|From the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople (Istanbul)|
The Unbelief of Jesus’ Brothers After this Jesus went about in Galilee. He did not wish to go about in Judea because the Jews were looking for an opportunity to kill him. 2Now the Jewish festival of Booths was near. 3So his brothers said to him, ‘Leave here and go to Judea so that your disciples also may see the works you are doing; 4for no one who wants to be widely known acts in secret. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.’ 5(For not even his brothers believed in him.) 6Jesus said to them, ‘My time has not yet come, but your time is always here. 7The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify against it that its works are evil. 8Go to the festival yourselves. I am not going to this festival, for my time has not yet fully come.’ 9After saying this, he remained in Galilee.
Jesus at the Festival of Booths10 But after his brothers had gone to the festival, then he also went, not publicly but as it were in secret. 11The Jews were looking for him at the festival and saying, ‘Where is he?’ 12And there was considerable complaining about him among the crowds. While some were saying, ‘He is a good man’, others were saying, ‘No, he is deceiving the crowd.’ 13Yet no one would speak openly about him for fear of the Jews.
14 About the middle of the festival Jesus went up into the temple and began to teach. 15The Jews were astonished at it, saying, ‘How does this man have such learning, when he has never been taught?’ 16Then Jesus answered them, ‘My teaching is not mine but his who sent me. 17Anyone who resolves to do the will of God will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own. 18Those who speak on their own seek their own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and there is nothing false in him.
19 ‘Did not Moses give you the law? Yet none of you keeps the law. Why are you looking for an opportunity to kill me?’ 20The crowd answered, ‘You have a demon! Who is trying to kill you?’ 21Jesus answered them, ‘I performed one work, and all of you are astonished. 22Moses gave you circumcision (it is, of course, not from Moses, but from the patriarchs), and you circumcise a man on the sabbath. 23If a man receives circumcision on the sabbath in order that the law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with me because I healed a man’s whole body on the sabbath? 24Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgement.’
Is This the Christ?25 Now some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, ‘Is not this the man whom they are trying to kill? 26And here he is, speaking openly, but they say nothing to him! Can it be that the authorities really know that this is the Messiah? 27Yet we know where this man is from; but when the Messiah comes, no one will know where he is from.’ 28Then Jesus cried out as he was teaching in the temple, ‘You know me, and you know where I am from. I have not come on my own. But the one who sent me is true, and you do not know him. 29I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me.’ 30Then they tried to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him, because his hour had not yet come.
Thoughts: Interesting how his 'hour' had not yet come. In the beginning of this reading it is his brothers who seem to be getting a bit frustrated with Jesus. "Hey, if you are who you think you are, then go out there and prove it!" But it is funny that Jesus seems to have nothing to prove, while he doesn't shy away from the limelight he will not let others dictate his moves (with the exception of his mother, who seems to get him to turn the water to wine even though it 'is not his time!" John wants us to know that Jesus is in control. His life is not some kind of tragedy, but a well orchestrated coming of God into the world. Yet, we are reminded here as it was said in the first chapter of John: "The light has come into the world, but the world has not recognized it." There are murmurings that he might be the Messiah, but whether his brothers at home or the leaders of the day--they don't see it.
Questions: Do you think you would have followed Jesus if you would have been there? The question of faith is always such an interesting one. We confess in the Lutheran church that the Holy Spirit blows when and where it wills but why is it that some seem to have the gift of faith and others don't?