Did Jesus lie and go up to the feast or not?

 by Matt Slick


Did Jesus lie when he said he would not go to the Feast, and then later he went?

  1. No, he did not go to the feast
    1. (John 7:8)--"Go up to the feast yourselves; I do not go up to this feast because My time has not yet fully come."
  2. Yes, He did go to the feast.
    1. (John 7:10)--"But when His brothers had gone up to the feast, then He Himself also went up, not publicly, but as it were, in secret."

As with many alleged Bible contradictions, when the context is examined, the answer becomes clear. John 7 starts off with Jesus walking in Galilee.  His brothers said in verses 3-4, "Depart from here, and go into Judea, that Your disciples also may behold Your works which You are doing. 4"For no one does anything in secret, when he himself seeks to be known publicly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world."  We see that Jesus' brothers wanted Him to go into Judea publicly; but they did not believe who He was, "For not even His brothers were believing in Him." (v. 5).  Jesus responded by telling them to go up themselves because His time had not yet come.  The statement "His time had not yet come" refers to both Jesus revealing Himself to the world as well as the time of his death which the Pharisees would later arrange.  He sent His brothers on their way.  Then in verse 9 it says that Jesus stayed in Galilee.  We do not know how long He stayed there, but it is evident that Jesus did so for a while and then decided to go up to Judea in secret.   "But when His brothers had gone up to the feast, then He Himself also went up, not publicly, but as it were, in secret."

So we see that in verse 8 that Jesus meant that he was not going up to the feast "right then and there."  Jesus then stayed for a time in Galilee and later went up to Judea.  There is no problem.

Furthermore, it is not a lie when a person decides to do one thing and then later changes his mind to do another.  A lie would mean that Jesus knew He was going to do one thing but then deliberately said he would not with the intention of deceiving people.  This is not the case, and the text doesn't support it.




CARM ison
Copyright 2014

CARM Office number: 208-466-1301
Office hours: M-F; 9-5 pm; Mountain Time
Email: [email protected]
Mailing Address: CARM, PO BOX 1353, Nampa ID 83653