Jesus Justifies His Words
John 7:14–24

Good Morning, from the Voices of Hope Evangelistic Team, to all who are reading this message, I welcome each of you gathering today by way of the internet.  Once again, it’s a blessing to be able to share from God’s Word and I praise God as we are able to share His Word all over the world. 

The title of my message is “Jesus Justifies His Word” and the scripture is found in John 7:14-24 which we’ll be reading as we go through the message; if you wish to turn there you can follow along. 

John has already recorded for us the claims of Jesus Christ. In fact, He made some claims that were absolutely beyond human possibility. For example, John tells us that He claimed to be from heaven. He claimed that He would die and by His own power He would rise again. He claimed to be the only hope of eternal life. He claimed to be the gift of God sent to redeem the world. He claimed to be the person by whom every man’s salvation or every man’s damnation would be determined. He claimed to be the Messiah. He claimed to be equal with God. He claimed, in fact, to be the Son of God. He claimed to be the sovereign Judge of all men to whom had been committed all judgment. He claimed to be the source and giver of life. He claimed to be the only object that deserved honor. He claimed to be the one who would raise the dead, both the redeemed dead and the unsaved dead at the last days. He claimed to be the subject of all the Old Testament Scriptures. He claimed to be the only object of saving faith. He claimed to be the bread of life, the only genuine soul food. He claimed that He would give His life for the world and that anybody who believed in Him would come alive in an abundant and eternal life. Those are astonishing claims. 

Did anybody believe Him? John the Baptist did. John the Baptist said, “Behold, the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world,” which is like saying, “I believe.” Andrew believed. Andrew came running and said, “We have found the Christ.” Philip believed, he said, “We have found Him of whom Moses wrote.” Nathanael believed. He said to Jesus, “Thou art the Son of God.” The Samaritans believed. They said, “This is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.” Peter believed. He said, “We know that Thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.” Some believed. Some still believe. I believe; I trust most of you believe. 

But most people don’t believe. He made astounding, unbelievable claims and most of the world not only turned Him off but they hated Him. In fact, they hated Him so much that they decided they ought to kill Him. And they did.

John told us “He was in the world and the world was made by Him and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own and His own received Him not.” Most of them didn’t believe. Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill Him because He had not only broken the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God. And they weren’t just sort of indifferent in unbelief, they became hostile. 

And most people still don’t believe Him. The world didn’t believe Jesus. They still don’t believe Him. And Jesus still stands and He still makes the same claim and the world still does not believe. 

So, as we come to verses 14–24 we leave the section that we studied last week where He was in Galilee, ready to move into Jerusalem where the hostility and persecution and hatred is. So as we come to verse 14 we see Jesus Christ moving to Jerusalem, and into the temple, ready to make those same claims again confronting men having to make a decision about who He is and whether they believe or don’t believe. His time has come. He acts. 

The Feast of Tabernacles is going on. All the Jews from all over the land of Israel have migrated to Jerusalem. The place is jammed with people. And in the middle of that week Jesus makes His move. Again the same thing; confront the people, make your claims and watch them react. 

Verse 14, “Now at about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught.” In the middle of the week He moves out publicly, moves to the temple. His time was right. Back in verse 6 of the same chapter He told His brothers He wasn’t going to the feast when they went because, He said, “My time is not yet ready.” In verse 8 He repeated it, “My time is not yet fully come.” But now the time is right. Now He makes His move … all in God’s time. 

That’s always the custom of the rabbi. Whenever there was a famous rabbi, a traveling teacher, they always went to the temple and they would sit down and the whole mass of people would be around them. They would just expound the Old Testament and teach the people. That was rabbinic custom. So Jesus went in, sat down and Jesus began to teach. 

The Bible doesn’t say what He taught, but it awed the listeners. I can take a pretty good guess. He took the Old Testament Scriptures, as was always His custom, and applied them to Himself. He’d be saying the same things He had already said, “I am from heaven, I am equal with God, I have come as a Redeemer of the world, believe in Me and you’re saved, refuse Me and you’re damned.” He confronts them with His teaching, this is who I claim to be. 

Now when Jesus makes these claims, the natural response is to say, “Wait a minute, why should I believe You?” Well today’s verses are going to give us five great proofs of who He was. They’re woven into the dialogue of this passage. It’s an undercurrent, five reasons why the claims of Christ are true. 

