John 7:1-12 NRSVue
1After this Jesus went about in Galilee. He did not wish to go about in Judea because the Jews were looking for an opportunity to kill him. 2Now the Jewish Festival of Booths was near. 3So his brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea so that your disciples also may see the works you are doing, 4for no one who wants to be widely known acts in secret. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.” 5(For not even his brothers believed in him.) 6Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always here. 7The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify against it that its works are evil. 8Go to the festival yourselves. I am not going to this festival, for my time has not yet fully come.” 9After saying this, he remained in Galilee.
10But after his brothers had gone to the festival, then he also went, not publicly but, as it were, in secret. 11The Jews were looking for him at the festival and saying, “Where is he?” 12And there was considerable complaining about him among the crowds. While some were saying, “He is a good man,” others were saying, “No, he is deceiving the crowd.”
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Some thoughts on this scripture
This fills me with dread. I hate to think of my Christianity dividing me from my family. Yet I can see that there are times when a stark choice is called for. Am I ready for it? Give me wisdom and strength, Lord.
They want an excuse not to believe. They want to be able to say, this is not the Christ. So they focus on where he came from and say that the Christ will come from where nobody knows. ‘They’ are ‘we’! It is human to find excuses not to believe, not to accept, not to follow god in Jesus. We bring these blocks within ourselves to prayer, and ask that hardness of heart may be softened by faith, so that we know we do not have to have an answer to everything.