Division Among the People

John 7:40-53 Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, of a truth this is the Prophet. Others said, this is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee? Hath not the scripture said that Christ come of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was? So there was a division among the people because of him. And some of them would have taken him; but no man laid hands on him. Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have you not brought him? The officers answered, Never man spoke like this man. Then answered them the Pharisees, Are you also deceived? Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him? But this people who know not the law are cursed. Nicodemus said unto them, (he that came to Jesus by night, being one of them,) Do our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he does? They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search and look: for out of Galilee arise no prophet. And every man went unto his own house. 

There was division amongst the people whether Jesus was a Prophet or the Christ. The fourth Old Testament prophecy was fulfilled with Christ being born in Bethlehem and of David’s seed (Isa. 11:1, 10; Jer. 23:5; Mic. 5:1-2).

They laid no hands on Him because they were powerless to arrest Him, not being permitted by God.

The chief priests and Pharisees asked the officers if they were also deceived by Jesus because none of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in Him. Rulers believing a thing or not, does not prove it to be right or wrong. This is a standard held too long now by too many people. Many rulers did believe in Him (John 12:42; 19:38-39). They also stated that the people did not know the law and were therefore cursed. Neither knowing the law nor keeping it saves the soul. The law only condemns and makes guilty (Rom. 3:9-23; 7:7-25; 1Jn. 3:4).

Nicodemus, who was a Pharisee as well as a disciple of Christ, stated that their law doesn’t judge anyone before hearing him and know what he knows.

The chief priests and Pharisees stated ignorance of facts that some claimed to know in John 7:27, that when the Messiah would be born He would hide Himself and that when He appeared no man would know from where He had come. Christ was not born in Galilee, but in Bethlehem (Matt. 2:1-23; Luke 2:1-52). If they had searched they would have found that Jonah, Hosea, Elijah, Elisha, and others were from the Northern kingdom and not from Judea.

The Testimony of John the Baptist

John 1:19-24  And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ. And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No. Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What say thou of thyself? He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias. And they which were sent were of the Pharisees. 

John the Baptist was not the Christ, Elijah, or anyone else who had lived in the past. He was the natural son of Zacharias and Elizabeth (Lk. 1:24, 1:57). He came in the spirit and power of Elijah to do for Israel before the first coming, what Elijah will do before the second coming (Mal. 4:5-6; Lk. 1:17). This explains Matthew 11:14 and 17:10-13.

He was the prophet that Moses predicted would come (Deu. 18:15-18; Acts 3:22-23; 7:37).

‘I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias’ is the first Old Testament prophecy fulfilled in the gospel of John.

Malachi 3:1 predicted of John “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom you seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom you delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.”