After the large group of disciples deserted him Jesus ministered only in Galilee for some time. He did not go at all into Judea because the Jewish hierarchy were threatening to kill him. With the Feast of Booths at hand Jesus went back to his childhood home in Nazareth. There he found his brothers and sisters and their families gathered. His oldest brother, Joseph, welcomed him.
“Jesus! We are glad to see you. We are preparing to go to Jerusalem for the feast and were expecting to see you there.”
Jesus said, “I sent my disciples on to Jerusalem with their families. I think I would rather stay here where it is quiet.”
His brother James said, “We have been talking about this, Jesus. You need to go up to Jerusalem. We hear that you are doing amazing miracles. We still cannot figure out how you could have produced wine when they ran out at that wedding in Cana. Some people are saying you turned the water in the stone jars into wine.”
Joseph said, “Listen, if you really do these things, you need to go where your followers will see what you do. No one who is trying to become prominent should work in secret.”
Jesus answered, “You don’t understand the situation. Timing is crucial for me. The time is always right for you. The world cannot hate you. Your lives reflect the world around us. The world hates me because everything I do and say testifies that their works are evil. You go on to the feast. I am not going up to the feast with you. My time has not yet fully come.”
After the rest of the family left Jesus began to pray. After a few moments he heard someone talking outside the house. He went to the door and saw his mother and his youngest brother talking to his Aunt Susanna and her son David. As Susanna and her son turned to go Jesus stepped out to meet Mary and Simon.
“What is happening? Why have you not started for Jerusalem?” Mary sent Simon into the house with directions to get some things.
To Jesus she said “We were all meeting at the synagogue to travel together. And Susanna's son Jesse arrived with a donkey cart. That meant we could take a few more things for the journey. Susanna and David returned for a skin of wine. And I came back for some blankets and a round of cheese. Are you sure you won’t go with us to the feast?”
“No, mother. I cannot go until the timing is right.”
“I suppose I understand, son. But you said your time had not yet come at the wedding feast. And God still honored what you did.”
“I know mother. But I would not have done anything then without my Father’s prompting. I am afraid my brothers did not understand that at all.”
“I know, son. They never understood your motivations. Your father and I have not always understood. But your brothers and sisters were not shown God’s plan by an angel as Joseph and I were. It was more than your brothers could understand, when you stood in the synagogue and said the prophecy of Isaiah was being fulfilled in you. It is difficult for them to believe the brother that they have known all their lives came from God.”
Jesus nodded his understanding. “Be assured that my Heavenly Father is speaking to them. In time, they will come to believe.” As They were talking Simon came out of the house loaded down with blankets, and Susanna and David came back along the road.
Mary put her hand on his arm and said, “It is not for me to say, but I think God’s time for you is very near. You must pray about coming to the feast in order to be ready when your time does come.” Jesus said goodbye and returned to the house to pray.
After a while, he too arose and started north on the road to Jerusalem. He did not join a group for the journey. He entered the city secretly to observe what was being said. The people were all whispering about him. But no one dared speak of Jesus openly because the chief priests and rabbis were so angry.
Some of the people were saying, “He is a good man.”
Others said, “When the messiah comes will he show us more signs than this man?”
Still others argued, “It doesn’t matter how many miracles he does, he is leading the people astray. Don’t all of our leaders oppose him?”
This story was based on certain things in John 7:1-13.
Father, the world hates us more and more as we draw nearer to You. Help us be sensitive to Your timing and your prompting in our lives.
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