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The Gospel According to the Apostle John - Part 5

Updated on April 21, 2014

A Divine Schedule

As we come to chapter 7 in our study, we see that John starts off with a phrase he uses often, “After these things”. John uses that term in chapter 3:22, 6:1, 7:1, 11:11, and 21:1. He is laying out a chronology. Chapter 6 finds Christ in Galilee, but before that He was in Jerusalem where there arose a controversy concerning Him at the pool of Bethseda. It would seem that these events took place about a year before the cross during the month of April. Chapter 7 puts Him about six months before the cross in October.

During the last year of His ministry Jesus spent most of the time in Galilee. He no longer walked in Jewry, or Judea because of a plot to kill Him. Jesus was following a divine schedule given to Him by His Father. Now, get your Bible, and let us go verse by verse.

v. 1—a storm is brewing. It will reach its zenith at the cross 6 months later.

v. 2—The Feast of Tabernacles, one of the three feasts that every male Jew was obligated to attend at Jerusalem, was kept by Jesus.. Jesus kept the law. The other two feasts were the Passover, and the Feast of Pentecost. See Leviticus 23 for the record of the Feast of Tabernacles. The Feast was a great celebration commemorating the Jewish deliverance from Egypt. They literally camped out in “tents” or “booths” or “tabernacles”.

Jewish Feasts

This pictured the Jews living in tents as they traveled the road to freedom. Water from the Pool at Siloam would be poured out in the temple. This was a reminder of how Moses called out water from the rock. During the feast, they illuminated the inner court with a parade of torches. This commemorated the pillar of fire that led Israel by night.

All of the Jewish feasts represented a picture of their Savior These Old Testament Feasts would be completed in the New Testament, or a time yet future: 1. The Jewish Feast of Unleavened Bread represented the Cross; 2. The Feast of First Fruits was a picture of the Resurrection; 3. The Feast of Pentecost represented the beginning of the church on the Day of Pentecost; 4. The Feast of Trumpets foretold the rapture; 5.The Day of Atonement looked forward to the Tribulation; 6. The Feast of Tabernacles pictures Christ’s reign on earth for 1,000 years; 7, Of course, Passover was a picture of the death angel passing over the children of Israel as they prepared to flee from Egypt, just as the death angel passes over us when we are covered by the blood of Christ.

v.3-5—In these verses we see that Jesus’ own family did not believe in Him. The names of the brothers are given in Matthew 13:55.“Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?” His half-brother James is the author of the Epistle of James. His half-brother Judas probably wrote the book of Jude. In the beginning of Christ’s ministry, they did not believe, however.

v. 11-13—The “Religious leaders are looking for Him. They know He must come because the law required it. Christ came secretly with His disciples, possibly entering in through the sheep gate.

Prophecy Fulfilled

v. 14—Jesus suddenly appears in the temple fulfilling the prophecy of Malachi 3:1, “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.”

Skipping ahead -

v. 37-39—Jesus predicts the coming of the Holy Spirit.

v. 45—Where is the prisoner?

v. 46—They are confounded by the Word of God.

The Adulterous Woman

Now to Chapter 8. The Pharisees bring a woman taken in adultery, in the very act (verse 4). The Scribes and Pharisees are constantly trying to find fault with Jesus, and this is just one more effort on their part. Verse five tells us that they came tempting Him. It is obvious, however that they did not understand the Scripture. That seems to be the way it is today for many people. They think they have spiritual knowledge, but when they open their mouth to speak, it is evident that they do not. They did not consider Deuteronomy 22:22 which says, “If a man be found lying with a woman married to a husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel.” Only the woman was brought. Where was the man?

Let us get two working definitions. First, adultery is committed when a married person has a sexual union with another person. Fornication is the sexual act of an unmarried person with someone other than his wife, or vice versa, with someone other than her husband. This was an act of adultery according to verse 4. Moses commanded that both should be stoned.

The Roman Government which was in power at this time required the two parties to answer by trial. The Pharisees and Scribes, in their self-righteous wisdom thought they had Jesus cornered. Surely, Jesus as a good Jew would follow the Mosaic law (verve 5), and if He did, He would be breaking Roman law. Either way He would have to answer to somebody. “This they said, tempting him…” (verse 6).

Scribbling in the Sand

Also in verse 6, we see Jesus ignoring the Pharisaical leaders. Just what was He scribbling as He knelt down and drew in the dirt? We will never know, at least until we get to Heaven. But what we do know is that He “…wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.” Sometimes for all the words we use, we say very little, if anything. Matthew 12 :36 says, “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” The words spoken by these false religious leaders were idle at best. The word idle here means to be unemployed, useless, lazy. These words were “unemployed”. They had no purpose. It was obvious that they misread all that the Savior was about.

The Pharisees would not be ignored. They continued to ask Jesus about His thoughts. He gave them in verse 7, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”

Jesus cut straight to the heart of the matter—but not immediately. You see, He had something to do with the words of James 1:19, “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.” We might learn from the Savior’s example to think before we react. Romans 2:14, 15 says, “For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another.”

It was by their own conscience that one by one they left the woman and the Lord alone. Only the woman waited in the presence of God for forgiveness. Notice in verse 11 that she refers to Jesus as “Lord”. It does not take a Greek scholar to see that the word “Lord” in verse 11 is not the same word that the Pharisees used in verse 4 to refer to the God of Heaven. They called Him “Master”. Truly, Jesus Christ is Lord of all.

Jesus immediately gets back to His teaching lesson from verse 2. He presents Himself as the Light of the World in verse 12. In direct contrast to the darkened deeds of the Pharisees, Jesus presents Himself as the Light. He again claims equality with God the Father in verses 17, 18. Deuteronomy 17:6 requires a true witness to be backed by at least one other person. Jesus, who claims to be the Light of the World, backs Himself up with the witness of the Father who sent Him. Jesus then points out to the crowd that they are not even saved and have no knowledge of the true Father (verse 19). As Jesus continues to speak, many believe, but many do not (verse 30). Of course in verse 32, Jesus points out that if we follow Him and His Word that the Truth shall make us free. Jesus said in John 14:6 that He was the Truth.

Chapter 9 begins with Jesus meeting a man that is blind from birth. This is the only example in Scripture where Jesus heals a man of congenital blindness (verse 1). Remember that in chapter 8 Jesus reveals Himself as the Light of the World. We remember the example given of the tree that falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it. Does it still make a sound? The truth of the matter is that sound waves will go out from the tree, but if there is no recipient of the sound to interpret it, no one hears it.

The same is true with light. Jesus presents Himself as the Light of the World, but if no one sees Him as such, the Light is still undetected. A story was told of some men trapped in a mine from an explosion. After remaining in total darkness for several days they were finally rescued. When the rescuers brought in the light one man said, “Why don’t you turn the light on?” It was at this point that the man and his rescuers knew that he was blind because the light was shining brightly underground.

Just as spiritual light must be given for someone to be saved, there must also be one to receive it. Opening the eyes of the spiritually blind is the work of the Holy Spirit, not yours and mine. We are equally successful each time we give out the Gospel message whether or not someone gets saved. Our job is to let the Light shine.

In verse 2, Christ’s disciples ask Him, “Who did sin…?” There were four possible answers that could have been given then and now as well. The heathen believed in reincarnation, and thus believed that someone born with an infirmity was simply living out their karma in the next life. Of course the Jews completely disagreed with this idea. They may have been thinking of Exodus 20:5 where it says, “…the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;” This would put the burden of punishment on the fathers.

Then the sin of Adam was passed to each individual making all to be partakers of sin, disease, and death. Lastly the Jews believed that a child could sin in the womb prior to birth. It may have been with these thoughts in mind that the disciples raised this question concerning this man’s blindness.

Jesus answers the question in verse 3. It was neither the sins of this man or his parents that caused his blindness, but it was for the glory of God. Compare this with II Corinthians 12:7-10. “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

Three times Paul prayed to be delivered from a physical aliment and God’s reply was, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” God got the glory in Paul’s life, just as He would here. Consider the life of Job. He was not instantly healed. It just simply is not always God’s will to heal. The “faith healers” of today have it all backwards. God never meant for everybody to be perfectly healthy. For that matter God never meant for everyone to be prosperous. Jesus Himself had no place to lay His head. Remember, that you too, were created for God’s glory.

Again, Jesus mentions in verse 5 that He is the Light of the World, and He came to shine (verse 4). In verses 6 and 7 we see two things. First, Jesus had to touch the blind man. He made spittle and applied it to the blind man’s eyes. Then, the blind man had to obey and go wash himself in the pool of Siloam. We see that as he obeyed he came forth seeing (verse 7).

The blind man gives his testimony in verse 10-16. This of course enrages the Pharisees because (among other reasons) in verse 14, we are told that it was the Sabbath day. The Pharisees see Jesus as breaking the law and this infuriates them even more.

In verse 17, the blind man gives his appraisal of the One who healed him. “…He is a prophet.” Although he has been physically healed, he has yet to be spiritually healed. The Light is shining, but he is not seeing.

Not only does he give testimony to his healing, but so do his parents in verse 18-23. To admit to a miracle would have had the parents excommunicated from the temple, but the miracle was very plain to see. It could not be denied even though the Pharisees hated it. The parents throw the burden back on their son.

The healed man is brought back into court in verses 24 and 25. The Pharisees desperately try to explain away the miracle. They accuse Jesus of being a sinner because He healed on the Sabbath. The blind man answers he does not know about the healer’s personal life. All he knows is that now he can see.

Again, in verse 26, the Pharisees ask, “How were your eyes opened?” They insist on finding a flaw in the man’s testimony to discredit Jesus. They can not.

Notice in verse 28 that the man is reviled. Have you ever noticed that when people do not have an answer for spiritual things they will resort to ridicule and mockery? The Word of God puts to silence ignorant men.

The Light of the World shines brightly in verses 33-37 as the blind man and Jesus meet again. After the blind man was cast out Jesus introduces the blind man to Himself and the Savior.


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    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Thanks Jackie,

      I'll take a look.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Watched this and thought of you. In case you haven't seen it; so interesting. They go into much detail about this fictional book based on fact. It makes you say Wow, believe me. You can just delete but plz take a look if you haven't already. Takes about 5 minutes to get into it. America taking exact same steps as Israel....

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Hi Faith,

      I'm still not getting my notifications for you so I may not always be on time, but I eventually find what I've missed. Thanks for stopping by here as well.

      I've always found the Jewish feasts interesting as they foretell things about my Saviour. I'm sure you would have a lot to share from your Bible study. Another study I think is really interesting is that of the Tabernacle furniture. It all points to New Testament facts. The Bible truly is an amazing Book.

      Keep shining your light and keep plodding through those trials. The end is in sight!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      4 years ago from southern USA

      Hi Bill,

      So glad you came for a visit, as it prompted me to realize I have not seen something from you in a bit, then it made me think, well, I better check! And here it is. I have been remiss since the Easter weekend it seems and missing quite a bit here on HP. Plus Spring is here and I am enjoying being out in this lovely weather, planting and such when I am able ... on the no rain days : ) So, I want to take advantage of this day of being off from work to try to make up for lost time!

      I find studying the Jewish feasts so fascinating as to just what they meant as relates to our Lord. At our former church in the city, before we moved here, we had an awesome study on the Jewish feasts, and I remember being so amazed at what I learned from the Old Testament and how it all connected to the New and Jesus! It was a good long time ago, so I needed a bit of a refresher. I remember after that study, we started using unleavened bread in communion, just because ...

