John 7:28 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 7:28, NIV: "Then Jesus, still teaching in the temple courts, cried out, 'Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from. I am not here on my own authority, but he who sent me is true. You do not know him,"

John 7:28, ESV: "So Jesus proclaimed, as he taught in the temple, “You know me, and you know where I come from. But I have not come of my own accord. He who sent me is true, and him you do not know."

John 7:28, KJV: "Then 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."

John 7:28, NASB: "Then Jesus cried out in the temple, teaching and saying, 'You both know Me and you know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know."

John 7:28, NLT: "While Jesus was teaching in the Temple, he called out, 'Yes, you know me, and you know where I come from. But I'm not here on my own. The one who sent me is true, and you don't know him."

John 7:28, CSB: "As he was teaching in the temple, Jesus cried out, "You know me and you know where I am from. Yet I have not come on my own, but the one who sent me is true. You don't know him;"

What does John 7:28 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

It's hard to tell if Jesus is being serious or sarcastic in His statement that the people "know Him." On one hand, they are aware of His family and His hometown of Nazareth. On the other hand, that familiarity has led many to dismiss Him as the Messiah. In addition, the vast majority of these people do not accept Jesus' ministry, or His teachings, as they should. This remark is in response to a suggestion made by some in the crowd: that Jesus cannot be the Promised One, since they know where He is from. Messiah, according to their assumptions, should be more anonymous.

Jesus' second statement in this verse is much easier to classify. This is a direct criticism of Israel's spiritual state, and an extremely personal reproach. Israel's ultimate point of pride was its identity as God's chosen people. No other nation could make that claim—and here, Jesus tells God's chosen people that they do not know God! Their rejection of God (John 5:39–40) has resulted in a rejection of the One sent by God (John 6:29). Stubbornness and pride have made them resistant to the truth (John 7:17).

Needless to say, this accusation does not go over well, either with the people or with the religious authorities. Neither does Jesus' claim, from the next verse, that He possesses both divinity and godly approval.