Hostility toward Jesus begins to increase today, starting with His own brothers who do not believe that He is the Messiah. They try to get Jesus to prove Himself by telling Him to leave Galilee, where He is safe, and go to the Judea to attend the Feast of Tabernacles, also called the Feast of Booths, which is a Jewish celebration remembering God’s faithfulness to His people in their wilderness journey from Egypt to the promised land of Canaan. His brothers say “‘For no one does anything in secret while he himself seeks to be known openly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.’ For even His brothers did not believe in Him.”
Jesus’ brothers can only see ministry success through a worldly view by the popularity of the masses. They are currently spiritually blinded to true ministry success, which doesn’t involve Jesus being elevated on a platform — Jesus is going to be lifted up on a cross. However, Jesus knows that His time to lay down His life as the final sacrificial Lamb of God has not yet arrived. So He sends His brothers ahead and says, “I am not yet going up to this feast, for My time has not yet fully come.”
“Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem.” The Samaritans incorrectly believe that Mount Gerizim is the one location you should go to worship the Lord. Therefore, they built a temple there instead of Jerusalem where the Jews worship. And although the Samaritan temple was destroyed by John Hyrcanus long before the arrival of Jesus, the Samaritans still worship on Mount Gerizim.
When the disciples see this rejection, they suggest that Jesus rain fire down on the Samaritans and kill them. But Jesus says no, “for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” Jesus always desires for the lost to repent and turn to Him to be saved so they may receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and eternal life.
We see that Jesus is not bound to this world when a man asks to follow Him, and He responds, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” Jesus knows this world is not His home. He has been sent here on a rescue mission by His Father.
When Jesus arrives at the Feast of Tabernacles, about the middle of the Feast, He goes to the temple and teaches. The Jews have been complaining about Jesus, with some saying He is a good man, others saying He is a deceiver, and some even saying He is demon-possessed. However, Jesus holds firm to the truth that He has been sent by His Father. He says, “You both know Me, and you know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know. But I know Him, for I am from Him, and He sent Me.”
Jesus says, “I shall be with you a little while longer, and then I go to Him who sent Me. You will seek Me and not find Me, and where I am you cannot come.” The people are confused because they don’t realize He is speaking of heaven. Only those who believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior will go to heaven (John 14:6). That is why “On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” Forty days after Jesus’ resurrection, He will ascend to heaven to sit at the right hand of His father; and ten days after Jesus’ coming ascension to heaven, on the Day of Pentecost, the Lord will pour the Holy Spirit upon His people.
There is division among the people about whether Jesus is the Christ. The Pharisees hold firm to their belief that Jesus is not. “Nicodemus (he who came to Jesus by night, being one of them) said to them, ‘Does our law judge a man before it hears him and knows what he is doing?’ They answered and said to him, ‘Are you also from Galilee? Search and look, for no prophet has arisen out of Galilee.’ And everyone went to his own house.”
The Pharisees are wrong. They are so blinded by their hate and their desire to take Jesus down that they negate the actual historical facts. According to an excerpt from Easton’s Bible Dictionary, “This saying of theirs was ‘not historically true, for two prophets at least had arisen from Galilee, Jonah of Gath-hepher, and the greatest of all the prophets, Elijah of Thisbe, and perhaps also Nahum and Hosea. Their contempt for Galilee made them lose sight of historical accuracy.’” (Alford, Com.)
So the Pharisees are still trying to find a way to destroy Jesus by catching Him breaking the Law. They throw an adulterous woman at His feet to see if Jesus will stone her per the Law (Leviticus 20:10). Unlike the Pharisees, Jesus does not tear down others for his own personal agenda. He came to restore the lost. So Jesus rebukes the Pharisees, restores the woman, and responds to the crowd, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
Keep reading. (John 7:1-9, Luke 9:51-56, Matthew 8:18-22, Luke 9:57-62, John 7:10-8:20)