John 7:1 After this, Jesus went around in Galilee. He did not want to go about in Judea because the Jewish leaders there were looking for a way to kill him. 2 But when the Jewish Festival of Tabernacles was near, 3 Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Leave Galilee and go to Judea, so that your disciples there may see the works you do. 4 No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.” 5 For even his own brothers did not believe in him.
6 Therefore Jesus told them, “My time is not yet here; for you any time will do. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil. 8 You go to the festival. I am not going up to this festival, because my time has not yet fully come.” 9 After he had said this, he stayed in Galilee.
10 However, after his brothers had left for the festival, he went also, not publicly, but in secret. 11 Now at the festival the Jewish leaders were watching for Jesus and asking, “Where is he?”
12 Among the crowds there was widespread whispering about him. Some said, “He is a good man.”
Others replied, “No, he deceives the people.” 13 But no one would say anything publicly about him for fear of the leaders.
Well, two things come to mind this morning.
One thought that came to mind was "His brothers shouldn't be making fun of Him like that!" These were His stepbrothers, Mary's other boys. They didn't believe so they were chiding Jesus. Verse 4 tells us that they were making fun of Him for saying He is the Messiah. They considered Him to be an earthly brother who had a big head and a bigger imagination. He said He was the Son of God, but they knew Him as the runny nosed goody two shoes that claimed He was more than He could be. After all, no king would come out of Nazareth. His father was a carpenter, not a king, and not God. His brothers didn't like Him. They wanted to throw Him off a cliff.
Remember now, Joseph's brothers hated him too. They actually threw Joseph into a pit, before they sold him to the traders on their way to Egypt. So it is indeed a family thing. Got a really cool brother, who shows you up, then hate him. It's a family thing.
The other is Robin Hood! Jesus went into town, but He did it under cover, like Robin Hood had to. He didn't go with His family. The leaders would expect that. He knew if He went into town with those hateful brothers of His, they'd turn Him in. So, He went into town alone. His brothers were right, no one would suspect Him to travel alone. He always drew a crowd. His brothers might have hated Him, but His disciples [the merry men] always had their hands full with the adoring crowd.
AND don't worry, no one in the crowd will recognize Him if He doesn't want them to. He's got that Superpower of His. He can read thoughts and change minds. He would be fine on His own. The leaders are looking for someone drawing crowds.
No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret.