Jesus Teaches at the Feast
7 After this, Jesus walked [from place to place] in Galilee, for He would not walk in Judea because the Jews were seeking to kill Him. 2 Now the Jewish [a]Feast of Tabernacles (Booths) was approaching. 3 So His [b]brothers said to Him, “Leave here and go to Judea, so that Your disciples [there] may also see the works that You do. 4 No one does anything in secret when he wants to be known publicly. If You [must] do these things, show Yourself openly to the world and make Yourself known!” 5 For not even His brothers believed in Him. 6 So Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come; but any time is right for you. 7 The world cannot hate you [since you are part of it], but it does hate Me because I denounce it and testify that its deeds are evil. 8 Go up to the feast yourselves. I am not going up to this feast because My time has not yet fully come.” 9 Having said these things to them, He stayed behind in Galilee.
10 But [afterward], when His brothers had gone up to the feast, He went up too, not publicly [with a caravan], but quietly [because He did not want to be noticed]. 11 So the Jews kept looking for Him at the feast and asking, “Where is He?” 12 There was a lot of whispered discussion and murmuring among the crowds about Him. Some were saying, “He is a good man”; others said, “No, on the contrary, He misleads the people [giving them false ideas].” 13 Yet no one was speaking out openly and freely about Him for fear of [the leaders of] the Jews.
14 When the feast was already half over, Jesus went up into the temple [court] and began to teach. 15 Then the Jews were perplexed. They said, “How [c]did this man become learned [so versed in the Scriptures and theology] [d]without formal training?” 16 Jesus answered them by saying, “My teaching is not My own, but His who sent Me. 17 If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know whether the teaching is of God or whether I speak on My own accord and by My own authority. 18 He who speaks on his own accord seeks glory and honor for himself. But He who seeks the glory and the honor of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness or deception in Him.
19 “Did not Moses give you the Law? And yet not one of you keeps the Law. Why do you want to kill Me [for not keeping it]?” 20 The crowd answered, “You have a demon [You are out of Your mind]! Who wants to kill You?” 21 Jesus replied, “I did one [e]work, and you are all astounded.(A) 22 For this reason Moses has given you [God’s law regarding] circumcision (not that it originated with Moses, but with the patriarchs) and you circumcise a man [even] on the Sabbath. 23 If, to avoid breaking the Law of Moses, a man undergoes [f]circumcision on the Sabbath, why are you angry with Me for making a man’s whole body well on the Sabbath? 24 Do not judge by appearance [superficially and arrogantly], but judge fairly and righteously.”
25 Then some of the people of Jerusalem said, “Is this not the Man they want to kill? 26 Look, He is speaking publicly, and they say nothing to Him! Is it possible that the rulers really know that this is the Christ? 27 But we know where this Man is from; whenever the Christ comes, no one will know where He is from.” 28 Then Jesus called out as He taught in the temple, “You know Me and know where I am from; and I have not come on my own initiative [as self-appointed], but He who sent Me is true, and Him you do not know. 29 I know Him Myself because I am from Him [I came from His very presence] and it was He [personally] who sent Me.” 30 So they were eager to arrest Him; but no one laid a hand on Him, because His time had not yet come. 31 But many from the crowd believed in Him. And they kept saying, “When the Christ comes, will He do more signs and exhibit more proofs than this Man?”
32 The Pharisees heard the crowd muttering these things [under their breath] about Him, and the chief priests and Pharisees sent [g]guards to arrest Him. 33 Therefore Jesus said, “For a little while longer I am [still] with you, and then I go to Him who sent Me. 34 You will look for Me, and will not [be able to] find Me; and where I am, you cannot come.” 35 Then the Jews said among themselves, “Where does this Man intend to go that we will not find Him? Does He intend to go to the Dispersion [of Jews scattered and living] among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks? 36 What does this statement of His mean, ‘You will look for Me, and will not [be able to] find Me; and where I am, you cannot come’?”
37 Now on the last and most important day of the feast, Jesus stood and called out [in a loud voice], “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink! 38 He who believes in Me [who adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Me], as the Scripture has said, ‘From his innermost being will flow continually rivers of living water.’”(B) 39 But He was speaking of the [Holy] Spirit, whom those who believed in Him [as Savior] were to receive afterward. The Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified (raised to honor).
Division of People over Jesus
40 Listening to these words, some of the people said, “This is certainly the Prophet!”(C) 41 Others said, “This is the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed)!” But others said, “Surely the Christ is not going to come out of Galilee, is He? 42 Does the Scripture not say that the Christ comes from the descendants of David, and from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?”(D) 43 So the crowd was divided because of Him. 44 Some of them wanted to arrest Him, but no one laid hands on Him.
