John 7:20
The people answered and said, Thou hast a devil: who goeth about to kill thee?
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(20) The people.—They know that the rulers have sought for Him (John 7:11), but are not aware of their intention to kill Him. When this is referred to, it is “by some of them of Jerusalem” (John 7:25). These pilgrims know how far from their own thoughts is any such idea, and they think that its presence in His thoughts must be the work of a demon. (Comp. Note on Matthew 11:18.) They utter this, not in hostility, but in wonder that He can think so.

7:14-24 Every faithful minister may humbly adopt Christ's words. His doctrine is not his own finding out, but is from God's word, through the teaching of his Spirit. And amidst the disputes which disturb the world, if any man, of any nation, seeks to do the will of God, he shall know whether the doctrine is of God, or whether men speak of themselves. Only those who hate the truth shall be given up to errors which will be fatal. Surely it was as agreeable to the design of the sabbath to restore health to the afflicted, as to administer an outward rite. Jesus told them to decide on his conduct according to the spiritual import of the Divine law. We must not judge concerning any by their outward appearance, but by their worth, and by the gifts and graces of God's Spirit in them.The people - Perhaps some of the people who were not aware of the designs of the rulers.

Thou hast a devil - Thou art deranged or mad. See John 10:20. As they saw no effort to kill him, and as they were ignorant of the designs of the rulers, they supposed that this was the effect of derangement.

20. The people answered, Thou hast a devil: who goeth about to kill thee?—This was said by the multitude, who as yet had no bad feeling to Jesus, and were not in the secret of the plot hatching, as our Lord knew, against Him. The Jews had an opinion, that whosoever was beside himself, and talked distractedly, was influenced with an evil spirit; so as,

Thou hast a devil, is no more than, Thou art mad; unless we will take the phrase as a mere term of reproach, such as we ordinarily hear at this day from some men in their passions, when they hear any speak what is false, and hath no congruity with truth, according to their apprehensions, saying, The devil is in you: the former is the milder interpretation, though in that was sin enough, considering who it is that spake.

Who goeth about to kill thee? It is very probable that the common people (to whom our Saviour was now speaking) knew nothing of the design of their rulers, mentioned John 5:18, so spake this innocently, (though in their passion), having no such design in their hearts; but they ought not so peremptorily to have denied what our Saviour positively affirmed, who knew the designs and counsels of all men’s hearts, though they knew them not.

The people answered and said,.... These seem to be the country people, who came from Galilee and other parts, who knew nothing of the designs of the Jerusalem Jews upon him; nor were they his downright enemies at least, but rather seemed to favour him, and were on his side, though greatly provoked to hear him talk after this manner:

thou hast a devil; or art possessed with one; thou talkest like one of the demoniacs, like a madman, one beside thyself; whom the devil has so much power over, and has so deprived of thy senses, that thou knowest not what thou sayest:

who goeth about to kill thee? no man; for they could not believe that any man, or body of men, would be so wicked, as to attempt to take away the life of so harmless a person, and who did so much good both to the bodies and souls of men.

The people answered and said, Thou hast a devil: who goeth about to kill thee?
John 7:20. This interruption, no notice of which, seemingly (but see on John 7:21), is taken by Jesus in His subsequent words, is a characteristic indication of the genuineness of the narrative.

ὁ ὄχλος] the multitude (not the same as the Ἰουδαίοι, see John 7:12), unprejudiced, and unacquainted with the designs of the hierarchy, at least so far as they referred to the death of Christ, consisting for the most part, probably, of pilgrims to the feast.

δαιμόνιον] causing in you such perverted and wicked suspicions. Comp. John 8:48, John 10:20. An expression not of ill-will (Hengstenberg and early writers), but of amazement, that a man who taught so admirably should imagine what they deem to be a moral impossibility and a dark delusion. It must, they thought, be a fixed idea put into his mind by some daemon, a κακοδαιμονᾶν.

John 7:20. This, some of the crowd think mere raving. He is a monomaniac labouring under a hallucination that people wish to kill Him.—Δαιμόνιονἀποκτεῖναι; This question, repudiating the idea that any one seeks to slay Him, needs no answer and gets none.

20. Thou hast a devil] The multitude who have come up from the provinces know nothing of the designs of the hierarchy, although dwellers in Jerusalem (John 7:25) are better informed. These provincials think He must be possessed to have such an idea. Comp. John 10:20, and also Matthew 11:18, where the same is quoted as said of the Baptist. In both cases extraordinary conduct is supposed to be evidence of insanity, and the insanity is attributed to demoniacal possession. In John 8:48 the same remark is made, but in a much more hostile spirit (see note there); and there Christ answers the charge. Here, where it is the mere ignorant rejoinder of a perplexed multitude, He takes no notice of the interruption.

John 7:20. Καὶ εἶπε, and said) At Jerusalem there seem to have been some lying in wait to kill Him, and others to have known the fact; John 7:25, “Then said some of them of Jerusalem, Is not this He, whom they seek to kill?” and those who speak here seem to have been farther removed from these, and yet not at heart better. Jesus shows that He has a deeper knowledge of them, and He penetrates them with this ray [of His omniscience].—δαιμόνιον ἔχεις, thou hast a demon) The foulest formula of reviling. Possessed, mad. They think, that the hidden design to murder Him could not have become known to Jesus Himself except through an evil spirit.

Verses 20-24. -

(3) Treatment of the ignorance and insolence of the multitude. Verse 20. - The multitude, who broke out in angry and ignorant remonstrance, answered (and said). Thou hast a daemon. Who is seeking to kill thee? Thou must have some evil spirit tormenting thee with such cruel and melancholy foreboding (cf. John 8:48; John 10:20). This was an outburst of insolent and ignorant amazement on their part, that One who taught so wonderfully "should imagine what they deem a moral impossibility and dark delusion" (Meyer). The design rankling in the hearts of the authorities was too well known to our Lord, and, not deigning to notice the interruption and the insult, he continued - John 7:20A devil (δαιμόνιον)

Or more correctly, a demon. See on Mark 1:34. The name was applied to Jesus by the multitude (ὄχλος) and not by those whom He was addressing in John 7:19, because of the gloomy suspicions which they thought He entertained, and in entire ignorance of the design of the Jews which Jesus had penetrated. The same term was applied to John the Baptist, the ascetic, as one who withdrew from social intercourse (Matthew 11:18).

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