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John 7 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Jesus' Brothers Don’t Have Faith in Him

Jesus decided to leave Judea and to start going through Galilee because the Jewish leaders of the people wanted to kill him. It was almost time for the Festival of Shelters, and Jesus' brothers said to him, “Why don’t you go to Judea? Then your disciples can see what you are doing. No one does anything in secret, if they want others to know about them. So let the world know what you are doing!” Even Jesus' own brothers had not yet become his followers.

Jesus answered, “My time hasn’t yet come,[a] but your time is always here. The people of this world cannot hate you. They hate me, because I tell them that they do evil things. Go on to the festival. My time hasn’t yet come, and I am not going.” Jesus said this and stayed on in Galilee.

Jesus at the Festival of Shelters

10 After Jesus' brothers had gone to the festival, he went secretly, without telling anyone.

11 During the festival the Jewish leaders looked for Jesus and asked, “Where is he?” 12 The crowds even got into an argument about him. Some were saying, “Jesus is a good man,” while others were saying, “He is lying to everyone.” 13 But the people were afraid of their leaders, and none of them talked in public about him.

14 When the festival was about half over, Jesus went into the temple and started teaching. 15 The leaders were surprised and said, “How does this man know so much? He has never been taught!”

16 Jesus replied:

I am not teaching something that I thought up. What I teach comes from the one who sent me. 17 If you really want to obey God, you will know if what I teach comes from God or from me. 18 If I wanted to bring honor to myself, I would speak for myself. But I want to honor the one who sent me. That is why I tell the truth and not a lie. 19 Didn’t Moses give you the Law? Yet none of you obey it! So why do you want to kill me?

20 The crowd replied, “You’re crazy! What makes you think someone wants to kill you?”

21 Jesus answered:

I worked one miracle,[b] and it amazed you. 22 Moses commanded you to circumcise your sons. But it wasn’t really Moses who gave you this command. It was your ancestors, and even on the Sabbath you circumcise your sons 23 in order to obey the Law of Moses. Why are you angry with me for making someone completely well on the Sabbath? 24 Don’t judge by appearances. Judge by what is right.

25 Some of the people from Jerusalem were saying, “Isn’t this the man they want to kill? 26 Yet here he is, speaking for everyone to hear. And no one is arguing with him. Do you suppose the authorities know that he is the Messiah? 27 But how could that be? No one knows where the Messiah will come from, but we know where this man comes from.”

28 As Jesus was teaching in the temple, he shouted, “Do you really think you know me and where I came from? I didn’t come on my own! The one who sent me is truthful, and you don’t know him. 29 But I know the one who sent me, because I came from him.”

30 Some of the people wanted to arrest Jesus right then. But no one even laid a hand on him, because his time had not yet come.[c] 31 A lot of people in the crowd put their faith in him and said, “When the Messiah comes, he surely won’t perform more miracles[d] than this man has done!”

Officers Sent To Arrest Jesus

32 When the Pharisees heard the crowd arguing about Jesus, they got together with the chief priests and sent some temple police to arrest him. 33 But Jesus told them, “I will be with you a little while longer, and then I will return to the one who sent me. 34 You will look for me, but you won’t find me. You cannot go where I am going.”

35 The Jewish leaders asked each other, “Where can he go to keep us from finding him? Is he going to some foreign country where our people live? Is he going there to teach the Greeks?[e] 36 What did he mean by saying that we will look for him, but won’t find him? Why can’t we go where he is going?”

Streams of Life-Giving Water

37 On the last and most important day of the festival, Jesus stood up and shouted, “If you are thirsty, come to me and drink! 38 Have faith in me, and you will have life-giving water flowing from deep inside you, just as the Scriptures say.” 39 Jesus was talking about the Holy Spirit, who would be given to everyone that had faith in him. The Spirit had not yet been given to anyone, since Jesus had not yet been given his full glory.[f]

The People Take Sides

40 When the crowd heard Jesus say this, some of them said, “He must be the Prophet!”[g] 41 Others said, “He is the Messiah!” Others even said, “Can the Messiah come from Galilee? 42 The Scriptures say that the Messiah will come from the family of King David. Doesn’t this mean that he will be born in David’s hometown of Bethlehem?” 43 The people started taking sides against each other because of Jesus. 44 Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid a hand on him.

The Leaders Refuse To Have Faith in Jesus

45 When the temple police returned to the chief priests and Pharisees, they were asked, “Why didn’t you bring Jesus here?”

46 They answered, “No one has ever spoken like that man!”

47 The Pharisees said to them, “Have you also been fooled? 48 Not one of the chief priests or the Pharisees has faith in him. 49 And these people who don’t know the Law are under God’s curse anyway.”

50 Nicodemus was there at the time. He was a member of the council, and was the same one who had earlier come to see Jesus.[h] He said, 51 “Our Law doesn’t let us condemn people before we hear what they have to say. We cannot judge them before we know what they have done.”

52 Then they said, “Nicodemus, you must be from Galilee! Read the Scriptures, and you will find that no prophet is to come from Galilee.”

