As we learned last time, Jesus turned down His brothers’ suggestion that He join them in Jerusalem for the Feast of Booths. But once they are on their way, Jesus does follow them to the feast in secret. 10 But when His brothers had gone up to the feast, then He Himself also went up, not publicly, but as if in secret.
11 So the Jews were seeking Him at the feast and were saying, “Where is He?” (There must have been some rumor of Jesus’ arrival at the feast or just an expectation by the Jewish leaders that this is an event He would attend. The “Jews” here are probably the Jewish religious leaders out to arrest Jesus. They had no authority to arrest Jesus while He was in Galilee since it was under Herod’s rule. But now, they suspect that Jesus is back on their turf, so to speak.)
12 There was much grumbling among the crowds concerning Him. Some were saying, “He is a good man.” Others were saying, “No, on the contrary, He leads the people astray.” (Jesus’ identity will be a dividing line from this day forward for the next 2000 years.) 13 Yet no one was speaking openly of Him for fear of the Jews. (If anyone did know of Jesus’ whereabouts, they were keeping silent. It was a well-known fact that Jesus was a wanted man.)
14 But when it was now the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and began to teach. (It was a common practice for rabbis to go to the temple and set up shop in an area for teaching; to basically put on a teaching seminar. So Jesus, following the rabbinical tradition, is about to begin a seminar of His own.) 15 The Jews then were astonished, saying, “How has this man become learned, having never been educated ?” (The Jewish leaders recognized that Jesus taught with a great command of the law and religious issues. Given that Jesus was never trained in the rabbinical schools, the Jews cannot understand where this expertise came from. We will see later that the soldiers were so impressed with His teaching that they refused to carry out their assignment to arrest Jesus.)
16 So Jesus answered them and said, “My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me. 17 If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself.” (Anyone who truly desires to do God’s will, will be able to judge the origin of Jesus’ teaching.)
18 “He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory ; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. 19 Did not Moses give you the Law, and yet none of you carries out the Law? Why do you seek to kill Me?” (Because there is no unrighteousness in Me, why do you seek to kill Me?) 20 The crowd answered, “You have a demon! Who seeks to kill You?” (The crowd makes the false assertion that no one is out to kill Jesus.)
21 Jesus answered them, “I did one deed, and you all marvel.” (I have done one controversial thing [Jesus is referring here to His healing a man on the Sabbath], and you get all bent out of shape.) 22 “For this reason Moses has given you circumcision (not because it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and on the Sabbath you circumcise a man. 23 If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath so that the Law of Moses will not be broken, are you angry with Me because I made an entire man well on the Sabbath?” (You allow circumcision on the Sabbath and want to disallow Me to heal the entire man on the Sabbath. You are now the ones not making sense.)
24 “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” 25 So some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, “Is this not the man whom they are seeking to kill?”(The crowd is now in a total state of confusion. Is Jesus a “good man”? Or is He a “devil leading people astray?” Are the religious leaders really out to kill Him? What for? Healing on the Sabbath? That seems pretty minor. Or is there something more in their pursuit of His death? We will see how Jesus answers the crowd next time.)