45 Then the guards went [back] to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, “Why did you not bring Him [here with you]?” 46 The guards replied, “Never [at any time] has a man talked the way this Man talks!” 47 Then the Pharisees said to them, “Have you also been deluded and swept off your feet? 48 Has any of the rulers or Pharisees believed in Him? 49 But this [ignorant, contemptible] crowd that does not know the Law is accursed and doomed!” 50 Nicodemus (the one who came to Jesus before and was one of them) asked, 51 “Does our Law convict someone without first giving him a hearing and finding out what he is [accused of] doing?” 52 They responded, “Are you also from Galilee? Search [and read the Scriptures], and see [for yourself] that no prophet comes from Galilee!” 53 [h][And everyone went to his own house.
- John 7:2 This important seven-day feast held in October celebrated the harvest (ingathering). Devout Jews spent the week living outside in booths or tents made of tree branches. It was the most popular of the three great Jewish festivals (Passover, Pentecost, Tabernacles).
- John 7:3 The younger sons of Mary and Joseph included James and Jude, who penned the NT letters bearing their names, and Joses and Simon. See Mark 6:3.
- John 7:15 Lit does this man know letters.
- John 7:15 Lit not having learned.
- John 7:21 The healing of the paralytic at Bethesda occurred during Jesus’ last visit to Jerusalem.
- John 7:23 According to the Law of Moses, a baby boy had to be circumcised on the eighth day, even if it was a Sabbath. It was, therefore, outrageous for the Jews to accuse Jesus of violating the Sabbath by performing a miraculous act of healing.
- John 7:32 The temple guards were a group of Levites who were responsible for keeping order in and around the temple.
- John 7:53 Most late mss include the story of the adulterous woman, numbering it as 7:53-8:11, though some mss place it elsewhere in the text. The story is considered authentic as part of the oral tradition of the early church, and perhaps for that reason it was inserted in John’s Gospel.
New International Version
Jesus Goes to the Festival of Tabernacles
7 After this, Jesus went around in Galilee. He did not want[a] to go about in Judea because the Jewish leaders(A) there were looking for a way to kill him.(B) 2 But when the Jewish Festival of Tabernacles(C) was near, 3 Jesus’ brothers(D) said to him, “Leave Galilee and go to Judea, so that your disciples there may see the works you do. 4 No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.” 5 For even his own brothers did not believe in him.(E)
6 Therefore Jesus told them, “My time(F) is not yet here; for you any time will do. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates me(G) because I testify that its works are evil.(H) 8 You go to the festival. I am not[b] going up to this festival, because my time(I) has not yet fully come.” 9 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(J) and asking, “Where is he?”
12 Among the crowds there was widespread whispering about him. Some said, “He is a good man.”
Jesus Teaches at the Festival
14 Not until halfway through the festival did Jesus go up to the temple courts and begin to teach.(M) 15 The Jews(N) there were amazed and asked, “How did this man get such learning(O) without having been taught?”(P)
16 Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me.(Q) 17 Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out(R) 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,(S) 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?(T) Yet not one of you keeps the law. Why are you trying to kill me?”(U)
20 “You are demon-possessed,”(V) the crowd answered. “Who is trying to kill you?”
21 Jesus said to them, “I did one miracle,(W) and you are all amazed. 22 Yet, because Moses gave you circumcision(X) (though actually it did not come from Moses, but from the patriarchs),(Y) 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.”(Z)
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?(AA) 26 Here he is, speaking publicly, and they are not saying a word to him. Have the authorities(AB) really concluded that he is the Messiah?(AC) 27 But we know where this man is from;(AD) when the Messiah comes, no one will know where he is from.”
28 Then Jesus, still teaching in the temple courts,(AE) cried out, “Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from.(AF) I am not here on my own authority, but he who sent me is true.(AG) You do not know him, 29 but I know him(AH) because I am from him and he sent me.”(AI)
30 At this they tried to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him,(AJ) because his hour had not yet come.(AK) 31 Still, many in the crowd believed in him.(AL) They said, “When the Messiah comes, will he perform more signs(AM) 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.
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(AQ) among the Greeks,(AR) 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’?”(AS)
37 On the last and greatest day of the festival,(AT) Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.(AU) 38 Whoever believes(AV) in me, as Scripture has said,(AW) rivers of living water(AX) will flow from within them.”[c](AY) 39 By this he meant the Spirit,(AZ) whom those who believed in him were later to receive.(BA) Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.(BB)
40 On hearing his words, some of the people said, “Surely this man is the Prophet.”(BC)
41 Others said, “He is the Messiah.”
Still others asked, “How can the Messiah come from Galilee?(BD) 42 Does not Scripture say that the Messiah will come from David’s descendants(BE) and from Bethlehem,(BF) the town where David lived?” 43 Thus the people were divided(BG) because of Jesus. 44 Some wanted to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him.(BH)
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,”(BI) the guards replied.
47 “You mean he has deceived you also?”(BJ) the Pharisees retorted. 48 “Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in him?(BK) 49 No! But this mob that knows nothing of the law—there is a curse on them.”
50 Nicodemus,(BL) 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.”(BM)
[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,