But when the Jewish Festival of Tabernacles was near, Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Leave Galilee and go to Judea, so that your disciples there may see the works you do. No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.” For even his own brothers did not believe in him.
The celebration was going on in Jerusalem, and Jesus’ brothers gave Him some advice. They were saying, “Why stay up here in the sparsely populated area of Galilee? Go down to Jerusalem and let everyone see Your miracles.” Their words were pointed and sarcastic. Their tone held mockery, maybe even jealousy. They accused Jesus of wanting to be a public figure. John gives the explanation: “For even his own brothers did not believe in him.”
King David once lamented about friends who betrayed him. He said, “If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were rising against me, I could hide. But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend” (Psalm 55:12-13). Jesus knew what it was like to be rejected by those close to Him.
Long before the cross, Jesus endured rejection and insults from His own brothers. Being fully God, He certainly understood the motive. Being fully man, it had to hurt. Jesus was willing to be misunderstood so that we could understand God. He was willing to be mistreated so that we could be treated as God’s friends. He was willing to take insults from His family so that we could become God’s children. Jesus’ final trip to Jerusalem was not to be a public figure, but to die for our sins.
Lord Jesus, thank You for taking on insults and rejection from Your own brothers. Thank You for enduring the cross and its shame so that I could be a member of Your eternal family. In Your name. Amen.
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