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7. Jesus Teaches at Feast of Tabernacles

After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him. 2Now the Jews’ feast of tabernacles was at hand. 3His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest. 4For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world. 5For neither did his brethren believe in him. 6Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is alway ready. 7 The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil. 8 Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast; for my time is not yet full come. 9When he had said these words unto them, he abode still in Galilee.

10But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. 11Then the Jews sought him at the feast, and said, Where is he? 12And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but he deceiveth the people. 13Howbeit no man spake openly of him for fear of the Jews.

14Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught. 15And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned? 16Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. 17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. 18 He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him. 19 Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me? 20The people answered and said, Thou hast a devil: who goeth about to kill thee? 21Jesus answered and said unto them, I have done one work, and ye all marvel. 22 Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision; (not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers;) and ye on the sabbath day circumcise a man. 23 If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath day? 24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. 25Then said some of them of Jerusalem, Is not this he, whom they seek to kill? 26But, lo, he speaketh boldly, and they say nothing unto him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is the very Christ? 27Howbeit we know this man whence he is: but when Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence he is. 28Then cried Jesus in the temple as he taught, saying, Ye both know me, and ye know whence I am: and I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true, whom ye know not. 29 But I know him: for I am from him, and he hath sent me. 30Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come. 31And many of the people believed on him, and said, When Christ cometh, will he do more miracles than these which this man hath done?

32The Pharisees heard that the people murmured such things concerning him; and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take him. 33Then said Jesus unto them, Yet a little while am I with you, and then I go unto him that sent me. 34 Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come. 35Then said the Jews among themselves, Whither will he go, that we shall not find him? will he go unto the dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles? 36What manner of saying is this that he said, Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come? 37In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

40Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet. 41Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee? 42Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was? 43So there was a division among the people because of him. 44And some of them would have taken him; but no man laid hands on him.

45Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him? 46The officers answered, Never man spake like this man. 47Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived? 48Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him? 49But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed. 50Nicodemus saith unto them, (he that came to Jesus by night, being one of them,) 51Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth? 52They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet. 53And every man went unto his own house.

48. Has any of the rulers, or of the Pharisees, believed in him? “He has none on his side,” they say, “but low and ignorant men; the rulers, and every person of distinction, are opposed to him.” They expressly name the Pharisees, because they had a reputation above others, both for knowledge and holiness, so that they might be said to be the princes of the people. This objection appears to have some plausibility; for if the rulers and governors of the Church do not retain their authority, it is impossible that any thing shall ever be properly done, or that the good order of the Church shall long continue. We know what are the fierce passions of the common people; in consequence of which the most frightful disorder must follow, when every man is allowed to do what he pleases. The authority of those who rule is therefore a necessary bridle for preserving the good order of the Church; and, accordingly, it was provided by the Law of God that, if any question or controversy should arise, it should be submitted to the decision of the High Priest, (Deuteronomy 17:8.)

But they err in this respect, that, while they claim for themselves the highest authority, they are unwilling to submit to God. It is true that God conferred the power of judgment on the high priest, but God did not intend that the high priest should decide, except according to his Law. All the authority that is possessed by pastors, therefore, is subject to the word of God, that all may be kept in their own rank, from the greatest to the smallest, and that God alone may be exalted. If pastors who honestly and sincerely discharge their duty, claim authority for themselves, this glorying will be holy and lawful; but when the mere authority of men is supported, without the authority of God’s word, it is vain and useless boasting. But it often happens that wicked men rule in the Church; and therefore we must beware of giving any authority to men, as soon as they depart from the word of God.

We see that nearly all the prophets were tormented by this kind of annoyance; for, in order to bury their doctrine, men continually brought against them the magnificent titles of Princes, of Priests, and of the Church. Provided with the same armor, Papists in the present day rage not less fiercely than did the adversaries of Christ and of the Prophets in former times. It is a horrible blindness, indeed, when a mortal man is not ashamed to oppose himself to God; but to such a pitch of madness does Satan carry those who set a higher value on their own ambition than on the truth of God. Meanwhile, it is our duty to cherish such a reverence for the word of God as shall extinguish all the splendor of the world, and scatter its vain pretensions; for miserable would be our condition, if our salvation depended on the will of princes, and far too unsteady would our faith be, if it were to stand or fall according to their pleasure.


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