John 7:14 Not until halfway through the festival did Jesus go up to the temple courts and begin to teach. 15 The Jews there were amazed and asked, “How did this man get such learning without having been taught?”
16 Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me. 17 Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. 18 Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him. 19 Has not Moses given you the law? Yet not one of you keeps the law. Why are you trying to kill me?”
20 “You are demon-possessed,” the crowd answered. “Who is trying to kill you?”
21 Jesus said to them, “I did one miracle, and you are all amazed. 22 Yet, because Moses gave you circumcision (though actually it did not come from Moses, but from the patriarchs), you circumcise a boy on the Sabbath. 23 Now if a boy can be circumcised on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses may not be broken, why are you angry with me for healing a man’s whole body on the Sabbath? 24 Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.”
Oh no.... He couldn't stay quiet and just enjoy Himself. He had to go and teach.... and that put Him right square in the hornet's nest.
The commentaries say... the reason Jesus waited to go to the Festival on His own .... was so He wouldn't be making a grand entrance. Ok... then... I'm confused.
The commentaries say Jesus told His disciples He wasn't going to the Festival. He told them to go ahead and enjoy themselves... and then He went alone. So the commentaries flat out accuse Jesus of lying. I don't think so... and in yesterday's Bible Study I defended Him. I figure He wanted to enjoy watching humans having a Festival.... a huge camp out.... and enjoy humans being humans.
I figured it might just be that Jesus was already in the crosshairs of the Pharisees and the Sadducees and He didn't want to spoil the party by being arrested. So today's story says He started teaching. If He didn't want to stand out in the crowd.... why on earth would He stand up in the Temple and start to teach????
I think the key to this "truth or lie" discussion is the twelve free men.... His Disciples and the uncounted women, children, and slaves. If Jesus had walked into Jerusalem with an entourage of twelve free men and and uncounted number of women, children, and slaves.... the Pharisees would have swooped down on all of them like bees to honey..... and they would have all been in peril. This way.... Jesus could work on the Mission without endangering anyone else.
Jesus could read minds.... and He knew they were out to kill Him. They couldn't let Him go around attracting crowds and explaining the law better than they could dream of understanding it let alone teach it. So, I figure, Jesus went to the Festival alone.... so His disciples could enjoy the Festival of Booths without being harassed or jailed.
OK.... now... on to the temple and what happened when Jesus just couldn't contain Himself anymore.... after all Jesus had a mission and everyone was there.... and He loved to teach.... so He could not contain Himself... and He started to teach... and the Temple Leaders... the priests.... the Pharisees and the Sadducees.... were blown away by how much He knew.
Back to a TV show.... yep I watch a lot of TV.... I watch a show from time to time called "Young Sheldon". This is the story of a boy genius.... and this boy Sheldon is smarter than all of his teachers. In the last episode I watched [which has to be a rerun] Sheldon's parents have to consider pulling him out of elementary school and send him to college. AND, all the big schools wanted him to attend.... because he was such a genius. To seal the deal... Sheldon would have to get his mom to let her little boy go to college. The teachers got together and each did a video statement for Sheldon. They said they really really really wanted him gone.... he was too smart.
That's what I think was going on in the Temple..... they were amazed at His genius. He knew the law better than they did. Once He got their attention.... He started to teach them.
Now, in a previous chapter, Jesus broke one of their rules at the healing pool at Bethesda. He healed a man who had been laying around for 38 years... and told the man to pick up his mat and walk. When he picked up his mat... the Pharisees were on the man like bees on honey. The penalty for picking up his mat on the Sabbath was death. Yep... not a fine or a jail cell.... death.... and the man, trying to save his own skin.... squealed that Jesus was the one who told him to pick up his mat. So had there been television back in the days of Jesus... He would have been on "Israel's Most Wanted" for healing on the Sabbath..... Jesus was a wanted criminal because He healed a man on the wrong day of the week.
So... when Jesus had their attention He pointed that out. They were working on the Sabbath when they performed a circumcision. See one of the rules was that they should circumcise every male on the eighth day after their birth.... no matter what day of the week it fell on. That was a rule.... they came up with the rule but it wasn't one of the Ten Commandments that God put on the tablets for Moses. Meanwhile they wanted to kill Jesus for healing on the Sabbath... and that was against the 10 Commandments... it wasn't a rule or a law... killing would be breaking a Commandment of God.
Jesus pointed that out to the Pharisees and the Sadducees, the teachers... the Temple leaders.... and my guess is... they didn't take it lightly.
Jesus wasn't telling them to re-write the Ten Commandments. After all, one of the Commandments was to keep the Sabbath Holy. Jesus was showing them the inequity of their little law. I wonder.... why didn't He point out that by judging the man when he picked up his mat... they were also working on the Sabbath... because being a "judge" is work. I guess He didn't want to make it too too personal... or in other words... He didn't want to insult them... just point to the error in their process.
Jesus came to bring humans back to sensible living. The way things were back then.... you couldn't blow your nose on Sunday. Can you imagine.... a victim of allergies that could not blow their nose because it was running on the wrong day of the week? Yep... that's what Jesus was pointing out to them. That ridiculous rule of theirs was harmful to humans.
Jesus showed them their error....
Jesus just could not help it....