John 7:1-27 The Message Bible

The Unbelief of Jesus' Brethren

7 1  Later 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. 2  It was near the time of Tabernacles, a feast observed annually by the Jews. 3  His 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? 4  No 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." 5  His brothers were pushing him like this because they didn't believe in him either. 6  Jesus 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. 7  The 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. 8  You go ahead, go up to the Feast. Don't wait for me. I'm not ready. It's not the right time for me." 9  He said this and stayed on in Galilee.

Jesus at the Feast of Tabernacles

10  But 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. 11  The Jews were already out looking for him, asking around, "Where is that man?" 12  There 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." 13  This kind of talk went on in guarded whispers because of the intimidating Jewish leaders.

14  With the Feast already half over, Jesus showed up in the Temple, teaching. 15  The Jews were impressed, but puzzled: "How does he know so much without being schooled?" 16  Jesus said, "I didn't make this up. What I teach comes from the One who sent me. 17  Anyone who wants to do his will can test this teaching and know whether it's from God or whether I'm making it up. 18  A 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. 19  It 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?" 20  The crowd said, "You're crazy! Who's trying to kill you? You're demon-possessed." 21  Jesus 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. 22  Moses 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. 23  You 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? 24  Don't be nitpickers; use your head - and heart! - to discern what is right, to test what is authentically right."

Is This the Christ?

25  That's when some of the people of Jerusalem said, "Isn't this the one they were out to kill? 26  And 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? 27  And 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."

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