These Japanese mountains are about twice as high as the mountains in the area where Jesus lived, but I thought they'd look nice here anyway!
Jesus had difficulty with his brothers. I knew this, but
then I read John chapter seven this morning and saw more detail.
In the previous chapter we read that Jesus was saying
some hard things and the Jews who heard him were grumbling and arguing about
it. Up front in chapter seven we hear that there are death threats and he's
avoiding Judea because of them, staying in the Galilee area many kilometers
to the north. But then one of the feasts that they'd normally go to Jerusalem
in Judea came around and his brothers said, “Leave Galilee and go to
Judea, so that your disciples there may see the works you do.No one who wants to become a
public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself
to the world” (John 7:3-4, NIV) .
You can see they really didn't understand what he was doing. There's almost a taunting sound to their
words. They could tell he was intent on getting some kind of public profile,
maybe they thought they'd benefit from his rise to fame. But they certainly
didn't understand why he was spending so much time away from the bright lights
of the city where things "happen".
But Jesus was
patient. He said, “My time is not yet here; for you any time
will do.The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that
its works are evil. You go to the festival. I am not going up to this
festival, because my time has not yet fully come” (vv6-8).
So he sent them off. I'm sure they were bewildered at his response, maybe even mad at
him. But what did he do then? He snuck down to Jerusalem. Some versions say
"privately not publicly" other say "in secret". I wonder
how he managed that! Was he in disguise?
That didn't last too long, though. As if he were compelled,
he spoke up halfway through the festival and started to teach, though it seems
as though there was confusion about his identity, which also makes me wonder what he did to sneak down there. I also wonder what his brothers
thought about this? Did they think they'd caught him out in a lie, finally?
Like most people, I know about strife with siblings, from
life experience. There's always two sides to a situation, the same here, though
the difference is that Jesus was sinless. It's fascinating to imagine what life
as a sibling was like for Jesus.