Daily Word

Division Among the People | John 7:40-44

40 When the crowds heard him say this, some of them declared, “Surely this man is the Prophet we’ve been expecting.” 41 Others said, “He is the Messiah.” Still others said, “But he can’t be! Will the Messiah come from Galilee? 42 For 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.” 43 So the crowd was divided about him. 44 Some even wanted him arrested, but no one laid a hand on him.

John 7:40-44 (NLT)

Reactions to Jesus’ offer

Jesus just gave His salvation invitation: anyone seeking God should come to Him. Now John gives us their reactions. First the common people, then the leaders (tomorrow). 

Prophet or Messiah or ??

The common people there at the temple for the Feast of Tabernacles had mixed reactions. Some thought he was the promised Prophet. Others wondered if he was the missing Messiah. A third group said neither and sought to arrest him.  But almost all had misconceptions of who he was and why he came. 

Promised Prophet 

Back in the OT, God had promised to raise up a prophet like Moses (Deut 18:15), the most revered of all OT prophets. This group incorrectly separated the Messiah from the Prophet. Actually, they are one, in Jesus. “Some no doubt knew that by the prophet, the Messiah was meant; but others seem to have thought that one of the ancient prophets should be raised from the dead, and precede the appearing of the Messiah.” (Clarke’s commentary) And, Jesus was greater than Moses, as we studied before in Hebrews 3:1-6.

Missing Messiah

Others matched his miracles and message to Messiah and declared him to be the missing Messiah the OT prophesied. Indeed he was. But their understanding was warped by their circumstances and misunderstanding of the OT. They were expecting a leader to deliver Israel from the Romans and restore Israel to the times of King David and Solomon. 

Some OT prophecies on Messiah:

  • Isaiah 42:1 – Messiah as the “Servant” of the Lord
  • Isaiah 7:14 – Messiah born of a virgin
  • Psalm 132:10 – the anointed one (double meaning with King David)
  • Click here for more prophecies and here for teaching on how to discern Messianic prophecies.

Arrest Him

Finally, the rest said, “No, this guy is none of these. He’s not of the right lineage. He must come from Bethlehem, not Galilee (Mic 5:2, Lk 2:4)”. They didn’t know Jesus was actually born in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:1). These only knew that he grew up in Galilee. They voted to arrest him. Alas, as Jesus said earlier, “my time has not yet come” (John 7:6), they couldn’t arrest him…yet.

<- Reflection ->
  • Who is Jesus to you? Historically, it’s a fact that he was someone special and claimed to be the Messiah. So was he a liar, maybe a lunatic? Or Lord. Believe!
Protesters clash. Image from https://www.theguardian.com *

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