January 1 2015
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[ DATE : 2015-01-28 ]
   Jesus at the Festival of Tabernacles   John 7:1-13
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After this, Jesus went around in Galilee, purposely staying away from Judea because the Jews there were waiting to take his life.
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But when the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles was near,
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Jesus' brothers said to him, "You ought to leave here and go to Judea, so that your disciples may see the miracles you do.
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No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world."
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For even his own brothers did not believe in him.
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Therefore Jesus told them, "The right time for me has not yet come; for you any time is right.
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The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that what it does is evil.
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You go to the Feast. I am not yet going up to this Feast, because for me the right time has not yet come."
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Having said this, he stayed in Galilee.
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However, after his brothers had left for the Feast, he went also, not publicly, but in secret.
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Now at the Feast the Jews were watching for him and asking, "Where is that man?"
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Among the crowds there was widespread whispering about him. Some said, "He is a good man." Others replied, "No, he deceives the people."
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But no one would say anything publicly about him for fear of the Jews.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®. NIV ®. COPYRIGHT ⓒ 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Jesus and His Siblings (7:1–9)
John 7 recounts a fascinating time in Jesus’ life and ministry. For the most part, He avoids Judea and Jerusalem to preserve His life until the appointed time, but with the Festival of Tabernacles approaching, many Jews are making the trip to Jerusalem. What is interesting is that Jesus’ siblings try to convince Him to go to Jerusalem in order to grow His ministry despite the fact that they themselves are not believers in Him (vv. 3–5). “Show yourself to the world” (v. 4) is reminiscent of Jesus’ temptation in Matthew 4, where Satan shows Jesus the kingdoms of the earth and promises to give them to Him. This time, however, the temptation comes from much closer to home—from His very own siblings.

This passage shows that temptation can come from anywhere, even from within one’s own family. How do you deal with temptation when it comes from close to home? How might you prepare to respond lovingly?

Mixed Responses (7:10–13)
It has been said that if a preacher knows nothing but success or, on the other hand, nothing but failure, they must be doing something wrong. This is because if they never offend with God’s truth or only offend with God’s truth, then chances are they may not have God’s truth quite right. To borrow a cliché, God’s truth, communicated rightly, should comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. If a preacher does this, they will get mixed responses, much like Jesus does in this passage (v. 12). Jesus speaks in such a way that no one could pin Him down. To the liberal thinkers, Jesus is a raging conservative, while to the conservatives, He is a libertine.

Take this time to pray for your leaders, that they might communicate God’s truth boldly and with appropriate love and humility. Also consider why God’s truth has such varied impact on people’s hearts and lives.
Father, may I see and hear Jesus clearly in order to respond rightly to Him. Help me not to fear people so that I might speak Gospel truth in a loving and humble way that gives You glory and brings joy to those who hear it. In Jesus’ name. Amen.