What does John 7:14 mean?
ESV: About the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and began teaching.
NIV: Not until halfway through the festival did Jesus go up to the temple courts and begin to teach.
NASB: But when it was now the middle of the feast, Jesus went up into the temple area, and began to teach.
CSB: When the festival was already half over, Jesus went up into the temple and began to teach.
NLT: Then, midway through the festival, Jesus went up to the Temple and began to teach.
KJV: Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught.
NKJV: Now about the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and taught.
Verse Commentary:
The Festival of Booths lasts seven days. Jesus' appearance in the temple is after at least three days of silence. There, He once again amazes those in attendance with His knowledge (Luke 2:41–52). Key to this amazement is their knowledge that Jesus has not studied in any of the Rabbinic schools (John 7:15). This would be like a person who has never been to university discussing high-level physics with a group of professors. This surprise is also tied to the arrogance of the Pharisees. In their view, the education and knowledge they had received made them superior to others, and especially to someone like Jesus. They are convinced that their knowledge means they are obedient to God.

Jesus will clarify that the exact opposite is true. In fact, a person's willingness to obey comes before their ability to understand truth (John 7:17). Those who "refuse" to believe (John 5:39–40) will not come to the truth, no matter how much knowledge they have.
Verse Context:
John 7:14–24 is a strong spiritual challenge issued by Jesus against the religious leaders of Jerusalem. Jesus makes the point that obedience is a necessary aspect of learning. The resistance of the Scribes and Pharisees is ultimately a matter of rebellion, not knowledge. In the same way, Jesus criticizes their hypocritical attitude towards His miracles. This concludes with a powerful statement about the need to use ''right judgment,'' rather than shallow appearances.
Chapter Summary:
Six months after the feeding of thousands, and the public debate which followed, Jesus plans to attend the Feast of Booths (Festival of Tabernacles). Rather than going publicly, He chooses to arrive privately, and after His family. While teaching and preaching there, Jesus once again comes into conflict with local religious leaders. The crowds take note of His profound words, history of miracles, and the inability of the religious leaders to silence Him. This causes the people to openly question their spiritual leaders. This embarrassment is a milestone in the effort to permanently silence Jesus.
Chapter Context:
John chapter 7 is the beginning of the end of Jesus' public ministry. The feeding of thousands in chapter 6 was the pinnacle of His earthly popularity. That enthusiasm was dampened when Jesus explained the true meaning of His ministry. Here, in chapters 7 and 8, Jesus will confront His critics at a major Jewish festival, using metaphors drawn from ritual celebrations to highlight themes from His preaching. The following chapters include additional miracles and teachings from Jesus, as His eventual crucifixion draws nearer.
Book Summary:
The disciple John wrote the gospel of John decades after the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke were written. The author assumes that a reader is already familiar with the content of these other works. So, John presents a different perspective, with a greater emphasis on meaning. John uses seven miracles—which he calls "signs"— to prove that Jesus is, in fact, God incarnate. Some of the most well-known verses in the Bible are found here. None is more famous than the one-sentence summary of the gospel found in John 3:16.
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