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Who Do You Think Jesus Is?

(John 7:40-53)

I. Introduction.
A. Orientation.
Last week,
We saw Jesus give this invitation:
If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink (John 7:37).
How have you responded?
Have you received Him?
Have you come to the fountain
And drunk from the water of life?
If youve tried what the world has to offer
But havent found it to be fulfilling,
Come to Christ and He will satisfy you.

B. Preview.
This morning,
John tells us how the people responded.
Some thought Jesus was a phony
He couldnt be the Christ,
He had nothing to offer but a lie
Some thought He wasnt the Christ,
But He might be someone important
Maybe the prophet that Moses said the Lord would send

While others believed He actually was the Messiah.

Of course, we also see

How what they thought of Him
Had a strong bearing on how they responded
Those who believed received Him.
But those who thought He was a liar
Or who knew He wasnt,
But said He was anyway
Renewed their hatred:
They rebuked the officers for not arresting Him,
And Nicodemus for defending Him,
And called a curse down on the crowd that believed Him.

This reminds us,

That you will respond to Jesus
According to what you think about Him
What you believe will show itself in your actions.
Its also accurate to say,
Your actions will show what you really believe.

Lets consider two questions this morning:

1. Who do you think Jesus is?
2. And how are you responding to Him?

II. Sermon.
A. First, lets consider who the Jews thought He was,
And how they responded.

John tells us the Jews were divided (v. 43).

They seemed to be firm in their convictions,
But they didnt agree on who He was.

1. John writes, Some of the people therefore, when they heard these words, were
saying, This certainly is the Prophet (v. 40).
The Jews believed the Lord
Had promised to send three important persons to them
At some time in the future (from their perspective):
The Christ, Elijah and the Prophet.

We see this when the Jews sent messengers

To John the Baptist to find out who he was.
John writes, This is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent to him priests
and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who are you? And he confessed
and did not deny, but confessed, I am not the Christ. They asked him,
What then? Are you Elijah? And he said, I am not. Are you the
Prophet? And he answered, No. Then they said to him, Who are you, so
that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about
yourself? He said, I am A VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE
Isaiah the prophet said. Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. They
asked him, and said to him, Why then are you baptizing, if you are not the
Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet? (John 1:19-25).

The Prophet is the one Moses writes of in Deuteronomy 18:15,

The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you,
from your countrymen, you shall listen to him.

Some understood this one to be the Christ;

Others thought they were different persons.
The first were actually right
The Prophet was to be the Christ.
Elijah would be someone different,
But we already know
He came in the person of John the Baptist
To prepare the way for the Christ.

2. But, John goes on to tell us, in verse 41,

That Others were saying, This is the Christ.
They had seen His miracles/signs,
They heard what He had do say,
And rightly concluded
That He is the Son of David,
The Savior God would send into the world,
And they received Him.

3. But most still doubted.

Still others were saying, "Surely the Christ is not going to come from Galilee,
is He? Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the descendants
of David, and from Bethlehem, the village where David was? (vv. 41-42).
Those who didnt believe,

Were looking for an excuse not to believe.

Yes, He had done miracles

Miracles that only one sent from God could do,
Miracles that only the Messiah would do
And yes, His teaching was fully in line
With Gods will for them.
But Jesus was from Galilee.
Where does it say in Scripture
That the Christ would originate from there?
Wasnt He to come from the family of David,
And be born in Bethlehem, the city of David?

Yes, He was.
And as a matter of fact, this was true of Him.
Both Joseph and Mary are in the line of David,
And Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the city of David.

Apparently, these Jews hadnt read the NT.

I say that jokingly
Because sometimes we actually think
They should have known as much as we do.
But they knew enough,
And they should have believed.
But instead, they wanted to arrest Him (v. 44).

Well come back to the part about Galilee in a few moments.

4. John notes there were others

Who saw Him and heard Him
And drew their own conclusions.

a. There were the officers,

The Temple police,
Those who were charged with keeping order on the Temple grounds,
The ones the Pharisees and chief priests
Had sent earlier to arrest Jesus.
What did they think?
We read in verses 45-46,
That they couldnt find it in themselves to arrest Him.
The officers then came to the chief priests and Pharisees, and they said to
them, Why did you not bring Him? The officers answered, Never has a
man spoken the way this man speaks.

These were also Jewish

Men who had been raised in the synagogues,
Who had heard the OT Scriptures since childhood,
Who knew what Moses had said,
And what the prophets had written,
Who might even have heard John the Baptist.

But they knew when Jesus spoke,

Someone greater was here

Someone they didnt dare arrest.

b. And, of course, there were the Pharisees.

Its clear what they thought about Jesus,
Which is why they responded as they did.

They tried to intimidate the officers.

The Pharisees then answered them, You have not also been led astray, have
you? No one of the rulers or Pharisees has believed in Him, has he? But
this crowd which does not know the Law is accursed (vv. 47-49).

We havent believed in Him.

