39 Therefore they sought again to seize Him, but He escaped out of their hand. 40 And He went away again beyond the Jordan to the place where John was baptizing at first, and there He stayed. 41 Then many came to Him and said, “John performed no sign, but all the things that John spoke about this Man were true.” 42 And many believed in Him there.
Therefore they sought again to seize Him,
The Jews made another attempt to arrest Jesus (Jn 7:30, 32, 44; 8:20). They probably wanted to bring Him to trial for blasphemy. If they failed to recognize the miracle of healing the blind man, how could they possibly believe Jesus’ words?
but He escaped out of their hand.
The Bible does not explain how Jesus escaped from this situation.
And He went away again beyond the Jordan to the place where John was baptizing at first,
Verses 40 to 42 are a transition, giving the movements of Jesus until the next major events. They set the stage for the conclusion to the Festival Cycle.
Jesus left Jerusalem and went to the eastern side of the Jordan. Jerusalem was west of the Jordan. Jesus moved into this region because of religious hostility against Him. The Jews had no authority to arrest Him there.
Jesus’ departure from Jerusalem indicates Israel’s official rejection of Him as the Messiah.
and there He stayed.
Jesus spent some time in this wilderness area. He may have spent most of His time there until He came back to Jerusalem for His final days there.
Then many came to Him and said,
Many of the people who knew Jesus at His baptism came to engage Him there.
“John performed no sign [a miracle that points to something significant],
John the Baptist never performed a miracle. He could not be compared to Jesus.
but all the things that John spoke about this Man were true.”
John the Baptist’s words had lasting effect on people. Their recall of what he said was very clear. His witness was attested as true years later.
And many believed in Him there.
Many became believers in the wilderness of Perea or Batanea. The embrace of Jesus as Savior here was a stark contrast to Israel’s rejection of Jesus.
Testimonies have continuing power.
John the Baptist witnessed of Jesus and his testimony continued for many years after his death. Testimonies bear fruit. In this context “many” came to believe in Jesus as their Savior from sins. The influence of our testimony lives on.