The Berean Expositor
Volume 54 - Page 70 of 210
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"At this they tried to seize Him, but no-one laid a hand on Him because His time had
not yet come. Still, many in the crowd put their faith in Him. They said, `When the
Christ comes, will He do more miraculous signs than this man?'." (7: 30, 31).
This attempt to arrest Him came to nothing, because God, Who is sovereign, knew
that the hour for His arrest, followed by the suffering and the cross, had not yet come.
But the people debated whether, when Messiah arrived, He would perform greater
miraculous signs than Christ was continually performing. The Galileans in the crowd
would remember the feeding of the 5,000 six months ago, just as the natives of Jerusalem
would recall the healing of the cripple at the Bethesda pool.
"The Pharisees heard the crowd whispering such things about Him. Then the chief
priests and the Pharisees sent Temple guards to arrest Him" (7: 32).
The Pharisees and Sadducees represent the Sanhedrin, the ruling court. The Temple
guards were the Temple police who were responsible for the maintenance of law and
order within the precincts of the Temple. They were a picked body of Levites and their
commanding captain wielded high authority, next only to the high priests.
"Jesus said, `I am with you for only a short time, and then I go to the One Who sent
Me. You will look for Me, but you will not find Me; and where I am, you cannot come"
(7: 33, 34).
Those who were listening could not understand Him. Did He mean that He would
leave Palestine and go to the dispersion abroad where there were Jewish colonies?
(vii.35,36). Here, Professor F. F. Bruce aptly says, "little did the speakers know that,
while Jesus was not to go in person among the Greeks, His followers would be numbered
in tens of thousands in the Greek lands in a few years time".
"On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, `If
anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as the
Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him'. 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" (7: 37-39).
The "short time" (33) related to the six months on to the last Passover, and then the
offering of Himself on the cross. Christ had already told the woman of Samaria of this
"living water" (4: 14), and this in reality was the gift of the Spirit, which could not be
imparted in its fullness until the Lord Jesus was glorified. This tremendous gift is
expanded in the sixteenth chapter (16: 7).  His death and resurrection was His
glorification (12: 23).
"On hearing His words, some of the people said, `Surely this man is the Prophet'.
Others said, `He is the Christ'. Still others asked, `How can the Christ come from
Galilee? Does not the Scripture say that the Christ will come from David's family and
from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?'. Thus the people were divided because of
Jesus. Some wanted to seize Him, but no-one laid a hand on Him" (7: 40-44).
The various ideas among the people are brought out in these verses. There was clearly
a split in their conception of the Prophet and the true Messiah. Some said He came from