After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him.
Now the Jew’s feast of tabernacles was at hand. His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest. For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world. For neither did his brethren believe in him.
Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is alway ready. The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil. Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast: for my time is not yet full come. When he had said these words unto them, he abode still in Galilee.
But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. Then the Jews sought him at the feast, and said, Where is he? And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but he deceiveth the people. Howbeit no man spake openly of him for fear of the Jews.
Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught. And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?
Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him. Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me?
The people answered and said, Thou hast a devil: who goeth about to kill thee?
Jesus answered and said unto them, I have done one work, and ye all marvel. Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision; (not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers;) and ye on the sabbath day circumcise a man. If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath day? Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
Then said some of them of Jerusalem, Is not this he, whom they seek to kill? But, lo, he speaketh boldly, and they say nothing unto him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is the very Christ? Howbeit we know this man whence he is: but when Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence he is.
Then 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. But I know him: for I am from him, and he hath sent me.
Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come. And many of the people believed on him, and said, When Christ cometh, will he do more miracles than these which this man hath done? The Pharisees heard that the people murmured such things concerning him; and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take him.
Then said Jesus unto them, Yet a little while am I with you, and then I go unto him that sent me. Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come.
Then 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? What 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?
In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet. Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee? Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was? So there was a division among the people because of him.
And some of them would have taken him; but no man laid hands on him. Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him? The officers answered, Never man spake like this man.
Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived? Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him? But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed.
Nicodemus saith unto them, (he that came to Jesus by night, being one of them,) Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth?
They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet.
And every man went unto his own house.
If there was a part of scripture that hurt my heart for Jesus, this would be one of them. There are actually quite a few, but this chapter finds my emotions getting riled a bit. I don’t think there’s a person alive who hasn’t been misunderstood by people they care about, or even mocked and not believed by family or people who are close. I know I have, and it hurts. It’s frustrating to try and ‘prove’ yourself against some lie or rumor or defending yourself to those who ought to know you. And it’s equally as frustrating when your family doesn’t believe you, or in you.
I can’t imagine the sorrow that Jesus has for people in this chapter. They’ve seen and heard from Him over and over again and know there is something special, something authoritative, and definitely something miraculous, and yet for so many reasons, so few believe Him. Whether jealousy, arrogance, pride or stubbornness, they know but won’t dare admit it.
Even His own brothers- they must have seen and heard His teaching, but like Joseph son of Jacob, His brothers were most likely jealous of Him. Mocking Him they try and goad Him into performing at the feast, figuring Jesus could win back more disciples after so many had left Him (last chapter).
I like Warren Weirsbe’s perspective:
Jesus had already turned down the crowd’s offer to make Him King (John 6:15), and He was not about to yield to them in any way. Celebrities might ride to success on the applause of the crowd, but God’s servants know better.
It wasn’t His time.
Yet He did go, but not in a showman like manner, but in His time and His Father’s will.
So we find Jesus teaching at the Temple, with the Pharisees, Sadducees, and the people who came to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles also known as Sukkot.
The Feast of Tabernacles was an observant celebration when the people would build little ‘booths’ to live in during the Feast time as a reminder of God’s provisions and protections during the wilderness journey on the way to the Promised Land. Here we have God’s ultimate provision (remember Jesus as the breath of life, living water, bread of life and light of the world. All things necessary for live and survival.) Teaching, healing, caring… And yet they still refuse to believe or understand.
Notice though the people were arguing about His character before He even arrived at Jerusalem. The leaders wondering where He was, wanting Him for their own evil ideas to kill Him, and the people arguing whether He was a good man or a liar. That is a debate which still goes on today. So many wonder or claim He is a good teacher, a good man, a wise sage comparable to Buddha, Confucius or any other ‘prophet- or a lunatic. For folks who claim Jesus never claimed to be God, the fact that some say He was possessed or a lunatic kind’a proves that He did make those claims… but I digress.
The point is, Jesus makes His claims perfectly clear, even though He doesn’t come right out and say “Give me a break, I’m telling you I AM your Messiah!”
Yet He shouts for all to hear, “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.”
It was claims like this that drove especially hard hearted religious leaders to want to kill Him. The accusation that they did not know God, was a true one as it is still in our time, when leaders claim all kinds of things of God, yet desire the glory that only belongs to Him. They claim teaching from Him, but only to attain positions of personal wealth, importance and honor. Again, using God to gain worldly benefits.
By claiming He came from God, sent by God, meant He was sent into the world, but not born of it. As it is when we see in the next chapter when Jesus says, Before Abraham was, I Am.
The leaders were so incensed that they decided to arrest Jesus, but He turned the tables on that too- as again, it wasn’t His time. What He gives to them is a warning, yet He gives a similar phrase which is a promise later to His disciples, one which all believers can hold onto as well.
Yet a little while am I with you, and then I go unto him that sent me. Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come.
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14)
One thing about the Feast of the Tabernacles, is that during the Feast days, the priests draw water from the pool of Salome, and take it to the Temple entering through the Water Gate, accompanied by the sound of the shofar, and then they would pour the water so that it flowed over the altar, along with wine from another bowl. Some say this was a reminder of Moses drawing water from the rock in the wilderness, but whatever the case may be, in Jesus’s time the priests would on the last day of celebration, recite Psalm 118:25.
Not only did they totally miss the irony of the fact that they were in the presence of the Living Water, but more so that the Lord had sent their Savior and they desired to kill Him.
Then as now, people have their perception of Who Jesus is. Some would kill any who believe on His Name, others, ignore anything about Him. Still others are offended by Him, or don’t believe. Others believe only in His love, continuing to live as if there was never a Christ suffering on the cross. What will you believe about Him? Liar, Lunatic or Lord? Mentally unstable, or Messiah? Good person, or God with us? He can only be one or the other.
So many missed His first coming. I pray more people will receive Him before He comes again.
Have a blessed day all.