7 1Later Jesus was going about his business in Galilee. He didn’t want to travel in Judea because the Jews there were looking for a chance to kill him. 2It was near the time of Tabernacles, a feast observed annually by the Jews. 3His brothers said, “Why don’t you leave here and go up to the Feast so your disciples can get a good look at the works you do? 4No one who intends to be publicly known does everything behind the scenes. If you’re serious about what you are doing, come out in the open and show the world.” 5His brothers were pushing him like this because they didn’t believe in him either. 6Jesus came back at them, “Don’t crowd me. This isn’t my time. It’s your time—it’s always your time; you have nothing to lose. 7The world has nothing against you, but it’s up in arms against me. It’s against me because I expose the evil behind its pretensions. 8You go ahead, go up to the Feast. Don’t wait for me. I’m not ready. It’s not the right time for me.” 9He said this and stayed on in Galilee. 10But later, after his family had gone up to the Feast, he also went. But he kept out of the way, careful not to draw attention to himself. 11The Jews were already out looking for him, asking around, “Where is that man?” 12There was a lot of contentious talk about him circulating through the crowds. Some were saying, “He’s a good man.” But others said, “Not so. He’s selling snake oil.” 13This kind of talk went on in guarded whispers because of the intimidating Jewish leaders. Could It Be the Messiah? 14With the Feast already half over, Jesus showed up in the Temple, teaching. 15The Jews were impressed, but puzzled: “How does he know so much without being schooled?” 16Jesus said, “I didn’t make this up. What I teach comes from the One who sent me. 17Anyone who wants to do his will can test this teaching and know whether it’s from God or whether I’m making it up. 18A person making things up tries to make himself look good. But someone trying to honor the one who sent him sticks to the facts and doesn’t tamper with reality. 19It was Moses, wasn’t it, who gave you God’s Law? But none of you are living it. So why are you trying to kill me?” 20The crowd said, “You’re crazy! Who’s trying to kill you? You’re demon–possessed.” 21Jesus said, “I did one miraculous thing a few months ago, and you’re still standing around getting all upset, wondering what I’m up to. 22Moses prescribed circumcision—originally it came not from Moses but from his ancestors—and so you circumcise a man, dealing with one part of his body, even if it’s the Sabbath. 23You do this in order to preserve one item in the Law of Moses. So why are you upset with me because I made a man’s whole body well on the Sabbath? 24Don’t be nitpickers; use your head—and heart!—to discern what is right, to test what is authentically right.” 25That’s when some of the people of Jerusalem said, “Isn’t this the one they were out to kill? 26And here he is out in the open, saying whatever he pleases, and no one is stopping him. Could it be that the rulers know that he is, in fact, the Messiah? 27And yet we know where this man came from. The Messiah is going to come out of nowhere. Nobody is going to know where he comes from.” 28That provoked Jesus, who was teaching in the Temple, to cry out, “Yes, you think you know me and where I’m from, but that’s not where I’m from. I didn’t set myself up in business. My true origin is in the One who sent me, and you don’t know him at all. 29I come from him—that’s how I know him. He sent me here.” 30They were looking for a way to arrest him, but not a hand was laid on him because it wasn’t yet God’s time. 31Many from the crowd committed themselves in faith to him, saying, “Will the Messiah, when he comes, provide better or more convincing evidence than this?” 32The Pharisees, alarmed at this seditious undertow going through the crowd, teamed up with the high priests and sent their police to arrest him. 33Jesus rebuffed them: “I am with you only a short time. Then I go on to the One who sent me. 34You will look for me, but you won’t find me. Where I am, you can’t come.” 35The Jews put their heads together. “Where do you think he is going that we won’t be able to find him? Do you think he is about to travel to the Greek world to teach the Jews? 36What is he talking about, anyway: ‘You will look for me, but you won’t find me,’ and ‘Where I am, you can’t come’?” 37On the final and climactic day of the Feast, Jesus took his stand. He cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 38Rivers of living water will brim and spill out of the depths of anyone who believes in me this way, just as the Scripture says.” 39(He said this in regard to the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were about to receive. The Spirit had not yet been given because Jesus had not yet been glorified.) 40Those in the crowd who heard these words were saying, “This has to be the Prophet.” 41Others said, “He is the Messiah!” But others were saying, “The Messiah doesn’t come from Galilee, does he? 42Don’t the Scriptures tell us that the Messiah comes from David’s line and from Bethlehem, David’s village?” 43So there was a split in the crowd over him. 44Some went so far as wanting to arrest him, but no one laid a hand on him. 45That’s when the Temple police reported back to the high priests and Pharisees, who demanded, “Why didn’t you bring him with you?” 46The police answered, “Have you heard the way he talks? We’ve never heard anyone speak like this man.” 47The Pharisees said, “Are you carried away like the rest of the rabble? 48You don’t see any of the leaders believing in him, do you? Or any from the Pharisees? 49It’s only this crowd, ignorant of God’s Law, that is taken in by him—and damned.” 50Nicodemus, the man who had come to Jesus earlier and was both a ruler and a Pharisee, spoke up. 51“Does our Law decide about a man’s guilt without first listening to him and finding out what he is doing?” 52But they cut him off. “Are you also campaigning for the Galilean? 53Examine the evidence. See if any prophet ever comes from Galilee.” Then they all went home.
The Message® / © 2002 Eugene H. Peterson About