Read John 7:1-31
The Feast of Booths was a Jewish celebration of the harvest of grapes and olives (Lev. 23). Many Jews would travel to Jerusalem to celebrate this important event. But this particular celebration in John 7 fell at a critical time in Christ’s ministry.
Although Christ’s ministry to this point in John 7 had centered largely in the region of Galilee, He had earned a reputation that reached far beyond. His teaching and miracles caused some Jews to become hostile to the point of plotting to kill him. His brothers were at best curious (wanting Him to put his miracles on display) or, at worst, antagonistic (wanting Him to make a fool of himself). Some gathered in Jerusalem concluded that He was a good man, while others were convinced He was a false teacher.
With all of those opinions and desires swirling in the minds of people, Jerusalem represented a potentially dangerous place for Jesus. As a result, He went there “secretly.” Don’t get me wrong, Jesus wasn’t afraid of danger. He was fully aware of and committed to His future execution. His imminent death was not an unfortunate surprise. He knew it was coming. In fact, He had come for that very purpose. That was part of the divine plan.
But Christ’s initial reluctance to go and his eventual secrecy in going were more a matter of timing. He made these clear statements:
“My time is not yet here . . .” (6a)
“. . . My time has not yet fully come.” (8b)
Satan’s plot was the destruction of the Son of God. Ironically, the crucifixion was also part of the plan of God. But, whereas Satan had been attempting to kill Jesus from the days following His birth, God was protecting His Son until the appointed time.
Do you realize that God also has a plan for you? They are good plans for your welfare, future, and hope (Jer. 29:11). That doesn’t mean that you will never experience adversity. But, in His sovereignty, He will orchestrate the events and timing to His glory.