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Controlled by Unbelief

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Book of John

A Sermon on John 7:25-36

Can This Be the Christ?

Some of the people of Jerusalem therefore said, “Is not this the man whom they seek to kill? And here he is, speaking openly, and they say nothing to him! Can it be that the authorities really know that this is the Christ? But we know where this man comes from, and when the Christ appears, no one will know where he comes from.” 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. I know him, for I come from him, and he sent me.” So they were seeking to arrest him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come. Yet many of the people believed in him. They said, “When the Christ appears, will he do more signs than this man has done?”

Officers Sent to Arrest Jesus

The Pharisees heard the crowd muttering these things about him, and the chief priests and Pharisees sent officers to arrest him. Jesus then said, “I will be with you a little longer, and then I am going to him who sent me. You will seek me and you will not find me. Where I am you cannot come.” The Jews said to one another, “Where does this man intend to go that we will not find him? Does he intend to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks and teach the Greeks? What does he mean by saying, ‘You will seek me and you will not find me,’ and, ‘Where I am you cannot come’?” (ESV)

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Have you ever wondered what is at the root of people’s unbelief regarding Christianity and the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Is it a heart issue, or is it something that is more intellectual? In this sermon, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches from John 7:25-36 and helps us understand what unbelief is and what is at the root of it. Not seeing Christ as Savior, Dr. Lloyd-Jones says, is not merely an indifferent opinion that someone can hold. A person’s eternal destination is hinging on how they answer this, and thus, it is of the utmost importance. Unbelief is the consequence of the Fall in Genesis 3. Dr. Lloyd-Jones asks us to consider what the deep and radical nature of unbelief is, and he provides three helpful points for us to think through in our consideration. First, it is deeper than merely intellect and reason— unbelief is an issue of the heart that is not fixed simply by changing someone’s mind. Second, it is deeper than our superficial differences of opinion, and this is because of the importance and weight it bears. Third, unbelief leads to an appalling ignorance of God and that everyone, including the unsaved, will have to give an account and will be subject to God’s judgment for their sins. If you struggle with unbelief towards God, listen to this sermon and think carefully about where you stand in relationship to God!


Additional Scripture Translations

John 7:25-36, New American Standard Bible

25So some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, “Is this man not the one whom they are seeking to kill? 26And yet look, He is speaking publicly, and they are saying nothing to Him. The rulers do not really know that this is the Christ, do they? 27However, we know where this man is from; but when the Christ comes, no one knows where He is from.” 28Then 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. 29I do know Him, because I am from Him, and He sent Me.” 30So they were seeking to arrest Him; and yet no one laid a hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come. 31But many of the crowd believed in Him; and they were saying, “When the Christ comes, He will not perform more signs than those which this man has done, will He?”

32The Pharisees heard the crowd whispering these things about Him, and the chief priests and the Pharisees sent officers to arrest Him. 33Therefore Jesus said, “For a little while longer I am going to be with you, and then I am going to Him who sent Me. 34You will seek Me, and will not find Me; and where I am, you cannot come.” 35The Jews then said to one another, “Where does this man intend to go that we will not find Him? He does not intend to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks, does He? 36What is this statement that He said, ‘You will seek Me, and will not find Me; and where I am, you cannot come’?”

John 7:25-36, King James Version

25Then said some of them of Jerusalem, Is not this he, whom they seek to kill? 26But, lo, he speaketh boldly, and they say nothing unto him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is the very Christ? 27Howbeit we know this man whence he is: but when Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence he is. 28Then 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. 29But I know him: for I am from him, and he hath sent me. 30Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come. 31And many of the people believed on him, and said, When Christ cometh, will he do more miracles than these which this man hath done?

32¶ The Pharisees heard that the people murmured such things concerning him; and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take him. 33Then said Jesus unto them, Yet a little while am I with you, and then I go unto him that sent me. 34Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come. 35Then said the Jews among themselves, Whither will he go, that we shall not find him? will he go unto the dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles? 36What manner of saying is this that he said, Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come?


About Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.