v1-13 - Jesus is laying low because the establishment's out to kill Him.
It's hard to discern whether his brothers are mocking him when the advise him to go into Jerusalem anyways or if they were offering sincere, albeit misguided, advice.
Either way, John reports that not even Jesus' brothers believed Him. This comes right on the heels of many followers of Jesus abandoning Him in chapter six, so this must have been a depressing time for Jesus.
Jesus goes to the festival anyways, but He goes incognito. John reports that everyone in the city was talking about Jesus.
v14-31 - Jesus couldn't help Himself. Even though the establishment was out to kill Him, He begins teaching in the temple court.
The dynamic is different now. At the beginning of His ministry, Jesus spoke to receptive crowds and about things like the Beatitudes, but now the crowd is standoffish and hostile.
The desperation and frustration is evident in the way John records Jesus' speech: He "cried out... (v28)."
Finally Jesus crosses the establishment's line.
They had been upset with His healing people on the sabbath (v23-24).
Now Jesus accuses them of not knowing the Father, and claims that He was sent to them directly by the Father.
v32-52 - The establishment has had enough. They send the temple brute squad out to haul Jesus in.
The whole city is 'whispering' about Jesus. Nobody's quite sure if He's the messiah they've been waiting for or just a prophet sent ahead.
Most are pretty sure He's not the messiah, because they thought that the scriptures said that the messiah would come from Bethlehem, and they're sure that Jesus is from Galilee.
Two big ironies here:
First, as anyone who's ever celebrated Christmas knows, Jesus was actually born in Bethlehem.
Second, the Old Testament does prophesy that the messiah will come from Bethlehem (see the Old Testament Reference below), the members of the establishment show their lack of scriptural knowledge by falsely claiming that a prophet could never come from Galilee (Jonah and Nahum both came from there).
This happens so often though, where a person is pretty sure the Bible says this or that, even though it doesn't.
Make sure you do the hard work necessary to know what the Bible really says.
The brute squad returns empty handed. They were so amazed by Jesus' teaching that they didn't dare arrest Him.
OLD TESTAMENT REFERENCE: The fact that Bethlehem would be the birthplace of the Messiah was prophesied in Micah 5:1-15
Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions:
EYE FOR DETAIL—From what you recall seeing in this chapter, try answering the following question without looking at your Bible: What did Jesus say in this chapter about “living water”? (See verse 38.)
Jesus said that the world "hates me because I testify that its works are evil (v7)." As the world begins to express more and more hate for Christians, how does Jesus' statement here give you confidence?
Question 1 taken from The Complete Bible Discussion Guide: New Testament
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our all knowing Father who sent us His Son
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Ask the Spirit to bless and grow your reading of His Word.
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: