I am rather slowly reading through the Gospel of John this month…taking my time and trying to chew it thoroughly. A couple of days ago, I stopped and thought about this passage:
Jesus at the Feast of Booths
1After this Jesus went about in Galilee. He would not go about in Judea, because(A) the Jews[a] were seeking to kill him. 2Now(B) the Jews’ Feast of(C) Booths was at hand. 3(D) So his brothers[b] said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, that your disciples also may see the works you are doing. 4For no one works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things,(E) show yourself to the world.” 5(F) For not even(G) his brothers believed in him.
Were His half-brothers, natural sons of Joseph and Mary, in unbelief and hardness of heart, trying to kill Him in a roundabout way? Were they aware that there were people in Judea who wanted Christ dead when they encouraged Him to travel there to revel Himself? Does the text infer such? I believe that John 7:25 supports the idea that the deep animosity towards Jesus by some in Judea does not appear to be knowledge that could only be supernaturally discerned. I do not want to go beyond what the text revels and end up on a thin branch of unsupportable speculation, but I think one may reasonably infer there were deep strains in their relationship between Christ Jesus and His naturally-born brothers, strains and resentments born from the sinfulness that comes naturally and easily to the unregenerate heart. They knew the first-born brother, Christ Jesus, differed from them in some great degree, even if they did not apprehend that He differed from them in kind, not just degree. I think, also and parenthetically, of Joseph and the treatment he received from his brothers as recorded in Genesis 37.
What I understand more clearly is that we have a great High Priest who is well acquainted with grief and sorrow.
1(A) Who has believed what he has heard from us?[a]
And to whom has(B) the arm of the LORD been revealed?
2For he grew up before him like a young plant,
(C) and like a root out of dry ground;
(D) he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
3(E) He was despised and rejected[b] by men;
a man of sorrows,[c] and acquainted with[d] grief;[e]
and as one from whom men hide their faces[f]
he was despised, and(F) we esteemed him not.
Can This Be the Christ?
25Some of the people of Jerusalem therefore said, “Is not this the man whom(A) they seek to kill?