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JOHN - The Light Shines in the Darkness
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to John
PART 2 - Light Shines in the Darkness (John 5:1 - 11:54)
C - Jesus' Last Journey to Jerusalem (John 7:1 - 11:54) The Parting of Darkness and Light
1. The words of Jesus at the feast of tabernacles (John 7:1 – 8:59)

a) Jesus and his brothers (John 7:1-13)

JOHN 7:1-5
1 After these things, Jesus was walking in Galilee, for he wouldn’t walk in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill him. 2 Now the feast of the Jews, the Feast of Booths, was at hand. 3 His brothers therefore said to him, “Depart from here, and go into Judea, that your disciples also may see your works which you do. 4 For no one does anything in secret, and himself seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, reveal yourself to the world.” 5 For even his brothers didn’t believe in him.

The crowds were astounded by Jesus’ witness to his glory. Some of his friends parted company with him in Jerusalem while many of his followers left him in Galilee. The narrow-minded in the capital would not believe that this young man was the raiser of the dead and the judge of the world, whereas the pious of Galilee were disgusted that eating his flesh and drinking his blood were vital. They failed to understand that these were symbols of the Lord’s Supper.

In Jerusalem, some members of the High Council decided on killing Jesus. They sent an order for his arrest, and threatened Jewish believers with expulsion from the synagogue and the exclusion from God’s blessing if they persisted in following Jesus. Spies from the Council roaming around Galilee began to search and enquire about Jesus. No wonder the crowds withdrew from him for their choice was persecution from the nation’s leaders, or an indefinite salvation found in Jesus. They chose the here rather than the hereafter, preferring their own security to God’s gift.

The brothers of Jesus feared the prospect of being expelled from the social life of their nation. So they parted from him publicly to avoid being banned by the Jewish synagogues (Mark 6:3). They further asked him to leave Galilee in order to shed their responsibility for him, perhaps to force his hand into revealing his glory in Jerusalem. Having lived with him for years they still did not believe in his divinity, counting his love and kindness as ordinary matters. Sadly, many believers are content to respect Jesus for his love, without grasping his truth.

Jesus’ brothers saw his miracles. Despite this, they did not believe that he was the coming Messiah to whom every knee would bow. They felt badly about the decline of his movement and the move of the crowds away from him. They tempted Jesus as Satan had done earlier in the wilderness when he proposed that Jesus should show his glory in the temple before the worshippers to win them over by a dramatic gesture. Jesus had no love for greatness, he chose humility and the weakness of human nature, not wishing the gaining of converts by grand designs.

JOHN 7:6-9
6 Jesus therefore said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready. 7 The world can’t hate you, but it hates me, because I testify about it, that its works are evil. 8 You go up to the feast. I am not yet going up to this feast, because my time is not yet fulfilled.” 9 Having said these things to them, he stayed in Galilee.

Men are proud, because the devil’s spirit has corrupted them. Pride is the symptom of soul sickness and a sign of psychological malady. In truth everyone in contrast to God is small, weak and fated to die. He tries to cover up his weakness by splendid attire. The proud man imagines himself to be a mini-god who can do anything he likes or do nothing. He plans his days and his ways ignoring God. By nature, he becomes a rebel against the Creator. Man loves himself, not God; glorifies his name, but does not magnify the heavenly Father’s name.

Not only are the thoughts and intents of people wicked, but their deeds as a whole. For whoever lives without the Lord, lives against him. Most inventions and discoveries in science, as well as political principles and philosophical systems relate to the sphere of sin. In them are the seeds of death.

Christ showed that the world hated him for he came not to do what he liked but was one with the Father and worked in fellowship with Him. Even pious folk found him a stumbling block, for the love he commends is not legalistic but divine. They hated him because his presence abolished the claim to self-righteousness.

Christ’s brothers rejected the Holy Spirit, rather they were filled with a worldly spirit and so agreed in principle with the Pharisees. Their lack of faith proved that the Spirit of God’s love was not in them; rather they were led by another spirit, one that prides itself and rebels against God. They deceived themselves, believing in the value of their good works.

JOHN 7:10-13
10 But when his brothers had gone up to the feast, then he also went up, not publicly, but as it were in secret. 11 The Jews therefore sought him at the feast, and said, “Where is he?” 12 There was much murmuring among the multitudes concerning him. Some said, “He is a good man.” Others said, “Not so, but he leads the multitude astray.” 13 Yet no one spoke openly of him for fear of the Jews.

Every year the Jews celebrate the Feast of the Tabernacles joyfully. From the branches of trees they make arbors to recline in, either on the roofs of houses or by the wayside. People visited one another and enjoyed tasteful meals. This is a feast of thanksgiving to God for providing them with abundant crops. These arbors and tents reminded them of their passage through the wilderness: They had no abiding city on earth.

Jesus did not dwell on the joys of that feast for he was being persecuted along with his disciples. He let his own brothers depart. Later he went to Jerusalem and bid farewell to Galilee, his earthly home. The decisive moment had arrived, the climax of history – his death for our salvation from divine wrath.

Jews had differing opinions on Jesus. Some regarded him as coming from God, a good man and a reformer. Others saw him as leading folk astray and deserving of death; whose presence would bring God’s wrath upon them and spoil their festivities. The Sanhedrin had issued the order and broadcast it to the people hoping his followers would hesitate to follow him. After that, no one dared speak openly of Jesus.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, we thank you for your humility and obedience to God. Free us from worldly attitudes, so that your Spirit may fill us. Keep us from evil ways, and heal us in the inner self, to serve you as you deserve.


  1. Why does the world hate Jesus?


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