March 20, 2022
“After this, Jesus traveled to Galilee, since He did not want to travel in Judea because the Jews were trying to kill Him. The Jewish Festival of Tabernacles was near...”
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“After this, Jesus traveled to Galilee, since He did not want to travel in Judea because the Jews were trying to kill Him. The Jewish Festival of Tabernacles was near, so His brothers said to Him, ‘Leave here and go to Judea so Your disciples can see Your works that you are doing. For no one does anything secret while he’s seeking public recognition. If you do these things, show yourself to the World.’ For not even His brothers believed in Him.” John 7:1-5
One of the basic human needs is to be “known.” Knowing someone is more than acknowledging their presence or even spending some time together; it is more profound. In a sense, the best example of personal relational “knowledge” was displayed in the garden of Eden. Adam and Eve were naked and yet not ashamed. They knew everything about each other, had nothing to hide and were completely at peace with themselves and God. That era didn’t last very long, for sin entered the World.
Since that time, every human being has been conflicted with the desire to be “known” enough to be “accepted” yet not “known” so much as to be rejected for being “shameful.”
Jesus had nothing to be ashamed of. Still, it must have been frustrating and saddening for Him to know that His own brothers didn’t (at that time) understand Who He was or what He had come to do. They were summoning a sign from Him to see if He would usher in their expectations of the Messianic age.
They believed Messiah would throw off Roman oppression. Their theology did not expect that Messiah would be crucified or that His death was intended to accomplish the opposite of their expectations. Victory would include the salvation of many of their enemies, not their enemies’ destruction.
The age following Jesus’ resurrection was designed (By God) to throw off the Jewish religious rule in Jerusalem as judgment for their spiritual misleading. Not only were the Romans not going to be overthrown by some “Christian army,” but God used the Romans as a tool of His judgment against Israel’s spiritual pride for having rejected Messiah. Jesus knew this was not an era to be “ushered-in” lightly! Isaiah even had prophesied against Jesus’ brothers’ mindset.
“Woe to those who drag wickedness with cords of deceit and pull sin along with cart ropes, to those who say, ‘Let Him hurry up and do His work quickly so that we may see it! Let the plan of the Holy One of Israel take place so we can know it!’ Isaiah 5:18-19
Just as Jesus’ mother could not usher in the beginning of His earthly ministry, his brothers could not hasten the completion of it. Similarly, I hear some believers speaking in such terms concerning aiding religious Jews, specifically Chaim Richman’s “Temple Institute,” in efforts to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem today. They believe the rebuilding of the Temple will usher in Messiah’s return.
To them, I say, “Be warned!” We know that once the Temple in Jerusalem is rebuilt, it will not be an era of joy but blasphemy and tribulation. We should not seek to usher the Lord anywhere. Instead, we should simply pray as Jesus taught us: “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done.”