In our previous text Jesus put the twelve Apostles to

the test.  Many of His disciples had become offended at

something that Jesus had said and had stopped following Him.

Jesus had turned to the twelve and asked them, "Will you

also go away?"  This put them to the test.  Simon Peter's

answer to the Lord strengthened the apostles and helped them

to renew their commitment to the Lord.  Even Judas Iscariot

did not turn away from the Lord at that time.

    In our text today, the time for the observance of the

Feast of Tabernacles draws near and it is time once again to

go to Jerusalem for the observance of this feast.


I.  Looking back at some previous events


    Back at the opening of chapter six it was about time to

go to Jerusalem for the observance of the Jewish passover.

Great crowds of people had gathered in Capernaum on their

way to Jerusalem for this feast.  After much ministering to

the people Jesus had taken His disciples and crossed over to

the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee for some rest.

However, they did not get to rest because great masses of

people saw where they were headed and walked around the

shore to where they were on the other side.  They brought a

great many sick and afflicted people to Him whom He healed.

It was late in the evening when Jesus took five loaves of

bread and two fishes and fed a multitude of 5,000 men plus

women and children.

    After Jesus sent the crowd away the people discussed

among themselves the possibility of getting Jesus to be

their king.  They decided that in the event Jesus would not

willingly consent to be their king they would take Him by

force and crown Him as king.  They apparently had in mind to

carry Him with them to Jerusalem and crown Him as king at

Jerusalem.  The temple was at Jerusalem and Jerusalem was

the center of the Jewish religion.  They would hardly have

conceived of crowning Him at Capernaum or at any place other

than Jerusalem.

    However, as you know by the time they found Jesus He was

back in Capernaum and was teaching in the synagogue there.

As they listened to Him teach, they decided that they did

not want Him to be their king.  In that synagogue Jesus made

no rousing speech trying to rally the people behind Himself

as king.  Rather He informed them that He is the true Bread

from Heaven.  He told them that He had come down to earth

from heaven.  A heated argument broke out among the people

with some still speaking out in favor of Jesus, but many

speaking out in opposition to Him.  All plans to carry Him

to Jerusalem and crown Him as king immediately went out the


    Even many of the Lord's own disciples turned against Him

and quit following Him.  It was then that Jesus had asked

the twelve apostles if they were going to also quit

following Him.


II.  The things that happened between the two feasts


    V. 1, "After these things Jesus walked in Galilee..."

This statement casts some doubt on whether or not Jesus went

on to Jerusalem at that time for the observance of the

Passover.  If He did, He apparently did nothing spectacular

there, but kept a very low profile.  Also, if He did go to

Jerusalem at that time, He quickly returned and confined His

activities to Galilee.

    Now it was about time for another feast at Jerusalem,

the Feast of Tabernacles.  This means that He spent about

six months there in Galilee preaching, teaching and

performing miracles.  He did not go to Jerusalem during this

six months period nor did He go to Judea at all.  (V. 1),

"...for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought

to kill him."  The reason that He would not go into Judea

was because that is where the Jewish leaders were located

and they were out to kill Him.  It was not that He was

afraid of them and it was not that He was unwilling to be

killed.  It was just that it was not yet time for Him to be



III.  The approaching feast of the tabernacles


       V. 2, "Now the Jews' feast of tabernacles was at hand."

As the six months period came to an end and the time for the

observance of the Feast of Tabernacles drew near, people

from all over the land would soon be making their way to

Jerusalem for the observance of this feast.  In every city

and village the people would gather themselves in large

groups and travel together.  Many times they would join with

other large groups which came through their city and form a

large caravan which would travel together toward Jerusalem.

It was just such a caravan of people who had earlier desired

to carry Him to Jerusalem and crown Him as king.  There

would soon be another such caravan to leave Capernaum and

head toward Jerusalem.


IV.  A suggestion to Jesus by His brothers


    V. 3-4, "His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart

hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see

the works that thou doest.  For there is no man that doeth

any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known

openly. If thou do these things, show thyself to the

world."  The word "brethren," as used here, refers to His

flesh and blood brothers.  They were sons of Joseph and

Mary.  They were literally half-brothers because Joseph was

not the father of Jesus.  The names of these earthly

brothers were given in Matthew 13:55 as James, Joses, Simon

and Judas (or Jude).

    What His brothers wanted Jesus to do was to join in with

the great caravan of people which would soon be leaving

Capernaum and travel together with them to Jerusalem.  The

people of Galilee had been privileged to see many of His

miracles, but the people of Judea had seen relatively few.

Jesus had performed miracles at and around Jerusalem

following His first cleansing of the temple when He drove

out the money changers and the sellers of sacrificial


    Many had been saved under His preaching at that time and

had heard about the great miracles done in Galilee.  Also,

Jesus had stayed for a while in Judea after He left

Jerusalem and had preached and baptized along the Jordan

River near John the Baptist.  It was said that He made and

baptized more disciples than John did.  The most of these

disciples had never witnessed one of His great miracles.

    The brothers of Jesus thought that it would be to His

advantage to let those disciples down in Judea witness some

of the great miracles so that they would be stirred to His

support.  They said, in effect, "Anybody who is going to

gather a great following, is going to have to get out into

the public and mix with the people.  He cannot afford to get

off in a corner somewhere and not mix with the people if he

would gain a following."

