Summary: Why is Jesus going incognito? Is it for fear of His life? No. Some might try to kill Him, but He could avoid that. His hour is not yet come. Link inc. to formatted text, audio, PowerPoint.
Why is Jesus going incognito? Is it for fear of His life? No. Some might try to kill Him, but He could avoid that. His hour is not yet come. Might some try to make Him their King? Yes. That hour is not yet come either.
There are differing factions present at this big Jerusalem festival/feast. The Jews in v. 11 are made up of Jewish leaders such as Sanhedrin/Pharisees/Sadducees. They disagreed much with one another but they found unity in their dislike for Jesus. He became a unifying factor for these guys. Politics makes strange bedfellows, and these who usually debated each other ad nauseum now team up hoping to find Him that they wanted to kill!
Then there's the festival crowd in v. 12 ['the people']. There's a variety of opinions among them as well. Some say He's good and others say He's a deceiver. It's a great debate among the people just like the great debate among the religious leaders...just like the great debates in our land today!
Here's a 3rd group in v. 25...
These are regular Jews who aren't in leadership, and aren't travelers in town for the festival. But they, just like all the other groups, can't get away from the great debate which is -- the centrality of Jesus. He is what it is all about. You can't get around it! Jesus is the overarching theme of all decisions and debates. Who is Jesus Christ!! All of history is 'His Story.'
Even time itself is divided down the middle into years before Christ and after He came. [anno Domini] That's not talking about Allah, Buddha, Mohammed, Confucius, or any other God!
You cannot ignore the centrality of Jesus Christ. No one can be neutral in this matter. Every one of us must answer the question, Who is Jesus Christ? How you answer that question will determine how you live THIS life. Your attitude, priorities, and world view. And your answer to that question will determine where you spend the afterlife as well.
And so a great debate rages at the festival...a massive manhunt...and Jesus is somehow disguised from them and in attendance, watching it all!
3 things Jesus saw in the crowd:
1. Their argument about Him. [vv. 11-13]
2. Their amazement at Him. [14-18]
3. Their alignment against Him. [19-36]
I. Their argument about Him.
A. They are discussing His character.
Some say He is good. I like to think these had witnessed some of His miracles, or somehow been touched by Him in a life changing way, or knew someone who had been.
They were vouching for His character.
The great debate in our nation in the 90s was whether character counts. "What a man is in private makes no difference so long as he can run the country." Today's version might say, "What a man is in private makes no difference if the man CAN'T run the country!"
Character counts! But being a good man isn't enough. Jesus is the God-Man! Perfect in thought, word, and deed.
Napoleon said, "I know men; and I tell you that Jesus Christ is not a man. Superficial minds see a resemblance between Christ and the founders of empires, and the gods of other religions. That resemblance does not exist. There is between Christianity and whatever other religions the distance of infinity..."
Think with me of the many bold claims Jesus made while on earth:
1. That He was worthy of worship.
Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.
This is when He calmed the storm, saying peace be still. He allowed them to worship Him. He allowed many others, such as the woman who washed His feet with her tears and dried them with her hair! Who allows that?
2. That He could forgive sin.
What a bold claim!
And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.
He had been lowered thru the roof to where Jesus was, and when Jesus saw their faith, He claimed to have forgiven their sins.
3. That He was an eternal being.
Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.
The Jews said, how could you be old enough to know Abraham? He said, "I am eternal!" What a bold claim.
4. That He was co-equal with God.
I and my Father are one.
Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?