Now the Jews’ Feast of Tabernacles was at hand.
His brothers therefore said to Him, “Depart from here and go into Judea, that Your disciples also may see the works that You are doing.
For no one does anything in secret while he himself seeks to be known openly.
If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.” For even His brothers did not believe in Him.
Then Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready.
The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil.
You go up to this feast. I am not yet going up to this feast, for My time has not yet fully come.”
When He had said these things to them, He remained in Galilee.
[John 7:2-9 NKJV]
It must have hurt Jesus to know that His own brothers did not believe Him, but He knew, as we who follow Jesus will find out at some point along the journey, that hurt and disbelief from many close to us is to be expected.
If you are chosen ‘from before the beginning of the world’, the very fact that there are chosen, means that there are some who are not. Jesus is described as ‘the first of the first fruits’ — ‘But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming.’ [1 Corinthians 15:23 NKJV] — and it is clear the this ‘first fruits company’ is part of the plan of God, and we who are in His will ‘want to be in that number, when the Saints go marching in’, as the song has it.
Jesus again chooses to separate Himself, and to follow the will of Father God. Notice that He remains in Galilee — which as we have already seen indicates a place of trust (trust in the Father) — holding to the line He has received; that His ‘time has not yet fully come.’ This might not appear to be clear to us who have read the Gospel story through to the end. We might feel that with several amazing miracles, Jesus has already come into His own; but we must always remember that Jesus ‘knew what was in man.’ [John 2:25 NKJV]. And to think that all men would follow Him would mean His succumbing to temptation.
Another consideration we must remember is that Jesus knew that He had a timetable — God’s plan — to follow. This was the time of the Feast of Tabernacles, and with all the significance of that, then it was too soon to show Himself to the world.
Intercession leaves you neither time nor inclination to pray for your own “sad sweet self.” The thought of yourself is not kept out because it is not there to keep out, you are completely and entirely identified with God’s interest in other lives.
GEORGE and GILL STEWART