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Did Jesus lie?

by Stephen Davey

Sharon from South Carolina asked: Did Jesus lie in John 7 when He told His brothers He was not going to the Jewish festival but then went?

Hi Sharon!

The short answer is no.

A key to interpreting a text like this is to make sure you read several verses beforehand and several verses after because the scriptures tend to interpret themselves. We can understand from the context that the issue here with Jesus refusing to go with His brothers and disciples was the public nature of their request. They were telling Jesus in verse 4 that He should be letting everybody know that He was the Messiah. They wanted Him to make His deity public. When Jesus said "no, my time is not yet here," that’s what He was referring to. In other words, it's not time to go public.

Then in verse 10, when Jesus did go, the key phrase is that he went up, not publicly, which was their request, but secretly. The issue was not whether or not He would attend, but whether or not He would go publically, revealing His divine identity.

Thanks for your question,


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