An Important Division
John 7:40-44
Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet.…

We have here:

1. A great feast. That of Tabernacles.

2. A great day. The last day of the feast.

3. A great preacher. The Christ, the Son of God.

4. A great sermon. "He cried;" and he had something worth crying - the living water for a thirsty world.

5. A great division. "And there was a division among the people," etc. Notice -


1. Jesus was the Subject of this division. "Because of him." The question was - Who was he? what was he? A good or a bad man, a true prophet or an impostor?

2. They were divided in their opinions. Some thought he was the Prophet; some thought he was the Christ; while others doubted, objected, and opposed.

3. They were divided while it was important that they should agree. If he was an impostor, it was important that they should agree to expose him and stem his influence; but if their Messiah, it was all-important that they should agree to accept and obey him.

4. They were divided while they ought to be unanimous. Jesus had told them who he was, and his person, character, ministry, and his mighty works, all were in perfect harmony with his claims. With perfect unity and Divine force they pointed to him as the Son of God.

5. In this division error dissents from truth. Some said, "He is the Christ." Error doubted and objected. Truth is older and firmer than error, right than wrong. Error and wrong are negatives of truth and right.

6. Amidst this division Christ remained the same, and shone on. The different opinions of men make no change in Jesus himself. Christ changes men's opinions, but their opinions produce no change in him.


1. Some were prejudiced against him.

(1) Prejudice is unreasonable (ver. 41). It makes more of a place often than a person. The highest claims of a person are ignored through unreasonable objections to the place whence he hails.

(2) Prejudice makes what is really for the truth to appear against it. (Ver. 42.) Christ was of the lineage of David, and a native of Bethlehem. They manifest here a culpable ignorance or a wilful suppression of knowledge. Prejudice is capable of both.

2. Some were filled with hatred against him. (Ver. 44.) Through this passion even the Son of God appeared as an impostor and a demon. A Being of infinite love could not be accepted nor even recognized through hatred.

3. Some were well disposed to him. (Ver. 40.) A favourable disposition will generally find the truth or an approximation to it. "The Prophet;" "the Christ." This was probably the verdict of the majority of that age. Their heads were right, their hearts were wrong.

4. All seemed sadly indifferent. The most earnest were his haters. Even those who rightly pronounced him to be the Christ seemed to lack earnestness of soul. The great "cry" of Jesus on the last day of the feast did not find an adequate response from the heart of the multitudes. There was a division, a stir, and that was apparently all.


1. Christ has occasioned great divisions in the world. This was not She first nor the last. A variety of opinions, of sentiments and feelings, with regard to him. He is the occasion, not the cause. He is the Prince of peace and unity, and yet divisions with regard to him have stirred humanity into the highest pitch of passion, and have resulted in wars, persecutions, and martyrdoms.

2. The most important division of humanity is that on Christ. Nations divide on important questions, but upon none so important as this. Upon this hangs the eternal destiny of the world.

3. In this division all are divided into two parties, for or against him. There is no neutrality.

4. Through divisions, after all, right views of Jesus are obtained. We must obtain peace through wars, calm through storms, and unanimity through divisions. Out of these stirring divisions Christ will come forth as the Son of God and the Saviour of man.

5. In all these divisions it is all-important to possess an earnest spirit and a well disposed heart, for through these alone can we see Jesus as he is.

6. In these divisions we may give Jesus a good name and nothing more. We may call him the Christ, but "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord," etc. He demands the verdict of the heart.

7. In this division where do we stand - for or against him? - B.T.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet.

WEB: Many of the multitude therefore, when they heard these words, said, "This is truly the prophet."

We Must Feel Our Need of Christ Before We Come to Him
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