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Ministry of Jesus

Jesus Goes to the Feast of Tabernacles

Scripture

John 7:1-13

Commentary

By this time, Jesus must keep a low profile around Jerusalem because He knows that the Jewish leaders are trying kill Him.  As he remains around Galilee, His brothers mock Him by stating that if He wants to be a public figure that He must appear in public more often.

This is an overlooked passage that appears to go against Catholic church teachings.  They maintain that references to Jesus' brothers are not literal brothers as in the sons of Mary and Joseph.  Instead, the explanation is given that brothers is a general term for people sharing in the faith.  Certainly brothers is used in this context in various places in scripture.  However, brothers in this sense would not be mocking Jesus about wanting to be a public figure, nor would they not believe in Him as John explains.  This passage is best understood to mean the literal sons of Mary and Joseph.

Jesus states that it is not time for He to go to the Feast but He later goes.  This is not a lie nor a deception of Jesus' part.  It was not the right time for Jesus to appear publicly the way that His brothers did.  Nevertheless, Jesus will celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles like all of the other required Jewish feasts.  He simply will not do so in public where the risk of being caught were high.

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