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JOHN - The Light Shines in the Darkness
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to John
PART 2 - Light Shines in the Darkness (John 5:1 - 11:54)
C - Jesus' Last Journey to Jerusalem (John 7:1 - 11:54) The Parting of Darkness and Light
1. The words of Jesus at the feast of tabernacles (John 7:1 – 8:59)

b) Disparate views on Jesus among the people and the high council (John 7:14-53)

JOHN 7:45-49
45 The officers therefore came to the chief priests and Pharisees, and they said to them, “Why didn’t you bring him?” 46 The officers answered, “No man ever spoke like this man!” 47 The Pharisees therefore answered them, “You aren’t also led astray, are you? 48 Have any of the rulers believed in him, or of the Pharisees? 49 But this multitude that doesn’t know the law is accursed.”

While Jesus was teaching the people in the temple, the Pharisees gathered expecting their servants to arrest Jesus and bring him to them. The high priests are named in the plural, even though a high priest would preside the High Council during his lifetime. But the Roman rulers would dismiss these men from time to time. For that reason there were several high priests at the time of Jesus deposed by Rome all belonging to the priestly families. These men were Sadducees and tended to free thought, unsympathetic to the legalism of the Pharisees.

Pharisees sat alongside the priests in the Council. As legalists they rejected Greek thinking and made the law the basis for the faith and works of their party. They were hard-hearted, honoring God by severity towards themselves and others.

Both Pharisees and Sadducees were angered by the failure to arrest Jesus. The disciples did not defend him nor did the people guard him, but his words impressed all, and so they did not dare to fetter him, since they were aware of God’s power flowing through him.

At that the Pharisees were aroused and cried against the temple guards, "Have you too joined up in the ranks of this deluder? Not one of the honorable members of the Council has believed in him. No upright believer would follow this Galilean."

Many indeed loved Jesus, but they were simple folk, despised, wicked or immoral. He had sat down at table and honored them by his presence. But the pious despised such folk, and counted them accursed. They viewed them with legalistic spectacles. In reality it was this despised lot that followed Jesus. Some of them had confessed their sins before John the Baptist; so the rulers hated the masses forgetting that they spoke the same language and held the same customs. All the people form a union whatever conflicts and divisions exist between the classes.

JOHN 7:50-53
50 Nicodemus (he who came to him by night, being one of them) said to them, 51 “Does our law judge a man, unless it first hears from him personally and knows what he does?” 52 They answered him, “Are you also from Galilee? Search, and see that no prophet has arisen out of Galilee.” 53 Everyone went to his own house,

One of those present was troubled at the hostility of the Council. This was Nicodemus who had come to Jesus secretly by night. Christ had shown him the need for rebirth. This man was still under Jesus’ influence and wanted to mediate on his behalf without publically stating that he favored Jesus. He used the style of the law in the courts which rejected the passing of judgment on absentees.

The judges however, laughed at this man of conscience. Even if the court convened, it would be largely formal, sentencing the innocent with fraudulent steps. The plotters felt that the evidence was conclusive that Jesus was a false prophet since he was a Galilean, a region despised by the Jews for being lax as regards the law. No Scripture would indicate that the promised Messiah or a prophet in the last days would hail from there. The Pharisees were convinced he was false, so that they mocked Nicodemus who wished to present Jesus before them in order to persuade them by his forcible words, as he had earlier convinced Nicodemus.


  1. Why did the priests and the Pharisees despise the common people?


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