BSF Study Questions John Lesson 11, Day 2: John 7:1-13

Summary of passage:  Jesus stays in Galilee because Jews in Judea were threatening his life.  When the Feast of Tabernacles approached, Jesus was urged by his brothers to go to Judea and perform miracles there so all can see.  Jesus said his time yet has not come, and he stayed in Galilee.  Later, by himself, Jesus went secretly to the Feast where the Jews were watching for him.  Some believed; others didn’t.  However, none spoke of him for fear of the Jewish leaders.


3a)  Because in Judea the Jews were looking for him to kill him.  The Feast of Tabernacles is one of the three required days Jewish men must appear before the Lord.

b)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Jesus’ time is the time till the cross.  He knows when it will come; whereas, his brothers do not know their time or Jesus’.  He is following God’s will for his life and not conforming to what others tell him to do.  It’s very challenging to me.  My life is packed and it only seems to get even more packed!  What’s challenging to me is continuing to do God’s will in my life throughout the busy-ness.  So I blog and work and read and take care of my family and hopefully will return to writing my novel very soon.  I try to stay focused on His work and not mine.

4a)  Some think he’s good; others think he’s evil.  Some believe in him; others don’t.  The same is today.  Some believe; some don’t.  Some half-heartedly know him but don’t accept him as the Son of God.  Others think him pure evil.  Man never changes so why would opinions of Jesus change?

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Good question!  Honestly, no one asks me.  But I would say this:  Jesus is love.  He is good.  He is the Truth, the Life, and the Way.  Belief in him is the path to salvation.  Jesus forgives.  He listens.  He guides.  He helps.  He picks you up when you fall.  He’s there in your heartaches.  He never forsakes.  He is God.

Conclusions:  I like this lesson.  Good emphasis on “not following the crowd” and giving in to peer pressure.  Jesus calmly says, “It’s not time, yet, guys.”  I loved how BSF brought out that opinions on Jesus never change throughout time.  It’s our job to trust in him and guide others to him, but ultimately it’s all in God’s hands who chooses Jesus and who doesn’t.

End Notes:  John chapters 7 & 8 is where John seems to have gathered the major arguments against Jesus as Messiah and answers them here.  Strong opposition to Jesus and repeated threats on his life is recorded (7:1, 13, 19, 25, 30, 32, 44; 8:37, 40, 59).

The Feast of Tabernacles was a joyful, weeklong celebration in September or October when families camped out in temporary shelters to remember God’s faithfulness to Israel in the wilderness on the way from Egypt to Canaan under Moses and celebrate the end of harvest.  It was also called the festival of booths (sukkoth) or ingathering because for the full week that it lasted people lived in makeshift booths of branches and leaves (Leviticus 23:40-43) to remind themselves of how their forefathers had wandered the wilderness and lived; town-dwellers erected them in their courtyards or on their flat housetops.  It was the last of the sacred festivals under the Old Covenant instituted by God.  It began 5 days after the Day of Atonement (Lev 23:34; Deut 16:13) and lasted for 7 days.  There were more sacrifices at this feast and it marked the conclusion to the ecclesiastical year.

Yes!  Jesus had real brothers as John has already mentioned (2:12; Matthew 12:46-7).  Matthew also mentions sisters of Jesus as well (Matthew 13:55-56).

In this light, the fact Jesus said no is even more impressive.  It’s harder to say no to family than it is to strangers.

Jerusalem Jews saw themselves as better than the Galileans (just like city folk versus country folk of today).  His brothers thought in order to be proved as Messiah, he needed to prove himself to them.  His brothers were thinking of the world (becoming a public figure and what others thought of Jesus) instead of heavenly and eternal rewards.

How sad that even his brothers didn’t believe in him (Mark 3:21) until after his death (Acts 1:14).  What a missed opportunity!  I can’t imagine growing up with Jesus and not believing in him.

Jesus emphasizes timing and will.  Both matter.  Just because it’s God’s will doesn’t mean the time has come yet and vice versa.  Both must align.  Any time was right for the brothers because they were not in tune with God’s will for them.

The Greek word used here for time (kairos) means the best time to do something.

The brothers could not be hated because they are of the world.  Jesus was not.

Jesus does go the Feast but privately, not publicly like the brothers wish.  Most Jews traveled to these feasts in large caravans.  Jesus did not, not wishing to attract any attention and put his safety at risk.  His refusal is not to go at all but rather in the manner his brothers wished.

