After this Jesus traveled extensively throughout the province of Galilee, but he avoided the province of Judea, for he knew the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem were plotting to have him killed. Now the annual Feast of Tabernacles was approaching. So Jesus’ brothers came to advise him, saying, “Why don’t you leave the countryside villages and go to Judea where the crowds are, then everyone can see your miracles? No one can see what you’re doing here in the backwoods of Galilee. How do you expect to be successful and famous if you do all these things in secret? Now is your time—go to Jerusalem, come out of hiding, and show the world who you are!” His brothers were pushing him, even though they didn’t yet believe in him as the Savior.
Jesus responded, “My time of being unveiled hasn’t yet come, but any time is a suitable opportunity for you to gain man’s approval. The world can’t hate you, but it does me, for I am exposing their evil deeds. You can go ahead and celebrate the feast without me—my appointed time has not yet come.”
Jesus lingered in Galilee until his brothers had left for the feast in Jerusalem. Then later, Jesus took a back road and went into Jerusalem in secret. During the feast, the Jewish leaders kept looking for Jesus and asking around, “Where is he? Have you seen him?”
A controversy was brewing among the people, with so many differing opinions about Jesus. Some were saying, “He’s a good man!” While others weren’t convinced and insisted, saying, “He’s just a demagogue.” Yet no one was bold enough to speak out publicly on Jesus’ behalf for fear of the Jewish leaders.