Reason number one: His knowledge. Verse 15, now after He had taught these astounding words, “The Jews marveled saying, ‘How knoweth this man letters having never learned?’ ” Jesus had just finished teaching them divine truth straight from the mouth of God in human flesh. It says, “They marveled,” they were astonished at what He said. They couldn’t argue with what He said. So the Jewish leaders said to the people “How knoweth this man letters, or writings, having never learned?” They’re saying, “Who is this guy? I mean, He didn’t even go to the rabbinical school; He doesn’t even have a BA. What does He know? How can He know any truth, He’s never learned. They’re trying to discredit Jesus Christ. They know they can’t get into an argument with His knowledge or they’ll get wiped out. So they try to tackle Him on the basis of His background; He has no teaching.” 

In verse 16, “Jesus answered them and said, “My doctrine is not Mine, it is His that sent Me.” Who’s that? God. He says to them “I’m not teaching you what I think, I got it straight from God.” How do you argue with that one? They’re saying, “He doesn’t know anything. What does He know?” Remember Peter and John in Acts 4:13, it says, “All the Jews marveled because they knew so much having never learned.” Being unlearned Galileans, they said, what do these Galileans know, always discrediting their education. 

Jesus says, “My doctrine isn’t Mine, it came from God.” What a dynamic unbelievable answer? “I got it straight from God,” which implies, that’s why it’s different from your truth. The reason my teaching is so different is I got it from God, you got yours from the rabbi. That hurts. Jesus always claimed that His teaching came from God. 

Over in 8:28, “Then said Jesus unto them, ‘When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then shall you know that I am He and that I do nothing of Myself but as My Father hath taught Me I speak these things.’ ” 

Over in chapter 12, verses 49 and 50, He says to these same Jewish people again, “I have not spoken of Myself, but the Father who sent Me, He gave Me a commandment what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His commandment is life everlasting. Whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto Me, so I speak.” 

I’ve had people come to me on occasion they’ll say, “God told me to tell you this.” What can you say? Oh, you did! You really can’t argue with that. I mean, you assume that God didn’t really tell him, but you can’t convince them of that. There’s no argument. And here Jesus says, “I’m getting My words from God.” What are you going to say? They had no answer. 

Jesus says, it came straight from God. That’s not only a defense of Christ’s claims, that’s an indictment of the whole Jewish system. He says, in effect, “You’re right, My teaching is different, but it’s different because it came from God.” If theirs had come from God it wouldn’t have been different. That really struck home. The knowledge of Jesus is incomprehensible. They wouldn’t dare tackle Him on the basis of His knowledge. He said, “I got it from God,” and they couldn’t argue with it. 

You know that Jesus actually knew the thoughts of God. Do you know God’s thoughts? God says, “My thoughts are not your thoughts.” You can’t know His thoughts, but Jesus did. Chapter 5 verse 19, “Jesus says, ‘Verily, verily I say unto you, the Son can do nothing of Himself but what He sees the Father do.” He has the complete consciousness of God’s mind and actions. In the tenth chapter and the fifteenth verse, “As the Father knoweth Me, even so know I the Father.” I know God like He knows Me. Listen, there is nothing hidden from the knowledge of Christ, its equal to God’s knowledge. 

Jesus knows not only the mind of God; He knows the mind of man. He knows everything, supernatural knowledge. No wonder in John 7:46 those officers said, “Never man spoke like this man.” 

Proof number one: His knowledge. His knowledge alone ought to convince you that He’s the Son of God, God in human flesh. Second thing: not only His knowledge, but His test. In verse 17 He gives a test. You really want to know whether He’s God? Here’s the test, verse 17, I want to add one word that belongs here in the Greek, it’s left out in your English version, it should read like this, “If any man shall will to do His will,” that’s the way that phrase should read, “If any man shall will to do His will.” In other words, if anybody really wants to do the will of God, then “He shall know of the doctrine whether it be of God, or whether I speak of Myself.” 

Jesus says, “You don’t know whether I’ve really got it from God, here’s the test. “If you honestly, genuinely really down in your heart are willing to do what God wants, you’ll know the answer.” And the sad part of it is, most people come to Jesus Christ with reservations and they say, “Well, I’d kind of like Christ but I’m not sure I want to commit myself to all that God wants.” You’ll never know. Jesus says if you are willing to do God’s will, you will know. Just that simple. That’s the test. 

