1 -2 Later Jesus was going about his business in Galilee. He didn’t want to travel in Judea because the Jews there were looking for a chance to kill him. It was near the time of Tabernacles, a feast observed annually by the Jews.
3 -5His brothers said, “Why don’t you leave here and go up to the Feast so your disciples can get a good look at the works you do? No one who intends to be publicly known does everything behind the scenes. If you’re serious about what you are doing, come out in the open and show the world.” His brothers were pushing him like this because they didn’t believe in him either.
6 -8Jesus came back at them, “Don’t crowd me. This isn’t my time. It’s your time—it’s always your time; you have nothing to lose. The world has nothing against you, but it’s up in arms against me. It’s against me because I expose the evil behind its pretensions. You go ahead, go up to the Feast. Don’t wait for me. I’m not ready. It’s not the right time for me.”
9 -11He said this and stayed on in Galilee. But later, after his family had gone up to the Feast, he also went. But he kept out of the way, careful not to draw attention to himself. The Jews were already out looking for him, asking around, “Where is that man?”
12 -13There was a lot of contentious talk about him circulating through the crowds. Some were saying, “He’s a good man.” But others said, “Not so. He’s selling snake oil.” This kind of talk went on in guarded whispers because of the intimidating Jewish leaders.
Today I am using The Message, a translation in modern day English. which is a little easier to understand. We just finished looking at Jesus, the bread of life and saw that some people are beginning to pull away from Jesus. His teachings are too hard for some to understand, too difficult for others to follow.
When the passage says, “Jesus was going about his business in Galilee,” I have to wonder which business–was he continuing his carpentry at that time, or was it His Father’s business of preaching the gospel? We don’t hear anything about Jesus’ trade, carpentry, after he is baptized by John. I really doubt that Jesus was still practicing His trade while expounding upon the scriptures of the Torah. I think by this time His business was bringing the world around Him into a new relationship with God.
We see that Jesus is with His birth family at this point, and his brothers are urging Him to make himself known. However, Jesus knew the timing was not right. Remember, Jews at this time were looking for a Messiah, but the Messiah for whom they waited would be a military leader who would free them from the oppression of the Romans, not one who would free them from sin and legalism.
Are you waiting for the Messiah, but do not yet recognize Him for who He is? Are you still bound by laws meant to point you to a Savior, instead of accepting the freedom that comes through grace? Jesus is light and life to all who believe. Let us each recognize Him, not as simply a good man, but as the Son of the living God, given by God to the world that all who believe in Him will be saved from sin and death and brought into a new, marvelous life.