Nor have the rulers that is the Sanhedrim, Council
You shouldnt either!
And as for this crowd believing in Him
What do they know!
Theyre ignorant;
They dont know Gods Word as we do
Theyre accursed.

Basically, these religious leaders

Were calling down a curse on the crowd
For believing Jesus was the Christ.

This is a logical fallacy by the way

Just because Israels religious leaders didnt believe,
Didnt mean that others shouldnt.
They could be wrong
They were wrong.

They also shouldnt believe

Just because the crowd believes.
You cant determine truth by opinion.
The majority can be wrong.
You need to look at the facts.
What do they say?

c. Finally, we see how Nicodemus responded.

Nicodemus (he who came to Him before, being one of them) said to them,
Our Law does not judge a man unless it first hears from him and knows
what he is doing, does it? (vv. 50-51).

This is the same Nicodemus

Who was both a Pharisee and a ruler of the Jews
Who came to Jesus by night,
Who told Him that he
And some others who were unnamed
Knew that He was from God
Because of the miracles He did (John 3:1-2).

He tried to defend Jesus.

How can you condemn Him
Without first hearing Him?
Thats clearly not what God says to do!

But again, notice the Pharisees response to him:

They answered him, You are not also from Galilee, are you? Search, and
see that no prophet arises out of Galilee (v. 52).

First, they accuse him of also being from Galilee

By which they were insinuating
That perhaps he too was a follower of Jesus
Little did they know.

But second, they belittled his understanding

Search the Scriptures for yourself
And youll see that the Christ doesnt come out of Galilee.
They were right about the fact
That Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem
From the line of David.

But its also true that Messiah would come out of Galilee.
Matthew writes, Now when Jesus heard that John had been taken into
custody, He withdrew into Galilee; and leaving Nazareth, He came and
settled in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and
Naphtali. This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet:

DAWNED (Matt. 4:12-16).
Their sin had blinded them to the truth.

5. Finally, we see that since the officers failed to bring Jesus,

There was no longer any reason to be assembled,
And so everyone went to his home (v. 53).

Many in the crowd believed in Jesus,

And perhaps the officers.
But many didnt
In the crowd,
And among the leadership.

And each acted according to their beliefs

Those who believed Jesus was the Christ defended Him
But those who didnt
Tried to intimidate, belittle, and threaten
Those who did
Sound familiar?

B. Who do you think Jesus is?

Have you responded to Him accordingly?

Do you believe Him to be . . .


A liar and deceiver a phony?

A messenger from God a prophet?
Or do you believe He is the Christ
The only One God has provided to save you?

If you think Hes a deceiver,

Of course, youre not going to listen to Him.
But if thats what you think,
Let me just ask you:
Have you come to this conclusion by looking at the facts,
Or are you just accepting what others say about Him?
Dont forget,
You will stand before Him one day
To answer for your life.
You had better make sure youre right
Before that day comes,
Because Jesus is the only One
Who will be able to help you when it does.
I pray the Lord will open your eyes
While theres still time.

Do you think Hes merely a prophet

A messenger from God,
One of many who bring us Gods Word


I pray that the Lord will open your ears

To hear what He actually says about Himself
That He is God in your nature,
The only way to God,
The One you must believe to be saved.

If you believe He is the Christ

The only Savior of the world
Let me ask you this morning,
Have you trusted Him?
Have you turned from your sins
And looked to Him alone to save you?
If you havent, then do you really believe?

The Bible says that Jesus is King of all kings

And Lord of all lords
That God has placed Him over the entire world,
To rule and govern it as He wills;
That everyone should obey Him,
With the promise from His Father
That one day every knee will bow to Him.
Do you believe He is King?
Are you obeying Him?
If not, do you really believe He is Lord?


The Bible says that Jesus is the Prophet

The One who is able to tell us
Exactly what God wants us to believe,
And what He wants us to do.
Do you believe He is the Prophet?
Are you listening to Him?
Do you believe Him?
Are you doing what He tells you God wants you to do?
If not, do you really believe He is the Prophet?

And the Bible says that Jesus is our great high Priest
That He has offered the only payment for sin
That God will ever accept.
Do you believe He is?
Are you looking to His sacrifice
To cleanse you from your sins?
Are you doing your best
To keep from sinning,
Realizing that it cost His life
To free you from Gods justice?
If not, do you really believe?

If you really believe something,

You will act on that belief.
If the way you live is generally consistent
With what you think believe regarding Jesus
Not perfectly consistent,
Because were all imperfect,
But generally consistent
Then you show that you really do believe.
But if it isnt,
Then maybe you really dont.

One thing we know for sure:

On that final day of His judgment,
The Lord isnt going to listen to what we have to say,
Or consider what we thought
Hes going to look at what weve done.
So take a good look at your life
To see if its consistent with what you say you believe.
If it isnt,
It isnt too late to do something about it:
Look to Jesus for His grace:
Trust in Him for His cleansing
And to clothe you with His righteousness;
Look to Him to give you the strength you need
To act according to what you believe. Amen.