10 But after his brothers left for the festival, Jesus also went, though secretly, staying out of public view. 11 The Jewish leaders tried to find him at the festival and kept asking if anyone had seen him.
Last week, we heard Jesus say this: “I’m not going to this festival.” The text for today says he did go. So, what gives? Is Jesus wishy washy or is he lying? Is John, the writer, confused? No, to all of this. The Greek word used by John for “not” also means “not yet.” Some of the earliest Bible translations use, “not yet.” OK, what next?
Jesus is concerned about the Jewish leaders wanting to kill him. He goes to the big Feast of Booths festival in Jerusalem secretly. The last time Jesus was in Jerusalem for a festival, he healed the man who couldn’t walk, at the pool of Bethsaida, the one who took up his mat and walked where everyone could see him. The Jewish leaders are upset and they accuse Jesus of breaking the Jewish sabbath law. He is a threat to their power and their understanding of God’s ways. Prior to this we read, ”Jesus (He) wanted to stay out of Judea, where the Jewish leaders were plotting his death.”
Well, now that he has decided to go secretly to Jerusalem we can see why he ought to be concerned. The Jewish leaders are, indeed, looking for him. With an estimated 1-3 million people in Jerusalem during festival time, I don’t know how they plan on finding him! But, they are not going to let it go. He is that much of a threat.
Have you ever sensed the idea you are a threat to others because you follow Jesus?