      Yes, let our light so shine before men! So true, and thankfully, it is not our job about trying to "save" someone, as we surly cannot do such!

      We should not be surprised when we face many trials of many kinds, as He tells us such in His Word, and have such infirmities in our bodies, and that we are to count it all as pure joy! Which is a lot for many to understand. However, He is doing a mighty work in us indeed. In James 1:2-4, that reason is explained and answered fully: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

      Knowing such is the truth as to why we must endure such trials, then we are able to count it as pure joy.

      We do not know for sure, but as Tamarjo referenced Jer. 17:13, it is interesting to ponder that He may have been writing in the ground (sand is always stated for some reason, but I believe it is ... ground, which is just a matter of semantics I guess?), as it is recorded that he wrote it twice and that John 7-8 may be the fulfillment of this prophecy and Jesus was writing their names (those men who were present) so that they would know they were just as guilty.

      You have written a lot here to cover in one hub, so I know I have not commented on all you have written. Will be sure to save this one to return to study on more.

      He is The Light and He is The Gate!

      Up and more and away.

      God bless you.

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Hi Tammy,

      I liked how you connected Jeremiah 17 to Christ's writing in the dust - never thought about that! I don't suppose we'll know what was written until we get to Heaven, and then it won't really matter. Have a great Sunday! And as always, thanks for stopping by!

    • Tamarajo profile image


      4 years ago

      I loved how you connected the Old Testament feasts with the New Testament and future fulfillment. All the background information you provided on what Jesus was doing at the time and why in reference to the seasons and celebrations is so relevant to understanding what is going on as in your reference to Tabernacles and Jesus the light of the world and living water in their very presence just as He had been with the children of Israel in their wilderness wandering as a pillar of fire and water from a rock.

      I also appreciated your observation of the woman caught in adultery being the only one who... "Only the woman waited in the presence of God for forgiveness."

      I have often wondered if it was their names Jesus wrote in the dust in reference to this verse in the sense that it alludes to a spiritual kind of adultery that they were all guilty of and knew it...

      “Those who depart from Me

      Shall be written in the earth,

      Because they have forsaken the Lord,

      The fountain of living waters.” ~ Jeremiah 17:13

      Blessed by the study!

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Hi Ms Dora,

      I just noticed that somehow my comment to you from the other day never made it on to the page. I'm not sure what went wrong, but wanted you to know, you weren't slighted. I appreciate your visits so much, and look forward to hearing from you. Have a great weekend!

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Thank you for stopping by abbaelijah. and for commenting. You're always welcome.

    • abbaelijah profile image

      Abba Elijah aka elijagod 

      4 years ago from Abuja - Nigeria

      These helpful and interesting lessons you have pointed out from the book of John chapter 5.

      Thanks for sharing

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Hi Word,

      Thank you for stopping and for your kind words. It's always good to see you.

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Good Morning Jackie,

      You know, Jesus called us to a life of suffering. the wealth and health preachers don't get it. it be nice if there was no sickness, but as you say, "I see that is not so." It certainly would be wonderful to walk and talk face to face with God - someday soon! Thanks for stopping by and thanks for adding to the conversation.

    • word55 profile image

      Al Wordlaw 

      4 years ago from Chicago

      Hi lifegate, these are some very valuable lessons that you are highlighting from the Bible. They are very much appreciated.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      A lot of food for thought. I have thought much lately about so many not being healed but living with ailments or thorns in the side (flesh) as it was with Moses. It must be an important thing apparently or put on us by satan to test our faith and endurance? I imagine if I could actually walk and talk with God surely nothing could hurt or hinder me but I see that is not so. I enjoyed this and will read again soon. ^+

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Bill, I appreciate the details on the Jewish feasts, your account of Jesus standing up for the sinner woman (that's why women love Him so), the possible answers to the question about whether the blind man or his parents sinned. Again you highlighted the awesome character of Christ. I like your Bible teaching. Thank you.


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