I am aware of the fact that I am to
study the Word of God;
I am also aware that I have a
tendency to select a word
and catch its meaning.
I also find myself focusing on the context in which it appears because it solidifies the entire idea to which I need to focus at that moment. Allow me to illustrate this in John chapter 7.
First of all, it takes place when Jesus was in His early thirties. We read that His “brothers” seek to have Him demonstrate His abilities to heal by doing more things for His disciples and others to view in other locations. It is the “nature” of people to have an element of boastfulness, and apparently these brothers wanted to gain a little notoriety themselves. Obviously, there remained uncertainty in their minds that their “brother” was indeed who he claimed to be.
Jesus answered their request: “My time is not yet here, but your time is always opportune. The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil. Go up to the feast yourselves; I do not go up to this feast because My time has not yet fully come.”
The “Time” to which Jesus referred was the Feast of Booths, which was also known as the Feast of Tabernacles. They made it a point to celebrate their 40 years of wilderness experience journeying from Egypt to the Promised Land.
Having been brought up in the same household, and still not having solidified their “faith” in Him as the Promised Messiah sounds strange. Yet, our text clearly indicates that to be the case. Speaking of “time”, let us note also that the Lord Jesus sends His disciples on but He remains in Galilee.
“My time is not yet here, but your time is always opportune. The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil. Go up to the feast yourselves; I do not go up to this feast because My time has not yet fully come.” I would remind us of the fact that He accompanied them on those wilderness journeys. He saw to it that they reached the Promised Land, and all of their needs were met because of His presence. They were to celebrate Him; all the while they were ignorant of who was with them.
Another word arises in verse nine… “secret”. Jesus went up, but not publicly. While they were “seeking Him”, He was already present. Many are caught in the same ignorance of those folk, not realizing who He was, even while He was present among them!
The “fear” of the Jews is a reminder of how many individuals have certain fears that will not allow them to recognize the fact that Jesus was truly the Promised Messiah! Whether it is fear of acknowledging that truth before others or perhaps they have never acknowledged that to themselves?
Dispense with your fears! He is all that He declared Himself to be and offers Himself to you, in that He says: “Come unto Me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you REST.” (Matthew 11:28)
Be sure to notice that it was “not my time” to go up with them, but He manifests Himself to them and us, ON TIME!