I had a very interesting meditation on John 7 yesterday afternoon. Jesus in disguise.
"After this Jesus went about in Galilee. He would not go about in Judea, because the Jews were seeking to kill him. Now the Jews' Feast of Booths was at hand.
So his brothers said to him, 'Leave here and go to Judea, that your disciples also may see the works you are doing. For no one works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.'
For not even his brothers believed in him.
Jesus said to them, 'My time has not yet come, but your time is always here. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify about it that its works are evil. You go up to the feast. I am not going up to this feast, for my time has not yet fully come.'
After saying this, he remained in Galilee. But after his brothers had gone up to the feast, then he also went up, not publicly but in private." - John 7:1-10 ESV
Here is Christ a sinless man saying, 'I'm not going to go.' but then going anyway in secret. His brothers didn't know Him, not really, not as He truly was. Nor did the people at the feast. They didn't even know what the feast of booths represented. Christ knew. The feast represented the end result. It is the harvest of all harvests. It is final victory. In a historical sense it is the millennial reign of Christ, The 1,000 years of peace that God promised Israel that happens after Antichrist and Jacob's trouble.
Jesus basically said, 'You don't get it or me so I'm not showing up. Public me isn't going.'
There were people there that just wanted to assassinate the Jesus they thought that they knew. There will be people who want to do that to us also. It may just be our character that they want to assassinate and not our bodies but to God it is the same sin manifesting itself.
Ever feel that way? You don't have to have a 'God complex' to feel this way. It may just be God's witness to an individual in certain situations to feel this way.
He wasn't all caught up in His emotions about it. Though I doubt He liked being in the situation He was in. He didn't sit home and sulk. He went but He went in disguise. Our private life is a disguise after all. It is not a mask we put on. It is the not so recognizable us that has no mask. It is the us that believes God.
"The Jews were looking for him at the feast, and saying, 'Where is he?'
And there was much muttering about him among the people. While some said, 'He is a good man,' others said, 'No, he is leading the people astray.'
Yet for fear of the Jews no one spoke openly of him.
About the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and began teaching. The Jews therefore marveled, saying, 'How is it that this man has learning, when he has never studied?'
So Jesus answered them, 'My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. If anyone's will is to do God's will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority. The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood.' " - John 7:11-18 ESV
I am a Pastor, a brother, a husband and a son... but sometimes those people can't go to the feast. It must be stripped down me. It must be a man with a message to bring to the table and nothing else. It isn't even my message. The teaching is God's teaching.
You might love me or hate me. You might support me or forget me. I don't like it when you hate me or forget me and I treasure when you love me and stand by me. Who doesn't feel that way deep in their hearts? Either way. Neither of those guys is going to the feast of booths. Our public persona will not attend that final victory lap. The one going there goes alone. The one attending that feast has someone else's message. That message is grace. It is a very personal grace that has brought about a personal transformation. That grace gives us hope that all the loose ends will be tied up in the end.
The fellowship we have on this Earth is a fellowship of stripped down grace given people. Sometimes the party doesn't represent that.
If you get a chance read John chapter 7 today or sometime. Jesus' interactions at that feast are priceless. He retains the integrity of His witness in a artful way. It was a tricky situation that looks like it could have gone in several different directions but Jesus stands as a man of faith in the midst of it and we can get so much from what He says and does.
The God of all grace has a provision for us simple people to deal with our complex issues. We must be stripped down at times to apply it... but it is there for those who will just be believers.
I love when I can just be me in the midst of a group of people who are just being the people that grace has made them to be. There is real fellowship there. We are privileged people if we have that. I am a privileged person.