That simple principle keeps recurring. Jesus never commits Himself to unbelief. You come to Jesus Christ with unbelief in your heart, you won’t know anything. Remember how the unbelieving Jews kept getting confounded and the more Jesus talked to them the more confused they got? Jesus never commits Himself to unbelief. He confounds it and condemns it; He never yields to an unwilling hard, faithless heart. There always must be that honest desire to really know and do His will. 

If you want to know if Jesus Christ is who He claimed to be, you come to Him and you say, “God, I genuinely, honestly want to know and I’m willing to do Your will.” I promise you by the very Word of God you will know, God will reveal it. Wherever and whenever a person is honest and really wants to do God’s will, God will give to that person the capacity to understand His truth. But God does not grant His truth to unbelief or to an unwillingness to obey it. He has no time for hypocrites. 

Do you remember what God told Israel through Moses? He said, “If thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find Him.” Then there’s a comma and it says, “If thou shalt seek Him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.” Its got to be genuine. God never commits Himself to unbelief. Psalm 119:2 the psalmist said, “Blessed are they that seek Him with the whole heart.” You come to Jesus Christ with reservations, you’ll never know. You’ve got to be willing to throw it all on Him. That’s the test, to be willing to do His will, whatever it costs. 

The character of this ministry of Christ and the reaction is beautifully pictured for us in Proverbs 1:20 talking about wisdom, wisdom as seen as crying out in the streets, and telling its truth. We might assume that instead of wisdom this could be Jesus Christ, for it perfectly pictures what happened to Christ. Verse 20, “Wisdom cries outside, she utters her voice in the street.” Exactly what Christ did, He went up and down the street proclaiming truth. “She cries in the chief place of the concourse, the openings of the gates in the city, she utters her word saying, ‘How long, ye simple ones, will you love simplicity, and the scoffers delight in their scoffing, and fools hate knowledge?” That’s what Jesus kept saying to them. Verse 23, “Turn you at My reproof, if you’ll only turn I’ll pour out My Spirit unto you, I’ll make known My words unto you.” 

You see, God says if you’ll only turn and be willing to follow, I’ll tell you My truth. But if you’re not willing to turn your back on all of the past, and all of the old life, and all of that which you don’t understand and turn toward God, and in honesty seek Him, you’ll never know the truth. Verse 24 characterizes exactly what happens to those who refuse to turn. “Because I have called and you refused, I have stretched out My hand and no man regarded, but you have set it nought all my counsel, would have none of My reproof, I also will laugh at your calamity, I will mock when your fear cometh.” 

That’s exactly what happens to people who refuse the gospel. Jesus says, “I’m calling and you refuse. I’m stretching out My hand and you won’t take it. You don’t want any of the things that I tell you. You refuse Me so long and I will laugh at your calamity.” Verse 28, “Then shall they call upon Me but I will not answer. They shall seek Me early but they shall not find Me.” Why? “Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord.” Verse 33, “But who so hearkeneth unto Me shall dwell safely and shall be quiet from fear of evil.”     Now back to John 7. 

That’s what’s always happened with God’s truth. God has proclaimed His truth and men have hardened their unbelief and they have refused it. And so, they are judged. But to that one who turns and with a whole heart seeks to know God’s will, God reveals His will. If you want to honestly know God’s plan for your life, if you honestly want to know Jesus Christ and love Him, if you honestly want the will of God in your life, if you honestly want real abundant thrilling life, it’s there if you’re honest. Jesus came and He taught and He taught openly in the crowds and in the temples and in the streets and He spoke the knowledge of God and He spoke the wisdom of God and He cried for men to come and He cried for men to believe and they stood back and they mocked Him and they spit on Him and then they killed Him. 

He still cries today, He cries this morning and if you treat Him with indifference, with unbelief, with willful ignorance, if you have no desire to do God’s will, then you will never know Him and you’ll never know the truth. But if you come with all your heart seeking to know the truth, seeking to do His will, you’ll know the truth. And Jesus said, when you know the truth, the truth shall make you free. And then He said, if you be free knowing the truth, you are free indeed. To know the truth of Jesus Christ is to set your soul at liberty. 

If I come to Jesus Christ, ask Him to come into my life, give Him my life and nothing happens, what have I lost? I haven’t lost anything. But if He turns out to be true, what have I gained? Everything. Just come to Him, He can stand the test, I promise you. 

