We have been looking at Jesus at the Feast of Tabernacles, and in this section, we will pick up the story at verse 25, where John shifts the narrative to focus on the “the people of Jerusalem” which are those in attendance who are “hometown” attendees. It would seem that at least some of them are aware of the plot afoot to kill Jesus.
Where the Messiah would come from is the subject of much discussion and speculation in this passage, and it is a very important question relating to the validation of Jesus in the eyes of many people. Can a Messiah come from Galilee? Would a Messiah come from anywhere in particular- or must he come from Bethlehem? After Jesus’ statement in 28-29, they want to seize Him, but are unable because His time had not yet come to die; the murmuring continues until the Chief Priest orders the temple guards to arrest Him. The question for us to ask is why? They were arguing among themselves about where the Messiah would come from; he should come from a place they don’t know about, but this guy came from Galilee; Jesus set them straight about where He really came from, and they want Him dead…?
Does that make sense?
The scene closes with Jesus’ remarks about where He will ultimately go; a place they will never be able to follow. Again, the speculation rages among the Jews; again, they simply can’t seem to comprehend that He is talking about Heaven which is His ultimate destination. Again, they are frustrated.
Jesus begins His discourse of the last day by telling the people about “living water” which John points out to us is a reference to the pouring out of the Holy Spirit beginning at Pentecost. This, however, is not the direction that the remaining text will take…
After Jesus spoke of living water, the text returns to the confusion amongst His hearers. They can’t seem to figure out what He is telling them; rather they are more concerned about ancillary issues.
In verses 45-52, we come face-to-face with the overwhelming desire on the part of the priests and Pharisees to disbelieve Jesus. It would appear that their only interest is in silencing Him…
Apparently, the great controversy of this passage is just who Jesus is, and that controversy is increased by the question of His origin. Jesus answered the question, giving them a place of origin that would also answer the whole Messiah question, yet it seems as though nobody was listening, for in truth, no one was. Certainly, the Jewish officials in the story should have been able to understand this riddle, for of all people, they were the experts in such things. Yet one thing is clear above all else, the Pharisees and priests didn’t want Jesus to be the Messiah, so they simply closed their minds.
I wonder if any of you can think of a parallel today.