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John 7 Living Bible (TLB)

After this, Jesus went to Galilee, going from village to village, for he wanted to stay out of Judea where the Jewish leaders were plotting his death. But soon it was time for the Tabernacle Ceremonies, one of the annual Jewish holidays, and Jesus’ brothers urged him to go to Judea for the celebration.

“Go where more people can see your miracles!” they scoffed. “You can’t be famous when you hide like this! If you’re so great, prove it to the world!” For even his brothers didn’t believe in him.

Jesus replied, “It is not the right time for me to go now. But you can go anytime and it will make no difference, for the world can’t hate you; but it does hate me, because I accuse it of sin and evil. You go on, and I’ll come later[a] when it is the right time.” So he remained in Galilee.

10 But after his brothers had left for the celebration, then he went too, though secretly, staying out of the public eye. 11 The Jewish leaders tried to find him at the celebration and kept asking if anyone had seen him. 12 There was a lot of discussion about him among the crowds. Some said, “He’s a wonderful man,” while others said, “No, he’s duping the public.” 13 But no one had the courage to speak out for him in public for fear of reprisals from the Jewish leaders.

14 Then, midway through the festival, Jesus went up to the Temple and preached openly. 15 The Jewish leaders were surprised when they heard him. “How can he know so much when he’s never been to our schools?” they asked.

16 So Jesus told them, “I’m not teaching you my own thoughts, but those of God who sent me. 17 If any of you really determines to do God’s will, then you will certainly know whether my teaching is from God or is merely my own. 18 Anyone presenting his own ideas is looking for praise for himself, but anyone seeking to honor the one who sent him is a good and true person. 19 None of you obeys the laws of Moses! So why pick on me for breaking them? Why kill me for this?”

20 The crowd replied, “You’re out of your mind! Who’s trying to kill you?”

21-23 Jesus replied, “I worked on the Sabbath by healing a man, and you were surprised. But you work on the Sabbath, too, whenever you obey Moses’ law of circumcision (actually, however, this tradition of circumcision is older than the Mosaic law); for if the correct time for circumcising your children falls on the Sabbath, you go ahead and do it, as you should. So why should I be condemned for making a man completely well on the Sabbath? 24 Think this through and you will see that I am right.”

25 Some of the people who lived there in Jerusalem said among themselves, “Isn’t this the man they are trying to kill? 26 But here he is preaching in public, and they say nothing to him. Can it be that our leaders have learned, after all, that he really is the Messiah? 27 But how could he be? For we know where this man was born; when Christ comes, he will just appear and no one will know where he comes from.”

28 So Jesus, in a sermon in the Temple, called out, “Yes, you know me and where I was born and raised, but I am the representative of one you don’t know, and he is Truth. 29 I know him because I was with him, and he sent me to you.”

30 Then the Jewish leaders sought to arrest him; but no hand was laid on him, for God’s time had not yet come.

31 Many among the crowds at the Temple believed on him. “After all,” they said, “what miracles do you expect the Messiah to do that this man hasn’t done?”

32 When the Pharisees heard that the crowds were in this mood, they and the chief priests sent officers to arrest Jesus. 33 But Jesus told them, “Not yet![b] I am to be here a little longer. Then I shall return to the one who sent me. 34 You will search for me but not find me. And you won’t be able to come where I am!”

35 The Jewish leaders were puzzled by this statement. “Where is he planning to go?” they asked. “Maybe he is thinking of leaving the country and going as a missionary among the Jews in other lands, or maybe even to the Gentiles! 36 What does he mean about our looking for him and not being able to find him, and, ‘You won’t be able to come where I am’?”

37 On the last day, the climax of the holidays, Jesus shouted to the crowds, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. 38 For the Scriptures declare that rivers of living water shall flow from the inmost being of anyone who believes in me.” 39 (He was speaking of the Holy Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him; but the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet returned to his glory in heaven.)

40 When the crowds heard him say this, some of them declared, “This man surely is the prophet who will come just before the Messiah.” 41-42 Others said, “He is the Messiah.” Still others, “But he can’t be! Will the Messiah come from Galilee? For the Scriptures clearly state that the Messiah will be born of the royal line of David, in Bethlehem, the village where David was born.” 43 So the crowd was divided about him. 44 And some wanted him arrested, but no one touched him.

