[New to our exegesis of John’s Gospel? Try starting at The Beginning — John 1:1-2].
After this Jesus went about in Galilee. He did not wish to go about in Judea because the Jews were looking for an opportunity to kill him. 2 Now the Jewish Festival of Booths was near. 3 So his brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea so that your disciples also may see the works you are doing, 4 for no one who wants to be widely known acts in secret. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.” 5 (For not even his brothers believed in him.) 6 Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always here. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify against it that its works are evil. 8 Go to the festival yourselves. I am not going to this festival, for my time has not yet fully come.” 9 After saying this, he remained in Galilee.
10 But after his brothers had gone to the festival, then he also went, not publicly but, as it were, in secret. 11 The Jews were looking for him at the festival and saying, “Where is he?” 12 And there was considerable complaining about him among the crowds. While some were saying, “He is a good man,” others were saying, “No, he is deceiving the crowd.” 13 Yet no one would speak openly about him for fear of the Jews.
Καὶ μετὰ ταῦτα περιεπάτει ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἐν τῇ Γαλιλαίᾳ, οὐ γὰρ ἤθελεν ἐν τῇ Ἰουδαίᾳ περιπατεῖν, ὅτι ἐζήτουν αὐτὸν οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι ἀποκτεῖναι. 2 ἦν δὲ ἐγγὺς ἡ ἑορτὴ τῶν Ἰουδαίων ἡ σκηνοπηγία. 3 εἶπον οὖν πρὸς αὐτὸν οἱ ἀδελφοὶ αὐτοῦ· Μετάβηθι ἐντεῦθεν καὶ ὕπαγε εἰς τὴν Ἰουδαίαν, ἵνα καὶ οἱ μαθηταί σου θεωρήσουσιν σοῦ τὰ ἔργα ἃ ποιεῖς· 4 οὐδεὶς γάρ τι ἐν κρυπτῷ ποιεῖ καὶ ζητεῖ αὐτὸς ἐν παρρησίᾳ εἶναι· εἰ ταῦτα ποιεῖς, φανέρωσον σεαυτὸν τῷ κόσμῳ. 5 οὐδὲ γὰρ οἱ ἀδελφοὶ αὐτοῦ ἐπίστευον εἰς αὐτόν. 6 λέγει οὖν αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς· Ὁ καιρὸς ὁ ἐμὸς οὔπω πάρεστιν, ὁ δὲ καιρὸς ὁ ὑμέτερος πάντοτέ ἐστιν ἕτοιμος. 7 οὐ δύναται ὁ κόσμος μισεῖν ὑμᾶς, ἐμὲ δὲ μισεῖ, ὅτι ἐγὼ μαρτυρῶ περὶ αὐτοῦ ὅτι τὰ ἔργα αὐτοῦ πονηρά ἐστιν. 8 ὑμεῖς ἀνάβητε εἰς τὴν ἑορτήν· ἐγὼ οὐκ ἀναβαίνω εἰς τὴν ἑορτὴν ταύτην, ὅτι ὁ ἐμὸς καιρὸς οὔπω πεπλήρωται. 9 ταῦτα δὲ εἰπὼν αὐτὸς ἔμεινεν ἐν τῇ Γαλιλαίᾳ.
10 Ὡς δὲ ἀνέβησαν οἱ ἀδελφοὶ αὐτοῦ εἰς τὴν ἑορτήν, τότε καὶ αὐτὸς ἀνέβη, οὐ φανερῶς ἀλλὰ ὡς ἐν κρυπτῷ. 11 οἱ οὖν Ἰουδαῖοι ἐζήτουν αὐτὸν ἐν τῇ ἑορτῇ καὶ ἔλεγον· Ποῦ ἐστιν ἐκεῖνος; 12 καὶ γογγυσμὸς περὶ αὐτοῦ ἦν πολὺς ἐν τοῖς ὄχλοις· οἱ μὲν ἔλεγον ὅτι Ἀγαθός ἐστιν, ἄλλοι δὲ ἔλεγον· Οὔ, ἀλλὰ πλανᾷ τὸν ὄχλον. 13 οὐδεὶς μέντοι παρρησίᾳ ἐλάλει περὶ αὐτοῦ διὰ τὸν φόβον τῶν Ἰουδαίων.
I mentioned last time that John chapter seven is one of my favorite parts of the Bible. Since these exegetical blogs are very short, I’m going to use four blogs on the first 13 verses alone. Last time, we noted Johannine themes of chronos and kairos time. Today, the echo of the Temptations of Christ in John’s Gospel reminiscent of the accounts of such in Matthew and Luke.
First, we travel back to John 6:15. Jesus performed an amazing miracle of multiplying bread and fish that awed the crowds who then wanted to make him king. To avoid them, Jesus withdrew to a lonely place. We remember in the temptations of Christ, Satan offered Jesus the kingdoms of the world.
Then, in John 6:25f, the people want more bread from Jesus who scolds them for not wanting what it represents: the Bread who is Jesus. Here we have an echo of the temptation of Jesus by Satan to turn stones into bread.
Now, in John 7:3 – 8, Jesus’ brothers, who are identified here as unbelievers, urge Jesus to go to Jerusalem and do signs to prove he is who he says he is. This is an echo of Satan’s temptation for Jesus to throw himself down from the pinnacle of the Temple and so display his power for all to see in Jerusalem.
Common also to the temptations of Christ and John chapter 7 is the topic of timing we partly addressed in our last blog. Jesus would make miracle bread, he would ascend as King of kings, and resurrection power would be exhibited through him — but not according to the timetable of the devil, the “world,” or unbelievers (his brothers) — but according to God’s Plan. Jesus acts according to a timing of events that shows he is in control and, even when arrested, he freely gives up his life for us — it is not taken from him.
Sometimes we’re tempted to think of temptations as swerving off the road and behaving in a way contrary to our normal lives. But here Jesus is tempted to do or be the very things he would do anyway, but for the wrong reason and at the wrong time.
That’s far more conniving on the part of our ancient enemy!