Jesus says, “Take My test, I can stand it. Come to Me genuinely, honestly and see if I don’t change your life.” No false messiah can say that. No false messiah can ask people to take the test, they’ll fail. You want to know whether He’s for real? Take the test. If you know to do His will, you’ll know the truth. That’s what He says. 

Third reason why you ought to believe Jesus: verse 18, His selflessness. Every phony messiah, every false teacher, every false Savior the world’s ever known has been in it for one reason, money and ego. False messiahs and fake teachers are all over the place and have been since the beginning of the world. And they’re in it for one or two reasons, money and ego, usually a combination. They usually have got an unbelievably glorified ego and a fantastic scheme to make a fortune. And, they’re all occupied with themselves, everything focuses around them. Every false messiah seeks his own glory. You know how you can tell that Jesus is true? He never sought His own glory. That makes Him the one and only true Messiah. Every other one of them is in it for the money, that’s what He says in verse 18, look at it.

“He that speaketh of himself seeks his own glory.” If I’m just somebody coming along shooting out my own thoughts, I’m seeking my own glory, “But He that seeketh His glory that sent Him, the same is true and no unrighteousness is in Him.” 

The phony ones want their own glory. You can pick out the true Savior; He’s the one who doesn’t want His own glory. He’s the one who stoops down and washes the dirty feet of disciples. He’s the one who came not to be ministered unto but to minister and to give His life a ransom for many. He’s the one who humbles Himself in love. He’s the one who lies down flat on a cross while they nail Him there. That’s the true Messiah. He’s the one who makes no money, has no home, takes nothing, just gives, gives, gives, gives. False messiahs don’t do that. He’s the one who gives all the glory to God and takes none for Himself. 

Jesus says, “If I talk of Myself, I’d be seeking My own glory. I’m not.” He said, “The foxes have holes, the birds have nests, the Son of Man hath not where to lay His head.” Philippians 2, the apostle Paul says, “He humbled Himself and took upon Himself the form of a man and He died.” False saviors rattle their piggy banks. False saviors glorify themselves. The true Savior seeks the glory of God. And that is evidence of Jesus Christ’s genuineness. 

Remember in John 17 in that wonderful prayer that He prayed, “Father, I have finished the task that Thou givest Me to do. Now glorify Me with the glory that I had with Thee before the world began.” There was a gap in there when Jesus didn’t have any glory in the sense of receiving glory from man? He was humiliated and mocked and spit upon. No false messiah is going to put himself in that position. Jesus says, “Can’t you tell I’m the real thing because I’m seeking to give glory to God?” That statement was an arrow shot to the heart of hypocritical Judaism. They were all out there seeking their own glory. They have the most grandiose ideas of their own person. 

We as Christians should be the very same, never seeking the glory for ourselves, always giving the glory to God. The apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 10:31, “Whatever you do whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Peter 4:11, Peter says, “If you’re going to minister, minister to the glory of God. If you’re going to speak, speak to the oracles of God in order that God might receive the glory through Jesus Christ.” That’s what we’re to do. 

So, Christ was selfless. Paul characterized His selflessness when he said, “He who knew no sin became sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” Peter characterized His selflessness when Peter said, “He who bore our sins in His own body on the tree,” what selflessness. Such selfless love could not be the love of a false messiah. No false messiah ever said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” 

So, His knowledge, His test, and His selflessness. Fourthly: His impact. He had such a startling impact on the world that He had to be real. If He was a phony He never would have caused the hatred that He caused. Jesus said, in John 15:18 and 19, “The world loves its own, and if the world hates you, it’s because you’re not part of it.” Well by that very statement in effect He was saying, “I’m not a part of this world,” the world hates Me because I don’t belong here. 

Jesus came, He never hurt anybody. He was harmless. He did wonderful miracles and teachings. But He kept claiming to be God and every time He said that He just rattled their cage. And their indifference turned to hostility and their hostility turned to a plot to murder and their plot to murder turned to murder. And that’s the problem. No false messiah ever hit the world with the impact that Jesus did. The world can tolerate its own. But the world can’t tolerate Jesus. You either seek to receive Him or to eliminate Him. Had He just been some worldly person, a little bit deranged, the world would have tolerated Him, but not so. He hit this world with such a dynamic impact; He disrupted every thought, every attitude that was around Him. If He had been one of them, they would have tolerated Him, but not so. And thus in verse 19 we read, Jesus replies to this kind of thinking, “Did not Moses give you the Law, and yet none of you keepeth the Law? You want to kill Me?” 