    It seems strange to me that some Bible expositors say

that they brothers were attempting to stir up trouble for

Jesus and get Him killed down in Judea.  It seems to me that

what they wanted Him to do was to gain enough momentum and

gain enough followers that He would be successful in His

effort to become the king of Israel.

    Even at that, it still seems strange that His brothers

would be interested in Him becoming king when they had not

yet trusted Him as their Savior.  They had not yet been

saved.  V. 5, "For neither did his brethren believe in him."

    The Scripture makes it clear that these brothers were

not saved until after the resurrection of Jesus.  But, like

many others of that day, they had begun to be convinced that

He might be the promised Messiah.  The problem was that they

were not thinking in terms of a Messiah who would save their

souls, but they were looking for a Messiah who would save

their nation from Roman dominion.  His miracles had

convinced them that He was capable of taking over the throne

and driving the Romans out of the land.


V.  The response of Jesus to the suggestion


    V. 6, "Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet

come: but your time is alway ready."  Jesus declined the

suggestion that He travel with the caravan and demonstrate

His miraculous powers as they traveled.  He could easily see

that from the earthly point of view their suggestion was a

good one.  He would most certainly be able to gain a lot of

momentum between Capernaum and Jerusalem in such a caravan.

If He were an earthly politician seeking to gain a following

this would be the very thing to do.

    But Jesus was here to carry out the wishes of God, His

Heavenly Father and it was not yet time for Him to gain this

momentum.  Neither was it yet time for the opposition to His

ministry to build up to its fullest, which would surely

happen if He gained the spotlight and sharply increased His

following.  Jesus could not follow their suggestion because

it would stir up the opposition when it is not yet time to

stir it up.

    Jesus told them that their time is always ready.  They

could leave at any time without stirring up any opposition

from the Jewish leaders.  V. 7, "The world cannot hate you;

but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works

thereof are evil."  The Jewish leaders did not hate the

brothers of Jesus.  The brothers of Jesus had not given them

any trouble.  It was Jesus who had cleansed the temple.  It

was Jesus who had spoken out against the falsehood which

they taught.  It was Jesus who had spoken out against their

practices.  It was Jesus who was gaining a huge following.

It was Jesus who posed a threat to their leadership.  It was

Jesus whom they hated.

    V. 8, "Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto

this feast: for my time is not yet full come."  Now note,

please that Jesus did not say, "I am not going to this

feast."  Rather, what He said was, "I am not going at this


    V. 9, "When he had said these words unto them, he abode

still in Galilee."  Jesus was still in Galilee when He told

His brothers to go on to Jerusalem without Him.  It is to be

presumed that His brothers did go and that they joined the

very caravan which they had urged Him to join.  They went

with the caravan to Jerusalem.


VI.  The course of action which Jesus took


    V. 10, "But when his brethren were gone up, then went he

also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in

secret."  John said that Jesus went to Jerusalem in secret.

It to be presumed that He did not go totally alone.  It is

almost certain that He still had His twelve apostles withHim

and possibly a few other disciples.  However, He was not

in the huge caravan that traveled from Capernaum nor was He

in any large group.  It is also probable that He did not

take the usual route that most people would use traveling

from Capernaum to Jerusalem.  It is also likely that He did

not pass through any large cities where he might encounter

some other large caravan.  He must have traveled only

through small towns and villages.

    John said that His travel was done in secret.  John did

not say that His presence in Jerusalem would be kept secret.

The only way that would have been possible, would have been

for Him to use His supernatural powers to conceal His

identity.  Otherwise upon His arrival it was just a matter

of time until someone would recognize Him and the whole city

would then quickly know that He was present.

    But the secret travel to Jerusalem accomplished two

things.  First of all, it prevented an effort on the part of

the people to get Him crowned as king.  If He had traveled

in the caravan, such and effort was almost surely to have

started and once it started it would have gained rapid


    Secondly, it prevented a sharp buildup of opposition.

The opposition was already very strong before the time of

the feast arrived, but it would have most certainly gained

rapid momentum if He had been gaining in popularity with the

common people.


VII.  Lessons which we can learn


    There are many lessons for us in this passage of

Scripture.  I want to focus your attention on two of the

most important of those lessons.  I want to first point out

a lesson to those of us who are Christians.  I want to point

out to you that God's way of doing things is always the best

way.  It seemed best to the brothers of Jesus for Jesus to

travel with the caravan and thereby increase His popularity.

God's way was really the best because it would fit with real

purpose of the ministry.  It was God's will that Jesus, who

is the real Passover Lamb for the sins of men, should be

crucified at the Passover feast and not at the Festival of

Tabernacles.  God's way is always charted by the very best

of wisdom.  That is why it is so important that we always

see to know God's will for our life and that we do His will.

    The second lesson that I want to point out to you is for

the unsaved.  The saving of the nation of Israel from

bondage to the Roman Empire was not nearly as important as

the saving of the souls of men.  Living in bondage to the

powers of a foreign nation is not nearly as horrible as

living in the fires of hell.  Jesus did not come to save

Israel from Roman dominion.  He came to die on the cross of

Calvary and to save the souls of lost men, women, boys and





    There may be somebody here this morning who needs to be

saved.  I am happy to tell you that Jesus Christ is the very

Son of the Living God.  He came down to this world to die

for you that you might be saved.  Let me ask you to turn

this morning to Jesus and place your faith in Him to save

your soul.