45 The Temple police who had been sent to arrest him returned to the chief priests and Pharisees. “Why didn’t you bring him in?” they demanded.

46 “He says such wonderful things!” they mumbled. “We’ve never heard anything like it.”

47 “So you also have been led astray?” the Pharisees mocked. 48 “Is there a single one of us Jewish rulers or Pharisees who believes he is the Messiah? 49 These stupid crowds do, yes; but what do they know about it? A curse upon them anyway!”[c]

50 Then Nicodemus spoke up. (Remember him? He was the Jewish leader who came secretly to interview Jesus.) 51 “Is it legal to convict a man before he is even tried?” he asked.

52 They replied, “Are you a wretched Galilean too? Search the Scriptures and see for yourself—no prophets will come from Galilee!”

53 [d] Then the meeting broke up and everybody went home.

Footnotes:

  1. John 7:8 I’ll come later, literally, “I go not up [yet] unto this feast.” The word yet is included in the text of many ancient manuscripts.
  2. John 7:33 Not yet, implied.
  3. John 7:49 A curse upon them anyway, literally, “This multitude is accursed.”
  4. John 7:53 Most ancient manuscripts omit 7:53–8:11.
Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

John 7 New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Goes to the Festival of Tabernacles

After this, Jesus went around in Galilee. He did not want[a] to go about in Judea because the Jewish leaders there were looking for a way to kill him. But when the Jewish Festival of Tabernacles was near, Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Leave Galilee and go to Judea, so that your disciples there may see the works you do. No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.” For even his own brothers did not believe in him.

Therefore Jesus told them, “My time is not yet here; for you any time will do. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil. You go to the festival. I am not[b] going up to this festival, because my time has not yet fully come.” 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 and asking, “Where is he?”

12 Among the crowds there was widespread whispering about him. Some said, “He is a good man.”

Others replied, “No, he deceives the people.” 13 But no one would say anything publicly about him for fear of the leaders.

Jesus Teaches at the Festival

14 Not until halfway through the festival did Jesus go up to the temple courts and begin to teach. 15 The Jews there were amazed and asked, “How did this man get such learning without having been taught?”

16 Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me. 17 Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out 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, 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? Yet not one of you keeps the law. Why are you trying to kill me?”

20 “You are demon-possessed,” the crowd answered. “Who is trying to kill you?”

21 Jesus said to them, “I did one miracle, and you are all amazed. 22 Yet, because Moses gave you circumcision (though actually it did not come from Moses, but from the patriarchs), 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.”

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? 26 Here he is, speaking publicly, and they are not saying a word to him. Have the authorities really concluded that he is the Messiah? 27 But we know where this man is from; when the Messiah comes, no one will know where he is from.”

28 Then Jesus, still teaching in the temple courts, cried out, “Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from. I am not here on my own authority, but he who sent me is true. You do not know him, 29 but I know him because I am from him and he sent me.”

30 At this they tried to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come. 31 Still, many in the crowd believed in him. They said, “When the Messiah comes, will he perform more signs 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.

33 Jesus said, “I am with you for only a short time, and then I am going to the one who sent me. 34 You will look for me, but you will not find me; and where I am, you cannot come.”

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 among the Greeks, 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’?”

37 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”[c] 39 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.

40 On hearing his words, some of the people said, “Surely this man is the Prophet.”

41 Others said, “He is the Messiah.”

Still others asked, “How can the Messiah come from Galilee? 42 Does not Scripture say that the Messiah will come from David’s descendants and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?” 43 Thus the people were divided because of Jesus. 44 Some wanted to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him.

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,” the guards replied.

47 “You mean he has deceived you also?” the Pharisees retorted. 48 “Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in him? 49 No! But this mob that knows nothing of the law—there is a curse on them.”

50 Nicodemus, 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.”


[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,

Footnotes:

  1. John 7:1 Some manuscripts not have authority
  2. John 7:8 Some manuscripts not yet
  3. John 7:38 Or me. And let anyone drink 38 who believes in me.” As Scripture has said, “Out of him (or them) will flow rivers of living water.”
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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