After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him.…
I. THE DESPERATE HARDNESS AND UNBELIEF OF HUMAN NATURE. Even His brethren did not believe in Him, who should have been the first to do so. This was worse than the unbelief of the Jews.
1. The doctrine of man's need of preventing and converting grace stands out here as a sunbeam. Seeing Christ's miracles, hearing Christ's teaching, living in Christ's own company, were not enough to make men believers. The mere possession cf spiritual privileges never made any one a Christian. All is useless without the work of the Holy Ghost (chap. John 6:44).
2. Christians in every age will do well to remember this. They are often troubled to find that they stand alone, and are ready to blame themselves because their families remain worldly and unbelieving. But let them look at the case before us. In our Lord Jesus Christ there was no fault either in temper, word, or deed. Yet even Christ's own "brethren did not believe in Him."
3. Christ has truly learned by experience how to sympathize with His people who stand alone. He has drunk this bitter cup. Let all who are cast down because relations despise religion turn to Him for comfort (Hebrews 2:18).
II. THE REASON WHY MANY HATE CHRIST (ver. 7).
1. It was not so much the high doctrines He preached as the high standard of practice; not so much His Messianic claims as His protest against their wicked. hess. They could have tolerated His opinions if He had spared their sins.
2. This principle is of universal application and holds good to-day. Men dislike the gospel because of its holy demands. Teach abstract doctrines, and few will find any fault. Denounce the fashionable sins of the day, and call on men to repent, and thousands at once will be offended. The reason why many profess to be infidels and abuse Christianity is the witness that Christianity bears against their own bad lives (1 Kings 22:8).
III. THE STRANGE VARIETY OF OPINIONS ABOUT CHRIST, WHICH WERE CURRENT FROM THE BEGINNING (ver, 12). The words which old Simeon had spoken thirty years before were here accomplished (Luke 2:34-35).
1. In the face of such a passage as this, the endless modern divisions about religion ought never to surprise us. The open hatred of some towards Christ — the carping, prejudiced spirit of others — the bold confession of the few faithful — the timid, man-fearing temper of the many faithless — the war of words and strife of tongues — are only modern symptoms of an old disease. Such is the corruption of human nature, that Christ is the cause of divisions among men, wherever He is preached. So long as the world stands, some, when they hear of Him, will love and some will hate — some will believe, and some will believe not (Matthew 10:34).
2. What think we of Christ ourselves? This is the one question with which we have to do. Let us never be ashamed to be of that number who believe, hear, follow, and confess Him before men. While others waste their time in vain jangling and unprofitable controversy, let us take up the cross. The world may hate us as it hated Him because our religion is a standing witness against them.
Parallel VersesKJV: After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him.