BSF Study Questions John Lesson 11, Day 2: John 7:1-13

Summary of passage:  Jesus stays in Galilee because Jews in Judea were threatening his life.  When the Feast of Tabernacles approached, Jesus was urged by his brothers to go to Judea and perform miracles there so all can see.  Jesus said his time yet has not come, and he stayed in Galilee.  Later, by himself, Jesus went secretly to the Feast where the Jews were watching for him.  Some believed; others didn’t.  However, none spoke of him for fear of the Jewish leaders.

Questions:

3a)  Because in Judea the Jews were looking for him to kill him.  The Feast of Tabernacles is one of the three required days Jewish men must appear before the Lord.

b)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Jesus’ time is the time till the cross.  He knows when it will come; whereas, his brothers do not know their time or Jesus’.  He is following God’s will for his life and not conforming to what others tell him to do.  It’s very challenging to me.  My life is packed and it only seems to get even more packed!  What’s challenging to me is continuing to do God’s will in my life throughout the busy-ness.  So I blog and work and read and take care of my family and hopefully will return to writing my novel very soon.  I try to stay focused on His work and not mine.

4a)  Some think he’s good; others think he’s evil.  Some believe in him; others don’t.  The same is today.  Some believe; some don’t.  Some half-heartedly know him but don’t accept him as the Son of God.  Others think him pure evil.  Man never changes so why would opinions of Jesus change?

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Good question!  Honestly, no one asks me.  But I would say this:  Jesus is love.  He is good.  He is the Truth, the Life, and the Way.  Belief in him is the path to salvation.  Jesus forgives.  He listens.  He guides.  He helps.  He picks you up when you fall.  He’s there in your heartaches.  He never forsakes.  He is God.

Conclusions:  I like this lesson.  Good emphasis on “not following the crowd” and giving in to peer pressure.  Jesus calmly says, “It’s not time, yet, guys.”  I loved how BSF brought out that opinions on Jesus never change throughout time.  It’s our job to trust in him and guide others to him, but ultimately it’s all in God’s hands who chooses Jesus and who doesn’t.

End Notes:  John chapters 7 & 8 is where John seems to have gathered the major arguments against Jesus as Messiah and answers them here.  Strong opposition to Jesus and repeated threats on his life is recorded (7:1, 13, 19, 25, 30, 32, 44; 8:37, 40, 59).

The Feast of Tabernacles was a joyful, weeklong celebration in September or October when families camped out in temporary shelters to remember God’s faithfulness to Israel in the wilderness on the way from Egypt to Canaan under Moses and celebrate the end of harvest.  It was also called the festival of booths (sukkoth) or ingathering because for the full week that it lasted people lived in makeshift booths of branches and leaves (Leviticus 23:40-43) to remind themselves of how their forefathers had wandered the wilderness and lived; town-dwellers erected them in their courtyards or on their flat housetops.  It was the last of the sacred festivals under the Old Covenant instituted by God.  It began 5 days after the Day of Atonement (Lev 23:34; Deut 16:13) and lasted for 7 days.  There were more sacrifices at this feast and it marked the conclusion to the ecclesiastical year.

Yes!  Jesus had real brothers as John has already mentioned (2:12; Matthew 12:46-7).  Matthew also mentions sisters of Jesus as well (Matthew 13:55-56).

In this light, the fact Jesus said no is even more impressive.  It’s harder to say no to family than it is to strangers.

Jerusalem Jews saw themselves as better than the Galileans (just like city folk versus country folk of today).  His brothers thought in order to be proved as Messiah, he needed to prove himself to them.  His brothers were thinking of the world (becoming a public figure and what others thought of Jesus) instead of heavenly and eternal rewards.

How sad that even his brothers didn’t believe in him (Mark 3:21) until after his death (Acts 1:14).  What a missed opportunity!  I can’t imagine growing up with Jesus and not believing in him.

Jesus emphasizes timing and will.  Both matter.  Just because it’s God’s will doesn’t mean the time has come yet and vice versa.  Both must align.  Any time was right for the brothers because they were not in tune with God’s will for them.

The Greek word used here for time (kairos) means the best time to do something.

The brothers could not be hated because they are of the world.  Jesus was not.

Jesus does go the Feast but privately, not publicly like the brothers wish.  Most Jews traveled to these feasts in large caravans.  Jesus did not, not wishing to attract any attention and put his safety at risk.  His refusal is not to go at all but rather in the manner his brothers wished.

The “whispering” is often translated “complaining”.  Why?  Because we as man want Jesus to be who we want him to be (for the 1st century Jews, the overthrower of Rome).  Can you relate?

There was probably some penalty for talk of Jesus being heard.  Think Communist Russia.  The idea is to suppress talk so talk won’t gain momentum and lead to a revolution.  Quite common in ancient times for the people to fear their leaders and to fear something that would lead them to be accused of rebellion, which often led to execution.