Mighty God, I lift my heart and voice in praise to You. Your love and power never cease to amaze me.
Read John 7:1-13
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“We learn about guidance by primarily learning the Guide. It is the knowledge of God and his ways with us which ultimately gives us stability in doing his will” (Sinclair B. Ferguson).
There is an atmosphere of danger throughout these verses. If Jesus were to go to the feast he would put his life at risk. The time to take that risk had not yet arrived (6). Jesus’ brothers offer him well-meaning advice, which is no help at all. They do not believe in him, or understand his ministry, though there is no indication of malice on their part. They seem to want their famous brother to extend his influence as a “public figure” (4). This occasion, however, follows the departure of some disciples. The lethal intent of the authorities is the first time in the Gospel that Jesus speaks of the world “hating” him (7).
Faithful Jews attend the great feast. The Feast of Tabernacles was among the most important national festivals in Israel’s religious calendar. So, eventually, Jesus makes the journey–but there is no contradiction. His brothers wanted him to go openly and make a show, which he refuses to do. They go without him, and he stays behind. He only goes to Jerusalem later, traveling privately, and arriving half way through the feast (14). Regularly in the Gospel, we have been told that Jesus only does what the Father directs, and we are to assume that this incognito visit was decided in the same way. When he arrives he finds that he is the talk of the festival. The crowds of pilgrims are divided about him, but they are keeping their conversations private. There is an atmosphere of oppression. These pilgrims feared their national leaders.
Once again, Jesus has had to resist the pressure of common sense. He could not walk into danger as an act of bravado; neither could he stay away because of the severe danger. He had to keep to his Father’s time (6,9, and 10).
When you are seeking God’s will, what sign do you look for? How can the example of Jesus dealing with his brothers, help you?
Lord, let me learn to walk in step with the Holy Spirit. Keep me from falling behind or racing ahead. I need to know when I am to act as well as what I am to do.