After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him.…
I. SELDOM LACKS EVIDENCE. These brethren must have had ample evidence of Christ's Messiahship. As boys they must have seen something of His transcendent character. No doubt many had pointed out to them extraordinary phases of His birth and life, and how they had witnessed His public life for a considerable time, with its teaching and miracles. So infidels have plenty of evidence. All nature is full of proofs of God; and as for Christ the congruity of His biography with contemporaneous history, and of His system with the conscience, reason, and wants of humanity, and the immense and growing influence of His gospel upon the sentiment, spirit, and character of mankind are evidence enough. The cause of infidelity is in the heart rather than the head.
II. IS ALWAYS VAIN. His brethren mainly from vanity counsel Him to make a display in Jerusalem on a great national occasion (ver. 4). His life was too obscure and His works too unostentatious. They wanted to share the honour that would accrue. Infidelity is always vain. The vainest speakers, authors, members of society, are those who profess infidel opinions. They are vain of their imaginary intellectual independency, of their superior mental insight and grasp, of their superiority to current creeds. It must be so. The man who believes in nothing greater than himself, will have both space and aliments in his mind in which his egotism can grow to the most offensive proportions. Faith in the infinitely great and good can alone burn out the native vanity of the corrupt heart. Infidelity is a negation. "Light empty minds," says Leighton, "are like bladders blown up with anything."
III. IS EVER IN AGREEMENT WITH THE WORLD (ver. 6, 7). By the world is meant the prevailing ideas, spirit, and aims of corrupt humanity. And the mind of His brethren was in accord with this, but it was dead against Him. What is the spirit of the world? Materialism — the body is everything. Practical atheism — God is ignored. Regnant selfishness — self is supreme. Infidelity agrees with all this; there is no moral discrepancy, no reason for mutual antipathies and battling.
IV. NEVER THWARTS THE DIVINE PURPOSE (ver. 10). Christ's plan was not to go up to Jerusalem at the time they requested Him; but in His own time. Their counselling influenced Him not. Infidelity can never modify, check, or retard the decrees of heaven. Conclusion: Such is infidelity in some of its phases. Iris a wretched thing, however enriched with learning, energized with logic, embellished with culture and genius. "I seem," says Hume, "affrighted and confounded with the solitude in which I am placed by my philosophy. When I look abroad on every side I see dispute, contradiction, and distraction. When I turn my eye inward, I find nothing but doubt and ignorance. Where am I? What am I? From what cause do I derive my existence? To what condition shall I return? I am con. founded with questions, I begin to fancy myself in a very deplorable condition, surrounded with darkness on every side."
(D. Thomas, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him.