by Impact Church
7:1 After these things Jesus was walking in Galilee, for He was unwilling to walk in Judea because the Jews were seeking to kill Him. 2 Now the feast of the Jews, the Feast of Booths, was near.
3 Therefore His brothers said to Him, “Leave here and go into Judea, so that Your disciples also may see Your works which You are doing. 4 For no one does anything in secret when he himself seeks to be known publicly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.” 5 For not even His brothers were believing in Him.
6 So Jesus said to them, “My time is not yet here, but your time is always opportune. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil. 8 Go up to the feast yourselves; I do not go up to this feast because My time has not yet fully come.” (John 7:1-8)
Making Jesus and the Church attractive to the world and popular with everyone is a worldly temptation.
Jesus healed the lame man at the Pool of Bethesda in John 5. After 38 years of futile waiting, the man had no man to place him in the healing waters. Jesus sees him. Asks if he wants to be healed. It’s the Sabbath. The man believes and Jesus commands him to get up, take up his mat, and walk. 3 verbs. After that many years waiting, Jesus could have waited for another day to heal the man. He chose to heal him on the Sabbath, the 3rd miracle in the Gospel, to solicit a challenge with the Jewish leaders.
The next feast is Passover referenced in John 6. Jesus never made it to Jerusalem for that important feast. Instead, He spent His time around the Sea of Galilee, feeding 5,000 and walking on the water for His disciples. He told the Jews following Him, looking for another free meal, “I am the Bread of Life.” By the end of the chapter, Jesus offended the multitudes with His command to eat of His flesh and drink of His blood. At the sound of the hard sayings, all but the 12 disciples abandoned Him. Peter offered the reason why they stayed – even Judas; “”Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.”
Right on the heels of Peter’s confession that Jesus is “the Holy One of God”, John takes us to the Feast of Booths, and Jesus’ unbelieving brothers. They offered 3 points of counsel:
#1 – 7:3 Therefore His brothers said to Him, “Leave here and go into Judea, so that Your disciples also may see Your works which You are doing.
MAKE A SHOW OF YOUR WORKS!
#2 – 7:4 For no one does anything in secret when he himself seeks to be known publicly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.”
PUBLICIZE YOURSELF TO THE WORLD
#3 – 7:5 For not even His brothers were believing in Him.
UNBELIEF LEADS TO WORLDLY COUNSEL
Long before radio, TV, social media, web sites, page views, followers, likes, etc. the temptation of impressing the world with spiritual truth has been present. Jesus’ brothers are an example of following the worldly counsel of unbelief.
Jesus had three responses to their sinful counsel:
#1 – 7:6 So Jesus said to them, “My time is not yet here, but your time is always opportune.
JESUS DID NOT AND STILL DOES NOT OPERATE ON A WORLDLY SCHEDULE
#2 – 7:7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil.
JESUS’ MESSAGE CREATED HATRED WITH THE WORLD; THERE IS NO LOVE IN APPEASING SIN.
#3 – 7:8 Go up to the feast yourselves; I do not go up to this feast because My time has not yet fully come.”
THE FEAST WAS NOT A PRIORITY TO JESUS’ WORK AND ITS TIMING.
The Feast of Booths was important to the Jews. When Peter, James, and John saw Jesus glorified on the Mount of Transfiguration, talking with Moses and Elijah, Peter referenced this Feast as the proper response to the revelation. He said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” (Matt 17:4) The feast was important to Jesus too. Although He delayed in the face of the admonition of His brothers, He secretly made His way to Jerusalem (7:10). He arrived at the midpoint and began teaching. The Jews were astonished. (7:15)
On the last day of the feast, the great day of the feast, the 7th day of the feast, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:37-38) The ritual of the feast was insufficient to quench the spiritual thirst of the sinner’s life.
Jesus did not perform miracles in this story to gain an audience or solicit praise and admiration from the world. Jesus healed the lame man on the Sabbath to provoke a dispute with the Jewish leaders and now, likely a year later, that act is still the center of the dispute (7:21-23). Jesus had no part in His brothers’ worldly counsel – a counsel that is appealing even today to build an audience for the ministry – because Jesus curried no favor with the world. He provoked a conflict with the world because it was holding sinners captive. He came to reveal the Father and quench their spiritual thirst by faith alone.
Worldliness makes one popular and attracts a following. It’s easy to be attractive. Yet, it’s an unquenchable thirst. The world will hate what heals them and the Holy One of God, Who came to save them. The invitation still stands, “Come to Me and drink…”