The “whispering” is often translated “complaining”.  Why?  Because we as man want Jesus to be who we want him to be (for the 1st century Jews, the overthrower of Rome).  Can you relate?

There was probably some penalty for talk of Jesus being heard.  Think Communist Russia.  The idea is to suppress talk so talk won’t gain momentum and lead to a revolution.  Quite common in ancient times for the people to fear their leaders and to fear something that would lead them to be accused of rebellion, which often led to execution.


8 thoughts on “BSF Study Questions John Lesson 11, Day 2: John 7:1-13

  1. You said Jesus never change throughout time. It’s our job to trust in him and guide others to him, but ultimately it’s all in God’s hands who chooses Jesus and who doesn’t.

    Does this mean that when God created us He knew who would be His? It is a confusing thought.

    I know He is omniscient but why would He create a being that will be damned eternally knowing that he would?

    I don’t know the answer.


    1. This is were prayer comes in. I know people were praying for me when God touched my life. I pray for those who are spiritually blind, deaf and have hardened hearts. The enemy of our soul doesn’t want us to turn to Christ. He wants us to stay in the dark. The power of prayer is one of our most effective weapons. Putting on the whole armor of Christ. This is a spiritual battle that only God can win if we are relentless in doing our part.


      1. Yes I know you are right. It is a spiritual battle and prayer is the most powerful weapon.

        I also got an answer from a friend that made a lot of sense. She said:

        He created people who He knew would not get saved, because they have free will to choose Him. He just knew who would and who would not.

        It’s hard to wrap your mind around sometimes


    2. Yes, Lissette. It’s one of those things that I believe only God can understand as we are not able to understand it. Free will does play a role but ultimately God calls us to Jesus and if you’re not called, you won’t be saved. It is hard to understand and all I can do is be grateful for my “understanding” the call.

      We can pray for the unsaved because we do not know which ones are called. And know that some will not be saved because their hearts are so hard. But in one sense it takes our burden away. We are not responsible for those saved; God is. We should not feel guilty since God is in control.


    3. @ Lissette,
      I hope this helps!!
      Nowhere in God’s word does it say that God condemns the unsaved because God, being sovereign, has chosen to extend His grace and mercy to some but to withhold it from the rest of mankind. The Bible teaches that the basis of God’s condemnation is not in God’s sovereign choice, but in man’s rebellion at truth God reveals to all. This false idea denies that our Creator is a God of love or is just. God cannot be unloving and withhold His grace, which would be against His very nature. Nowhere in God’s word does it say that God condemns and refuses to “draw” the unsaved. God has elected His plan of salvation and what salvation would accomplish in the life of the believer, but He has never “elected” which individuals He would save and those He would not. His plan is that those who do not believe will not be saved and those who do will. That is God’s sovereign choice.


      1. Thank you Jacqueline. Like you said, He is sovereign. He is also love. He also knew from the beginning who would be saved and who wouldn’t. You are right He pursues all of us until the end. It is our choice. He did not make robots, He gives us His love and asks for it in return.

        Isn’t it amazing that our creator and creator of this world would be interested in us? It is humbling.


  2. A few additional comments to the questions that AToZ has already addressed.In Question 3a, I think the brothers were being a little sarcastic in their wanting Jesus to go to Jerusalem, in that in John 7:3-4, they were telling Jesus that if you want to be famous, now is your time to go to the big city and what a big platform to promote yourself and shine by doing more miracles in front of all these people.
    Also in 3(b) AToZ has brought out a good point in spending time in service to Him, but sometimes we can get too busy serving, doing busy work, ,etc., as AToZ has pointed out that it can get very challenging! In addition to doing His work, Jesus also wants us to sometimes spend time alone with Him and worshipping and talking quietly to Him. In Luke 10:38-41, Jesus is visiting with Martha and Mary, the 2 sisters of Lazarus. Martha is the “busy bee”, activist in “serving and doing things” . Mary is the one who just wants “to be” with Jesus, spending time with Him, learning His will, and just getting to know Him. We need to do both: be busy doing the Lord’s work, but also have a balance like Mary and just spend quiet time with Jesus. It is interesting that Jesus gave a mild rebuke to Martha in v.41 and a tribute to the Mary’s of the world. Sometimes our churches and our Christian friends are pushing us to have a checklist of all the things we are doing as busy, religious work. So when life gets packed, too challenged, too hectic, etc., it might be wise to take a “time-out”, and just spend time like Mary did, just sitting at the Lord’s feet and listening to what He says, and having a true personal, intimate relationship.


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