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After this, Jesus went around in Galilee, purposely staying away from Judea because the Jews there were waiting to take his life. But when the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles was near, Jesus' brothers said to him, "You ought to leave here and go to Judea, so that your disciples may see the miracles you do. No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world." For even his own brothers did not believe in him. Therefore Jesus told them, "The right time for me has not yet come; for you any time is right. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that what it does is evil. You go to the Feast. I am not yet going up to this Feast, because for me the right time has not yet come." Having said this, he stayed in Galilee. However, after his brothers had left for the Feast, he went also, not publicly, but in secret. ~Jn 7:1-10



The difficulty we have with the passage is when the Lord told His brothers, “I am not yet going up to this Feast,” but we find Jesus going up to the Feast later, in secret, after His brothers had gone up. Many will not find this occurrence strange, for we ourselves would have on many occasions decided not to do something initially, but later change our minds. This is an experience common to all of us and certainly does not mean that we are dishonest or lying. This situation however, is not applicable to our Lord, because He is the all-knowing God, He will not change His mind as we do.

The second possibility would be something which also happens frequently in the world. When our lives are threatened, we may choose to hide the truth so that others would not know whether we will go up to the Feast, we would then go in secret to reduce the risk of conflict with those who intend to harm us. The Lord, however, would never do that because it is lying and a sin. Furthermore, our Lord could have easily called on His Heavenly Father and summoned more than 12 legions of angels (Mat 26:53) to protect Him, therefore there is no need for Him to conceal the truth.