Note: This series is written as a first-person narrative to present Jesus in the context he walked in with the unknown disciple that narrates introducing my thoughts and sparking more ideas with his questions. Enjoy.
Soon I noticed we were turning towards Jerusalem, where Jesus’ brothers went for the Feast of the Tabernacles. We quietly entered the city, staying out of view. We heard the Jewish leaders were watching for Jesus and asking, “Where is he?”
Among the crowds, there was widespread whispering about him. Some said, “He is a good man.”
Others replied, “No, he deceives the people.” But no one would say anything publicly about him for fear of the leaders and being kicked out of the temple for supporting Jesus.
Halfway through the festival Jesus goes up to the temple courts and begins to teach. The temple is huge, and many teachers were there also teaching. Jesus had the biggest audience. The Jews there were amazed and asked, “How did this man get such learning without having been taught?”
Most people in the country couldn’t read or write. Those that could read the Torah–our scriptures–but couldn’t write. People from the city had better access to education. I didn’t learn how to write till I arrived at Capernaum.
Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me. Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him. Has not Moses given you the law? Yet not one of you keeps the law. Why are you trying to kill me?”
“You are demon-possessed,” the crowd answered. “Who is trying to kill you?”
Jesus said to them, “I did one miracle, and you are all amazed. Yet, because Moses gave you circumcision–though actually, it did not come from Moses, but from the patriarchs– you circumcise a boy on the Sabbath. Now if a boy can be circumcised on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses may not be broken, why are you angry with me for healing a man’s whole body on the Sabbath? Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.”
Pharisees prioritize what’s important. Some said you couldn’t even see a doctor on the Sabbath. Others said you could pray for someone, but that’s it. All agreed on the circumcision.
At that point, some of the people of Jerusalem began asking, “Isn’t this the man they are trying to kill? Here he is, speaking publicly, and they are not saying a word to him. Have the authorities really concluded that he is the Messiah? But we know where this man is from; when the Messiah comes, no one will know where he is from.”
Then Jesus, still teaching in the temple courts, cried out, “Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from. I am not here on my own authority, but he who sent me is true. You do not know him, but I know him because I am from him and he sent me.”
The temple guards tried to grab Jesus, but we escaped into the crowds. Still, many in the crowd believed in him. They said, “When the Messiah comes, will he perform more signs than this man?”