John 7:46 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 7:46, NIV: "No one ever spoke the way this man does,' the guards replied."

John 7:46, ESV: "The officers answered, “No one ever spoke like this man!”"

John 7:46, KJV: "The officers answered, Never man spake like this man."

John 7:46, NASB: "The officers answered, 'Never has a man spoken in this way!'"

John 7:46, NLT: "'We have never heard anyone speak like this!' the guards responded."

John 7:46, CSB: "The servants answered, "No man ever spoke like this! ""

What does John 7:46 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jesus has generated a great deal of controversy (John 7:43), but the festival crowds (John 7:12–13) are unwilling to start a full-scale riot over His preaching (John 7:45). All the same, after being ordered to arrest Jesus, officials sent by the Pharisees come back empty-handed. Even though they have legal authority, they decide not to follow through on their mission. The excuse given by these men is not about civil unrest or confusion over who to bring in. Instead, the men tell the religious authorities that Jesus' words are the reason they chose not to arrest Him! Remarkably, Jesus' preaching during this episode is so compelling that, even for those who disagree with Him, arrest seems to be an inappropriate response.

Naturally, this sends the Pharisees into something of a temper tantrum. This is one of the more useful applications of chapter 7: understanding the mindset of Jesus' religious critics. In particular, we see the danger when a person starts letting ego, arrogance, or tradition guide their spiritual life. In the next few verses the Pharisees will not only insult anyone who thinks differently than they do, they will even turn on one of their own.