A Woman Caught in Sin

53 Everyone else went home,

Footnotes:

  1. 7.6 My time hasn’t yet come: See the note at 2.4.
  2. 7.21 one miracle: The healing of the lame man (5.1-18; see also the note at 2.11).
  3. 7.30 his time had not yet come: See the note at 2.4.
  4. 7.31 miracles: See the note at 2.11.
  5. 7.35 Greeks: Perhaps Gentiles or Jews who followed Greek customs.
  6. 7.39 had not yet been given his full glory: In the Gospel of John, Jesus is given his full glory both when he is nailed to the cross and when he is raised from death to sit beside his Father in heaven.
  7. 7.40 the Prophet: See the note at 1.21.
  8. 7.50 who had earlier come to see Jesus: See 3.1-21.

John 7 New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Goes to the Festival of Tabernacles

After this, Jesus went around in Galilee. He did not want[a] to go about in Judea because the Jewish leaders there were looking for a way to kill him. But when the Jewish Festival of Tabernacles was near, Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Leave Galilee and go to Judea, so that your disciples there may see the works you do. No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.” For even his own brothers did not believe in him.

Therefore Jesus told them, “My time is not yet here; for you any time will do. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil. You go to the festival. I am not[b] going up to this festival, because my time has not yet fully come.” After he had said this, he stayed in Galilee.

10 However, after his brothers had left for the festival, he went also, not publicly, but in secret. 11 Now at the festival the Jewish leaders were watching for Jesus and asking, “Where is he?”

12 Among the crowds there was widespread whispering about him. Some said, “He is a good man.”

Others replied, “No, he deceives the people.” 13 But no one would say anything publicly about him for fear of the leaders.

Jesus Teaches at the Festival

14 Not until halfway through the festival did Jesus go up to the temple courts and begin to teach. 15 The Jews there were amazed and asked, “How did this man get such learning without having been taught?”

16 Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me. 17 Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. 18 Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him. 19 Has not Moses given you the law? Yet not one of you keeps the law. Why are you trying to kill me?”

20 “You are demon-possessed,” the crowd answered. “Who is trying to kill you?”

21 Jesus said to them, “I did one miracle, and you are all amazed. 22 Yet, because Moses gave you circumcision (though actually it did not come from Moses, but from the patriarchs), you circumcise a boy on the Sabbath. 23 Now if a boy can be circumcised on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses may not be broken, why are you angry with me for healing a man’s whole body on the Sabbath? 24 Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.”

Division Over Who Jesus Is

25 At that point some of the people of Jerusalem began to ask, “Isn’t this the man they are trying to kill? 26 Here he is, speaking publicly, and they are not saying a word to him. Have the authorities really concluded that he is the Messiah? 27 But we know where this man is from; when the Messiah comes, no one will know where he is from.”

28 Then Jesus, still teaching in the temple courts, cried out, “Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from. I am not here on my own authority, but he who sent me is true. You do not know him, 29 but I know him because I am from him and he sent me.”

30 At this they tried to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come. 31 Still, many in the crowd believed in him. They said, “When the Messiah comes, will he perform more signs than this man?”

32 The Pharisees heard the crowd whispering such things about him. Then the chief priests and the Pharisees sent temple guards to arrest him.

33 Jesus said, “I am with you for only a short time, and then I am going to the one who sent me. 34 You will look for me, but you will not find me; and where I am, you cannot come.”

35 The Jews said to one another, “Where does this man intend to go that we cannot find him? Will he go where our people live scattered among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks? 36 What did he mean when he said, ‘You will look for me, but you will not find me,’ and ‘Where I am, you cannot come’?”

37 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”[c] 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

40 On hearing his words, some of the people said, “Surely this man is the Prophet.”

41 Others said, “He is the Messiah.”

Still others asked, “How can the Messiah come from Galilee? 42 Does not Scripture say that the Messiah will come from David’s descendants and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?” 43 Thus the people were divided because of Jesus. 44 Some wanted to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him.

Unbelief of the Jewish Leaders

45 Finally the temple guards went back to the chief priests and the Pharisees, who asked them, “Why didn’t you bring him in?”

46 “No one ever spoke the way this man does,” the guards replied.

47 “You mean he has deceived you also?” the Pharisees retorted. 48 “Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in him? 49 No! But this mob that knows nothing of the law—there is a curse on them.”

50 Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus earlier and who was one of their own number, asked, 51 “Does our law condemn a man without first hearing him to find out what he has been doing?”

52 They replied, “Are you from Galilee, too? Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee.”


[The earliest manuscripts and many other ancient witnesses do not have John 7:53—8:11. A few manuscripts include these verses, wholly or in part, after John 7:36, John 21:25, Luke 21:38 or Luke 24:53.]

53 Then they all went home,

Footnotes:

  1. John 7:1 Some manuscripts not have authority
  2. John 7:8 Some manuscripts not yet
  3. John 7:38 Or me. And let anyone drink 38 who believes in me.” As Scripture has said, “Out of him (or them) will flow rivers of living water.”
New International Version (NIV)

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