Those of us that gather on a weekly basis are reading John 7 and 8 this week. As I began reading over those chapter it didn’t take very long before I came to a portion that has caused me to scratch my head at times. Chapter 7 starts off sharing about how the leaders in Judea were looking to kill Jesus and therefor Jesus was all that interested in going to Judea at that time.
Then it moves to talking about how the time of the Festival of Tabernacles (Sukkot) was nearing. Jesus is approached by his brothers, who are pressing him to go up to Judea and make himself known. In verses six thru eight Jesus tells them that his time hasn’t come and that he isn’t going up to the Festival. Then in verse ten it says, “However, after his brothers had left for the Festival, he went also, not publicly, but in secret.”
What do you make of this? Was Jesus just playing with his brothers? Did he deceive them? What was his purpose in telling them he wasn’t going but to then turn around and go after they left?