“But when His brothers had gone up, then He also went up to the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret.” John 7:10.
The probable reason for secrecy was so that He could arrive in Jerusalem without being immediately harassed by the religious leaders who were intent on killing or discrediting Him.
This appears to have worked because; Jesus just seems to have popped up from nowhere in John 7:14 and began to teach in the temple.
As a kind of postscript, you might be pleased to know that some or all of Jesus’ brothers did get saved, probably after His resurrection. While there is no mention of His sisters, there is no reason to believe that they did not follow in the faith of their mother.
Christ’s half brothers, James and Jude authored the books named, James and Jude.
Simon, another brother, is noted as being a devoted servant of Christ; while there is nothing known of Joseph aka Joses. Their names are listed in Matthew 13:55.
After the disciples watched the Lord’s ascension into heaven, Scripture tells us this.
“Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey. And when they had entered, they went up into the upper room where they were staying: Peter, James, John, and Andrew; Philip and Thomas; Bartholomew and Matthew; James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot; and Judas the son of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.” Acts 1:12-14.
Jesus’ own household is an example; it is possible to grow up in a Christian family and not become a Christian. You do not become a Christian by osmosis you must make a volitional choice to accept Christ as your savior.
“Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Prove yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? – unless indeed you are disqualified.” 2 Corinthians 13:5.
As for the parents of a Christian household; do not just assume that your children will become Christians because you are. You not only have to live it, you need to teach it, show them love, not legalism or hypocrisy.
Concerning hypocrisy, we all wear masks, whether at work, Bible studies or church; no matter how good you are, or how learned you are in the Scriptures, all of us have failings, period.
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.” Jeremiah 17:9-10.
These failings, like hidden reefs which rip into the hull of a ship can destroy a family. Beware, your mask can only stay on so long before you become uncomfortable and off it comes at home where your spouse and your children are.
Do not declare your piety at church then come home and reveal to your family that you are a liar.
Do not rail against smoking and drinking at church then come home; pour a drink and light up, showing your family that you are a liar and a hypocrite.
Whether you drink or not is between you and the Lord, but be honest before your family in things like this. Drunkenness is forbidden, but moderation is not, questionable things should be considered carefully, and sinful things should be avoided, your example will be emulated. Be honest before your family, and expect them to be to you, and always show them the love of Jesus.
Masks are unavoidable if we are to show some decorum in church or outside the home; even the ungodly do this, but if you play the hypocrite at home your family will not respect you.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.” Romans 12:1-3.
It is our reasonable service to make sacrifices for Christ and our family. Just as important, one must not think more highly of themselves than they ought.
“God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6b.
Finally for your children’s sake, and your spouse, pray for them without ceasing, day and night.
“Arise, cry out in the night…pour out thine heart like water before the face of the Lord: lift up thy hands toward Him for the life of thy young children…” Lamentations 2:19.
“Standing forth in life’s rough way, Father, guide them; Oh, we know not what of harm May betide them; Neath the shadow of Thy wing, Father, hide them; Walking, sleeping, Lord, we pray, Go beside them.” Author unknown.
“Then the Jews sought Him at the feast, and said, ‘Where is He?’ And there was much murmuring among the people concerning Him. Some said, ‘He is good’; others said, ‘No, on the contrary, He deceives the people.’ However, no one spoke openly of Him for fear of the Jews.” John 7:11-13.
John 7:10 stated that after Jesus’ brothers left for the feast He went up secretly.
Here the people seek Him, and a murmur goes through the crowd, a discussion which is typical even today, the talk shows a division, which is what Jesus brings; He is either accepted or rejected.
While the statement, “No, on the contrary, He deceives the people.” sounds like a person who has made up their mind. Doubt is not necessarily a bad thing; at least if someone has an honest mind.
Questions, like, “You know I do not know if I believe that Jesus is God, or just a great man.” should force the honest person to carefully investigate the Lord’s claims about Himself.
There have been many folks who mocked Jesus and lived a life of dissipation and then came to their senses and started a sincere search for Christ.
It can start with a simple prayer, “God if you are real, speak to me, I am listening.”
When a person reaches the point of praying that prayer; it would help to continue by reading the gospel of John beginning to end. While reading, pray for God to open your eyes to the truths within His word.
One does not need this study to do this, though I hope it is useful to anyone who does read it.
Now notice the statement in the last sentence of our verses above.
“However, no one spoke openly of Him for fear of the Jews.” John 7:13.
The Jews here is a reference to the Jewish religious leaders. The people’s fear would be for a reason like the following example.
“His parents answered them [the Pharisees] and said, ‘We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but by what means he now sees we do not know, or who opened his eyes we do not know. He is of age; ask him. He will speak for himself.’ His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews [religious leaders] had agreed already that if anyone confessed that He was Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue.” John 9:20-22.
So it was no secret that if anyone said that Jesus was the Christ they would be excommunicated. Imagine the devastation this would cause in a person’s life. Cut off by the synagogue, and by extension, cut off from your friends and possibly your livelihood too.
And for these religious leaders to do something like this and being supposedly God’s representatives, it would mean that God had rejected you.
Hear this! There are many godly men in leadership in churches today, and it is God’s intention that you follow their Biblical teachings and their leadership; but there are many non-Christians who desire only power like the Pharisees.
“For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame – who set their mind on earthly things.” Philippians 3:18-19.
“Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.” Jude 3-4.
“These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves; they are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.” Jude 12-13.
“If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.” 1 Timothy 6:3-5.
“Now about the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and taught. And the Jews marveled, saying, ‘How does this Man know letters, having never studied?’” John 7:14-15.
These folks are wondering how Jesus became so smart without having formal rabbinic training.
The same question is often asked today, what seminary did you graduate from, what is your PhD in, what letters do you have after your name? In fact many magazines do not give the name of an article’s author without including letters after his name, or a summary of the person’s education.
Nothing wrong with that, it is important to know which direction a preacher or teacher is coming from.
However, any Christian could give the same answer that Jesus gave the Jews.
“My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me.” John 7:16b.
The serious Christian student, with the help of the Holy Spirit, can, like Jesus, learn more about God and His program by diligently studying the Bible.
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6.
The reward goes to the diligent, like it will to those who adhere to this passage in Psalm 119.
“You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies; for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers, for Your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep Your precepts. I have restrained my feet from every evil way, that I may keep Your word.” Psalm 119:98-101.
God’s word tells us that Jesus would arise early in the morning to study the Scriptures.
It is through intense study and by the power of the Holy Spirit that the Lord could make the statement in John 7:16 above; “My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me.”
“The Lord God has given Me [Jesus] the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to hear as the learned. The Lord God has opened My ear; and I was not rebellious, nor did I turn away. I gave My back to those who struck Me, and My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard; I did not hide My face from shame and spitting.” Isaiah 50:4-6.
Judge with Righteous Judgment, John 7:10-15 taken from godisrevealed.com posted on 11-1-12, updated on 9-21-17.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version, copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission, all rights reserved.