Jesus and His Brothers
1After this, Jesus traveled around Galilee. He wanted to stay out of Judea, where the Jewish leaders were plotting his death. 2But soon it was time for the Jewish Festival of Shelters, 3and Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, where your followers can see your miracles! 4You can’t become famous if you hide like this! If you can do such wonderful things, show yourself to the world!” 5For even his brothers didn’t believe in him.
6Jesus replied, “Now is not the right time for me to go, but you can go anytime. 7The world can’t hate you, but it does hate me because I accuse it of doing evil. 8You go on. I’m not going*7:8 Some manuscripts read not yet going. to this festival, because my time has not yet come.” 9After saying these things, Jesus remained in Galilee.
Jesus Teaches Openly at the Temple
10But after his brothers left for the festival, Jesus also went, though secretly, staying out of public view. 11The Jewish leaders tried to find him at the festival and kept asking if anyone had seen him. 12There was a lot of grumbling about him among the crowds. Some argued, “He’s a good man,” but others said, “He’s nothing but a fraud who deceives the people.” 13But no one had the courage to speak favorably about him in public, for they were afraid of getting in trouble with the Jewish leaders.
14Then, midway through the festival, Jesus went up to the Temple and began to teach. 15The people*7:15 Greek Jewish people. were surprised when they heard him. “How does he know so much when he hasn’t been trained?” they asked.
16So Jesus told them, “My message is not my own; it comes from God who sent me. 17Anyone who wants to do the will of God will know whether my teaching is from God or is merely my own. 18Those who speak for themselves want glory only for themselves, but a person who seeks to honor the one who sent him speaks truth, not lies. 19Moses gave you the law, but none of you obeys it! In fact, you are trying to kill me.”
20The crowd replied, “You’re demon possessed! Who’s trying to kill you?”
21Jesus replied, “I did one miracle on the Sabbath, and you were amazed. 22But you work on the Sabbath, too, when you obey Moses’ law of circumcision. (Actually, this tradition of circumcision began with the patriarchs, long before the law of Moses.) 23For if the correct time for circumcising your son falls on the Sabbath, you go ahead and do it so as not to break the law of Moses. So why should you be angry with me for healing a man on the Sabbath? 24Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly.”
Is Jesus the Messiah?
25Some of the people who lived in Jerusalem started to ask each other, “Isn’t this the man they are trying to kill? 26But here he is, speaking in public, and they say nothing to him. Could our leaders possibly believe that he is the Messiah? 27But how could he be? For we know where this man comes from. When the Messiah comes, he will simply appear; no one will know where he comes from.”
28While Jesus was teaching in the Temple, he called out, “Yes, you know me, and you know where I come from. But I’m not here on my own. The one who sent me is true, and you don’t know him. 29But I know him because I come from him, and he sent me to you.” 30Then the leaders tried to arrest him; but no one laid a hand on him, because his time*7:30 Greek his hour. had not yet come.
31Many among the crowds at the Temple believed in him. “After all,” they said, “would you expect the Messiah to do more miraculous signs than this man has done?”
32When the Pharisees heard that the crowds were whispering such things, they and the leading priests sent Temple guards to arrest Jesus. 33But Jesus told them, “I will be with you only a little longer. Then I will return to the one who sent me. 34You will search for me but not find me. And you cannot go where I am going.”
35The Jewish leaders were puzzled by this statement. “Where is he planning to go?” they asked. “Is he thinking of leaving the country and going to the Jews in other lands?*7:35 Or the Jews who live among the Greeks? Maybe he will even teach the Greeks! 36What does he mean when he says, ‘You will search for me but not find me,’ and ‘You cannot go where I am going’?”
Jesus Promises Living Water
37On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! 38Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’”*7:37-38 Or “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from the heart of anyone who believes in me.’” 39(When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given,*7:39 Several early manuscripts read But as yet there was no Spirit. Still others read But as yet there was no Holy Spirit. because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.)
Division and Unbelief
40When the crowds heard him say this, some of them declared, “Surely this man is the Prophet we’ve been expecting.”*7:40 See Deut 18:15, 18; Mal 4:5-6. 41Others said, “He is the Messiah.” Still others said, “But he can’t be! Will the Messiah come from Galilee? 42For the Scriptures clearly state that the Messiah will be born of the royal line of David, in Bethlehem, the village where King David was born.”*7:42 See Mic 5:2. 43So the crowd was divided about him. 44Some even wanted him arrested, but no one laid a hand on him.
45When the Temple guards returned without having arrested Jesus, the leading priests and Pharisees demanded, “Why didn’t you bring him in?”
46“We have never heard anyone speak like this!” the guards responded.
47“Have you been led astray, too?” the Pharisees mocked. 48“Is there a single one of us rulers or Pharisees who believes in him? 49This foolish crowd follows him, but they are ignorant of the law. God’s curse is on them!”
50Then Nicodemus, the leader who had met with Jesus earlier, spoke up. 51“Is it legal to convict a man before he is given a hearing?” he asked.
52They replied, “Are you from Galilee, too? Search the Scriptures and see for yourself—no prophet ever comes*7:52 Some manuscripts read the prophet does not come. from Galilee!”
[The most ancient Greek manuscripts do not include John 7:53–8:11.]
53Then the meeting broke up, and everybody went home.