(Galilee, Probably Capernaum.)
^D John VII.2-9.
^d 2 Now the feast of the Jews, the feast of tabernacles, was at hand. [The first verse of this chapter tells us that Jesus kept away from Judæa because the Jews sought for his life. See page 393. This keeping away or seclusion began at the Passover season, and led Jesus not only to keep away from Judæa, but even to hover upon the outskirts of Galilee itself. This seclusion is described in Sections LXV.-LXXI. We now turn back to take up with John the narrative which tells how, after his six months' retirement, Jesus prepared to appear once more in Judæa. The Feast of Tabernacles began on the 15th day of the month Tisri, which answers to our September-October, and consequently came six months after and six months before the Passover. It was the most joyous of the two great feasts, and not only commemorated the time when Israel dwelt in the wilderness in tents, but also celebrated the harvest home. It was, therefore, a thanksgiving both for permanent abodes and for the year's crops. As the people dwelt in booths, the feast partook much of the form and merriment of a picnic.] 3 His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may behold thy works which thou doest.4 For no man doeth any thing in secret, and himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou doest these things, manifest thyself to the world. [When we consider how Jesus had withdrawn into the regions of Tyre, Sidon, Decapolis, and Cæsarea Philippi, and with what assiduity he had avoided crowds and concealed miracles, these words become very plain. The twelve had been instructed sufficiently to confess his Messiahship, but thousands of his disciples had not seen a miracle in six months. To his brothers such secrecy seemed foolish on the part of one who was ostensibly seeking to be known. They were not disposed to credit the miracles of Jesus, but insisted that if he could work them he ought to do so openly.] 5 For even his brethren did not believe on him. [This verse explodes the idea that the parties known in the New Testament as our Lord's brothers were the sons of Alphæus and cousins to Jesus. The sons of Alphæus had long since been numbered among the apostles, while our Lord's brothers were still unbelievers. As to his brothers, see pp.224-226, 360.] 6 Jesus therefore saith unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is always ready. [Jesus is answering a request that he manifest himself. The great manifestation of his cross and resurrection could not properly take place before the Passover, which was still six months distant. But his brothers, having no message and no manifestation, could show themselves at Jerusalem any time.] 7 The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that its works are evil. [The world can not hate you because you are in mind and heart a part of it, and it can not hate itself. It hates those who are not of it, and who rebuke its sins and oppose its ways.] 8 Go ye up unto the feast: I go not up unto this feast; because my time is not yet fulfilled.9 And having said these things unto them, he abode still in Galilee. [He did go to the feast, but he did not go up to manifest himself, as his brothers asked, and hence, in the sense in which they made the request, he did not go up. Six months later, at the Passover, he manifested himself by the triumphal entry somewhat as his brothers wished.]