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Sermon Notes + 4.23.2023




A Division Among the People
John 7
Dr. Tony Chute, Lead Pastor

Overview: The seventh chapter of John’s gospel depicts divided responses to Jesus, leading to increased opposition from the Jewish leadership. Jesus’ brothers do not believe in Him but still attempt to instruct Him; some people conclude that Jesus is a good man, whereas others believe He is a madman; some believe He is leading people astray, whereas others are amazed at His teaching; some believe that He is a prophet whereas others believe He is more than a prophet; and many of the people believe in Him whereas some want to arrest Him. The causes of such division unfold throughout the text with respect to Jesus’ critique of the world, the claims He makes, the miracles He performs, and the deliberate act of calling people to Himself. Despite such accusations and divisions, Jesus was protected from the crowds by God the Father. John thus encourages us to commit to Jesus and walk with Jesus regardless of all the noise around us.

01. If you are not yet a follower of Jesus Christ, consider what lies at the root of your hesitation and discover how Jesus addresses it. You will find that He is able to withstand such scrutiny.

02. If you already are a follower of Jesus Christ, do not be dismayed by the noise that occurs from those who oppose Him. You will find comfort in the Spirit and heavenly protection from the Father.


1. What is the nature of Jesus’ relationship with His brothers at this point in His ministry (verses 3-8)? Why do you think His brothers did not yet believe Him to be the Messiah? See Matthew 12:46-50 and Luke 4:24 for further insight. What evidence do we have that His brothers later became believers? How does this information encourage you to pray for family members who are not yet believers?

2. What does Jesus mean by the phrase “My time has not yet come” (verses 6-8)? What does John mean by the use of the phrase “his hour had not yet come” (verse 30)? Note how committed Jesus was to following the will of the Father while also resting in the Father’s protection. Do you seek the Lord’s will in all areas of your life? Are you confident that He is with you even when the world is against you?

3. What does Jesus mean by the statement “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment” (verse 24)? What examples from this chapter demonstrate how people often judged Jesus by appearances only (see verses 14-23, 40-43)? In what ways do people judge Christians today by appearances rather than investigating what the Bible actually teaches? Why is their approach insufficient?

4. Trace out the ways in which Jesus provides evidence that supports His claim to be the Son of God. How do His miracles support this claim? How does His teaching support this claim? How does the act of calling people to Himself support this claim? Why, then, is it insufficient to believe that Jesus is merely a good teacher or merely a prophet rather than the Son of God?

5. How does Nicodemus stand out from other Jewish leaders and Pharisees in this chapter? Consider the conversation he had with Jesus in John 3. Does it appear that Nicodemus’ mind is open and his heart is softening towards Jesus? What does this movement in Nicodemus’ life suggest about the way the Holy Spirit brings people to faith? Is it always sudden, or might it also be gradual?

For Further Reading: Craig Blomberg, The Historical Reliability of John’s Gospel (IVP, 2011)