The chapter begins with stating that Jesus walked in Galilee rather than Judea because the Jews sought to kill Him. The Feast of Tabernacles (celebration of God protecting them in the desert as they awaited to enter into the promise land) was at hand and scripture says that Jesus’ brothers tried to convince Him to go to the Feast. They made fun of the fact that He would perform miracles then leave and not stay to take credit for His works. They said that no one would heal people and then not stick around for the credit. They tried to convince Him to go to the Feast and take credit for His works, they didn’t have faith in Him and mocked Him. Jesus simply replied by stating that His time has not yet come, but their time is always ready. The world can’t hate them rather it hates Jesus because He came to testify of it that its works are evil. So often we receive persecution, but like Jesus we need to not allow that to entice us into strife or bickering. Our own family can be the ones to mock us, but just know that this isn’t anything new to Jesus, and He can comfort you through whatever persecution you will face for following Him; but it is so worth it.
After His brothers left He then went to the Feast as well, but in secret, not openly. When He got to the Feast He noticed that the Jews were looking for Him, some thought He was good and the others thought He was bad, there was clear division. As they were all arguing amongst themselves over Jesus and His whereabouts, Jesus then got up in front of all of them in the temple and began to teach. The Jews were astounded, they didn’t understand how Jesus knew the word yet hadn’t formally studied. Jesus said that His doctrine is not His, but He who sent Him. If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from
God or from ones own authority.
Jesus then pointed out that Moses gave the law, yet none of them keeps it; yet they all seek to kill Him. The Jews then accused Jesus of having a demon for thinking that and demanded to know who was trying to kill Him. Rather than list names Jesus simply stated that He did one work and they all marveled. If a man receives a circumcision on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses wouldn’t be broken they wouldn’t marvel, yet a man needed healing and so Jesus healed him on the Sabbath and they all judged it. Jesus said that they needed to judge with righteous judgement. You see, the Sabbath is for man, not for man to serve the Sabbath.
God cares about His children, if one is in pain and in need of healing God would want them healed, regardless of what holiday it was. They had putter the law above anything else and it was making it to where they weren’t valuing peoples lives and livelihoods, they were instead valuing their pride and self righteousness. Jesus came to give us relationship, to know Gods heart and to do away with the religion. Relationship trumps religion.
The Jews wanted to have Jesus arrested but no one would lay their hands on Him, because His time was not yet. Jesus said that He would be with them a little while longer than He would leave and go where they couldn’t come. They had no idea what He was talking about and it angered them that they couldn’t understand what He was saying. Rather than rebuke their pride and ask Him what He meant they fed into anger which further fueled their fire, their ego’s got the best of them.
Jesus prophesied about the Holy Spirit being the living water that would flow living rivers through them and that caused even more confusion upon them. Some believed Him to be a prophet, some believed He was the Christ and others didn’t know what to think but they chose to treat their confusion with anger. The officers and the chief priests wanted Him to be brought in and no one would arrest Him, they all marvel at how He spoke with such authority. Nicodemus, the pharisee who secretly went to visit Jesus at night to learn from Him, tried to remind them that their law tells them not to judge until they know fully what is going on and have had the opportunity to confirm the situation by getting facts. Yet they Jews didn’t want to listen to Nicodemus, they had their minds made up. It is so important to always remember to seek God in all things, especially when the flesh is involved. The Jews were offended by Jesus and that didn’t feel good to their flesh, because it hurt their egos and their pride was offended. So they acted out in rage and anger rather then pausing and really seeking God on the matter. Whenever an opportunity presents itself to be offended, stop and go to God with it, never react off of fleshly ways. Jesus knew what was to come, He knew the prophecy that was to be fulfilled, yet He handled everything with such grace and strength. He had many opportunities to be offended yet He never gave into that, we shouldn’t either.