Monday, June 15, 2015

John 7:1-13 comments: before the Feast of Tabernacles

1 ¶  After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him. 2  Now the Jews’ feast of tabernacles was at hand. 3  His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest. 4  For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world. 5  For neither did his brethren believe in him. 6  Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is alway ready. 7  The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil. 8  Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast; for my time is not yet full come. 9  When he had said these words unto them, he abode still in Galilee. 10  But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. 11  Then the Jews sought him at the feast, and said, Where is he? 12  And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but he deceiveth the people. 13  Howbeit no man spake openly of him for fear of the Jews.

Wisely keeping Himself in a position to be taken only when He had so planned Jesus walks in Galilee. Here, it clearly says that His brethren, His close relations, like the other Jews, were taunting Him by saying that He should go to Judea (Jewry of verse one) and practice openly, showing Himself for who He claimed to be to, “all the world,” which is clearly a case of them exaggerating as it is equally a matter of common sense that they were referring, not to people on the earth everywhere, but to the many Jews who would assemble around the temple in Jerusalem.

The world, typically, means the culture and civilizations of men. We have the world of politics, the world of sports, the world of entertainment, etc. etc. A great book that Bob Jones, Sr. admired was written by Philip Mauro and entitled The World and Its God, written early in the 1900’s, which discusses how Satan rules the world of men and women.

One definition of world in the Bible is the inhabitants of the earth.

Revelation 3:10  Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

Another definition is the earth itself as the location of the world system of men and women.

Jeremiah 25:26  And all the kings of the north, far and near, one with another, and all the kingdoms of the world, which are upon the face of the earth: and the king of Sheshach shall drink after them.

A world can be also thought of as an age in that it encompasses the thoughts that dominate the civilization that is most powerful. For instance, today the world of science is dominated by atheistic materialism. It is not that there are no doubts among scientists of the truth of Darwin’s or the Neo-Darwinists’ natural selection. In fact, the great materialists like Dawkins and Crick admit in their books that creation looks as if it is designed by a designer and not randomly generated. However, they, along with scientists like Lewontin, make it very clear that they will not consider any other explanation than atheistic materialism as their worldview demands it and rejects even the possibility of there being a God whom they cannot experiment on or theorize about. Even when the evidence, as it often does, overwhelmingly undermines their worldview they cannot allow themselves to look in that direction because worldview is more important than facts or evidence, and other possible answers must be ignored or derided as unscientific or irrational.

So, it is here, that the Jews have a mindset that is their worldview and it must not be challenged. Like Muslims six hundred years later they believe in a Deity who is far away, majestic, almighty, and to be served out of fear alone as He is not personal to them. They do not understand His love or His desire to know each of them personally. Jesus is committing a revolutionary act. He is showing Himself to be the very God, howbeit in the flesh, of which their writings speak, and they reject Him. The resurrection, the power of His very authority as God to conquer death, is therefore also rejected by the two religions of Judaism and Islam.

Jesus speaks of a timetable in verse 6 in that He has a specific time designated when He will offer Himself as the sacrifice for man’s sin, the ransom for man’s soul, and the justifier of those who believe. But, their time is always ready. Any man or woman can die at any time and there is nothing stopping it from happening but God Himself.

Jesus condemns the world system as being evil as He does elsewhere. As an example in the following is His condemnation of  Mammon, a Syriac word personifying wealth, riches, and the economic system in which a person lives.

Matthew 6:19 ¶  Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20  But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 22  The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 23  But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! 24  No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Another example is His condemnation of all that mankind holds as valuable.

Luke 16:15  And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.

We tend to ignore these verses when questioning the system about our savings, our IRAs, 401ks, investments, Social Security, pensions, or life insurance. Not that prudent behavior in saving and preparing for the welfare of your family in the event of your death is wrong but consider the system from which these things are generated and who or what it worships and holds in high esteem. The world hates Jesus because He shines a light on its evil and the one thing that an evil system hates, like an evil person, is to be exposed.

Note that in verse 8 Jesus says to His remaining disciples that He is not, at the time that they are, going to the Feast of Tabernacles observance. He goes a short while later. Modern versions, based on the musings of Biblical scholars steeped in Enlightenment theology and modernist views on science  remove the, “yet,” making this look like a lie on Jesus’ part. Jesus made Himself unrecognizable as He went to the feast alone. The Jews were looking for Him. It was not safe to even speak His name because of the animosity of some of the Jews, who called Him a deceiver. But, He will reveal Himself and teach openly in the temple as events unfold.

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