long festival of booths, just 6 months before He would be tortured and crucified for our sin.

In obedience to His Father's will, Jesus had come to Jerusalem in secret to attend the feast and to teach in the Temple. The religious leaders were surprised at His audacity to teach and what He taught. They wanted to know who taught Him, but He gave no references. How He could teach without learning or having followed anyone? They asked how He could teach with no education, as if He didn't even know His ABCs.

Jewish teachers needed to cite references, and if they didn't, it was assumed that they taught their own ideas. The words Jesus spoke were heard as if God was speaking. The leaders were so offended by the power and influence of His words, they were filled with hatred and felt compelled to stop Him.

Jesus doesn't attempt to placate his opposition. In John 7:16-18, Jesus says everything He needed to make a divine claim. With one statement, He claimed to be subordinate to the Father and also makes His claim to be Divine. He does not garner any glory for Himself but directs it all to God.

John 7:17 uses the language of the appropriation of faith when someone has been in the presence of Jesus and seen their own sin. Once we receive the knowledge of who God is and His love, then it needs to be applied in obedience.

The knowledge and love of God are fully demonstrated by Jesus' signs and words. We know God's Word is true because of His love for us and sacrifice for us. We believe and have been transformed by faith.

In John 7:19, Jesus calls the religious leaders out as murderers. They know Moses' Law but don't follow it with their intentions. They know the Law of Moses in their head but not in their hearts (Exodus 20:13).

In John 7:21-24, Jesus directly addresses the accusations against Him after His healing at the Passover, skillfully teaching the Law and correcting the religious leaders' interpretation of it.

In John 7:24, Jesus charges the religious leaders to stop and judge what they are thinking. He tells them to open their hearts to discernment and what the law of Moses really says. If they have seen the signs and heard His divine words, they must be people of knowledge, love, and obedience and discern that Jesus is the divine Son He claims to be.

Application Points

  • Have you been involved in religion but never accepted Jesus' claims? Religion always adds to or takes away from Jesus, who He is, and the sufficiency of what He has done. Unless you own Jesus exclusively for the forgiveness of your sins and place your faith in Him fully as the Son of God, you cannot have eternal life. Will you do that today?

Tools for Further Study

Cross References to Explore
  • Luke 2:41-50 – Young Jesus in the Temple.