He knew what their attitude was. He knew the impact He made. Here He’s talking again to these leaders, He says, “You’re the guys who are going around saying, ‘We are the followers of Moses. We are the ones that keep the Law. We are the ones that prescribe to the Law. We are the great obeyers of the Law. You’re the guys always bragging about the Law. Then why do you seek to kill Me?” It’s implying do you remember that one part of the Law that says, “Thou shalt not kill?” Again He’s indicting them. You hypocrites, you’re the great possessors of the Mosaic Law and in your hearts you are full of murder, you phonies. 

The impact that He had on their lives was so great they had to eliminate Him. He didn’t fit. In verse 20, evidently the people didn’t know the plot that was in the minds of the leaders. Jesus read their minds. They said in verse 20, “Ye have a demon, who wants to kill You?” Where do You get this idea? We don’t know anything about this wanting to kill You. No mere man ever hit the world with an impact like Jesus. So He says, “My very impact ought to be evidence of who I am.” 

Fifth: His deeds speak of who He is. He had done so many miracles. He did so many miracles the first time He was in Jerusalem, that Nicodemus came to Him and says, “Rabbi, one thing we know, we know You must be a teacher come from God because no man can do these things which Thou doest.” That’s not human stuff, creating fish and creating barley cakes for thousands of people. That’s not human activity. Healing sick people, that’s not human. His deeds should have been enough evidence. 

They weren’t. They twisted them around. Jesus came to Jerusalem in chapter 5, there’s a guy laying by the pool, 38 years he’s been sick. Jesus says, “How would you like to be well?” “Yeah, I’d like.” Jesus says, “Rise up, take up thy bed and walk.” Guess what he did? Rose up, took up his bed and walked. And the Jews said to him, “Hey, you, what are you doing carrying your bed on the Sabbath?” Who’s worried about my bed, I haven’t walked in 38 years? The Bible says, “They sought to kill Jesus because He had healed on the Sabbath.” They took the deeds of Jesus Christ which should have convinced them of who He was and they trampled them, under the footsteps of their unbelief. They were going to kill Him because He broke the Sabbath.

Jesus replies to it in verses 21–23. “Jesus answered and said unto them, ‘I have done one work and you all marvel.” Then He says, If Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision, not because it is of Moses but of the Father. In other words, circumcision was God-ordained, which, is a pointed statement because they’re claiming their authority from Moses, He’s claiming His from God. So He says, “Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision, not because it is of Moses but of the Father, and ye on the Sabbath day circumcise a man.” You know, you’re not supposed to do any work on the Sabbath. No, no, can’t do any work on the Sabbath. But Moses said on the eighth day after that male child is born, you’ve got to circumcise that child. And if the Sabbath happened to be the eighth day they circumcised that baby. So He says to them, “Moses told you to circumcise, so you do that on the Sabbath.” Notice verse 23, “If a man on the Sabbath receives circumcision that the Law of Moses should not be broken, are you angry with Me because I have made a man entirely well on the Sabbath day?” 

In other words, if it’s okay for you to take care of one member of the physical body, wouldn’t it be okay for Me to take care of the whole physical body on the Sabbath day? If the ceremonial cleansing of one organ of the body is okay on the Sabbath, what about the healing of the entire body? Wouldn’t that be okay on the Sabbath? Unanswerable, and thus there is no answer. Is Jesus who He claimed to be? His knowledge, His test, His selflessness, His impact and His deeds say a resounding YES. 

Verse 24 wraps it up. If you’re looking at Jesus Christ, “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” That says, don’t come to Jesus Christ and make your decision superficially. Get in there and see who He is. Don’t judge just on the surface, give Him a chance to show you the evidence and be fair about Jesus Christ. Don’t judge superficially. Jesus said to those Jews and to us; don’t write Me off too fast, here’s the evidence. Weigh it, consider who I am, take the test, come to Me genuinely, honestly and see if I’m not who I claim to be. 

Father, draw our hearts mind and soul to the Words of Jesus that we’ll be willing to honestly seek and see if He is who He says he is, in Jesus’ Name, Amen!


When Voices Of Hope Evangelistic Team is ministering in Word and Song, their Fire Choir will sing several songs and then lead the Congregation in singing. Since that isn't possible on-line, please click here and may you be blessed by the song, "He is Lord."