Thursday, October 05, 2006

Jesus Goes to the Feast of Tabernacles

Let's continue with our reading of the gospel of John. We are now in Chapter 7.

1 After this, Jesus went around in Galilee, purposely staying away from Judea because the Jews there were waiting to take his life. 2 But when the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles was near, 3 Jesus' brothers said to him, "You ought to leave here and go to Judea, so that your disciples may see the miracles you do. 4 No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world." 5 For even his own brothers did not believe in him.

One thing of note for me. Catholics seem to think that Mary remained a virgin for life. A simple reading of the Bible shows many examples of things like this that speak of Jesus' brothers and provide clear proof of the contrary. I find that many problems or questions get easily resolved by picking up the Bible and simply reading it.

6 Therefore Jesus told them, "The right time for me has not yet come; for you any time is right. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that what it does is evil. 8 You go to the Feast. I am not yet going up to this Feast, because for me the right time has not yet come." 9 Having said this, he stayed in Galilee.

I am always intrigued when people say that they don't believe Jesus was God, but think He was merely a great teacher. I then ask them about what Jesus taught. Inevitably, it is something along the lines of, "Don't judge people as God thinks everyone is good." People didn't kill Jesus because He was telling everyone they were good. He states here that the world hates Him because He actually does judge their acts and finds them evil. Nobody wants to be called evil, and this is exactly what Jesus calls all of us. Measure yourself against the mirror of God's standard, the Ten Commandments, and who doesn't come up far short of goodness.

10 However, after his brothers had left for the Feast, he went also, not publicly, but in secret. 11 Now at the Feast the Jews were watching for him and asking, "Where is that man?"

12 Among the crowds there was widespread whispering about him. Some said, "He is a good man."

Others replied, "No, he deceives the people." 13 But no one would say anything publicly about him for fear of the Jews.

People were really confused about the role of the Messiah. They thought he had a "wonderful plan for their life" and was here to quash the Roman empire and set the Jews free. Jesus' actual "wonderful plan" was to show people their position in the eyes of a just and moral God and their need for forgiveness, and ultimately to take the wrath upon Himself that was due to these people. Jesus was here to die for all of us, and people still get confused as to the meaning of all of that. Unless you understand your just reward for your sinfulness, the fact that Jesus died for you will never make sense.

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