After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him. Now the Jews’ 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.John 7:1-10
The title of today’s article should be shocking to anyone reading this. For Jesus to make such a strong statement His brethren had to have been saying things that were very wrong!
We are not certain who these brethren are but we do know that Jesus had natural family including half-brothers and sisters as well as cousins and others. Whoever these people are John makes it clear that their motivation in encouraging Jesus to go to Jerusalem was bad because they did not believe who He was.
There are a few different ways to look at their statements, none of them are good:
Perhaps they were mocking Jesus because He only did miracles and teachings in the small towns of Galilee. They may be saying, “You did your little show here in Galilee, but how will you do in the big city?”
Another possibility is that they are attributing a false motive to Jesus’ actions. They say, “Anyone who can do what you are doing is wanting to be famous. You should just go on to Jerusalem and be famous.”
And yet another possible motivation is that they wanted fame. If they could convince Jesus to go to Jerusalem with them then they would be famous for being part of His family.
Like I said, all of these and other possible ideas are all bad and wrong.
Jesus’ response shows that He knows their motivation. He tells them that the world cannot hate them because what they are saying is what the world says! The world hates Him because He has exposed the world for its sin and deception. What a condemnation of their words!
Jesus also says that it is time for them to go up to the festival. It is their duty to follow the law and be there. If they want to go in a caravan and be seen of men observing the festival, then it is time for them to hit the road and get started.
However, Jesus was not going to go up yet. The key word being “yet.” He would go up and fulfill the law to a jot and a tittle but He was going to go up according to the plan of His Father not what popular opinion wanted Him to do.
It would be good for us to check and see if the world hates us or not. I am not saying that we are to be doing mean things and saying ugly words in judgment against people. I am saying the opposite of that. We need to be speaking love and encouraging righteousness.
It is a pretty easy test. If the world has no problem with us then we are talking and acting like the world. If the world hates us, then we are right where we need to be — with Jesus!