Did Jesus lie to His brothers?

            I have heard Christians say that Jesus sinned. It is very clear that Scripture never hints at that. In fact, Scripture is very clear in saying that Jesus NEVER sinned. For example,

21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Cor. 5:21 NKJ)

15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. (Heb. 4:15 NKJ)

26 For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens. (Heb. 7:26 NKJ)

22Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth (1 Pet. 2:22 NKJ)

5 And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. (1 Jn. 3:5 NKJ)

He even opened Himself up to question,

46Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? (John 8:46 NKJ)

In fact, He took away sins, which means He could have never sinned. Only free from sin, could He satisfy the righteousness of God by His death,

29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29 NKJ)

Furthermore, God the Father demonstrated the righteousness of Jesus in His death,

25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed. (Rom. 3:25 NKJ)

Jesus never sinned!

Yet in John 7, it seems that He was not truthful with His earthly biological brothers (half-brothers, because they did not have the same father). John recorded for us,

After these things Jesus walked in Galilee; for He did not want to walk in Judea, because the Jews1 sought to kill Him. 2 Now the Jews’ Feast of Tabernacles was at hand. 3 His brothers therefore said to Him, “Depart from here and go into Judea, that Your disciples also may see the works that You are doing. 4 “For no one does anything in secret while he himself seeks to be known openly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.” 5 For even His brothers did not believe in Him. 6 Then Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready. 7 “The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil. 8 “You go up to this feast. I am not yetgoing up to this feast, for My time has not yet fully come.” 9 When He had said these things to them, He remained in Galilee. (John 7:1-9 NKJ)

This is all good. He does not want to draw attention to Himself. He sends His brothers on to Jerusalem to fulfill the requirement to celebrate at the festival.  He decides to stay in Galilee.  No problem, except the next verse recorded a different action,

10 But when His brothers had gone up, then He also went up to the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. (John 7:10 NKJ)

What is going on? It seems like He deceived His brothers or manipulated them in some way. It would seem at first glance that this would be a lie.

However, a good interpreter of Scripture ALWAYS must deal with apparent contradictions.  Scripture is clear that Jesus did not sin. So how do we understand this?

Notice in John 7:8 that Jesus said, “I am not yetgoing up to this feast, for My time has not yet fully come.First, He did not “yet” go up. He did not want to go with His brothers, because they would have had the expectation that He would announce His arrival and become a political opponent in Jerusalem against the Romans. Too many Jews wanted “someone” to rid the land of the Roman oppression. Secondly, He said His time had “not yet fully come.” They were expecting the Messiah to deliver them from Rome. Jesus would remove all oppression over the Jews at the Second Advent. It was His time to come as a servant and to die on the cross for deliverance from sins. Jesus knew what was in the heart of men (John 2:24). He did not want to entrust Himself to them. And thirdly, He was under the Father’s authority, not His brother’s authority. In John 7:3, His brothers told Him to go back to Judea to show Himself.  Agreement or compliance with their words would have submitted Him to their authority, not the Father’s (John 5:19,30; cf. John 2:4).

Did Jesus lie to His brothers? It is difficult to even ask that question, but the answer is emphatically – NO! Jesus was under the Father’s authority and He waited until the Father released Him to leave Galilee and go to the festival. The Father could have kept Jesus in Galilee for another day or month.

Friends, do not let the enemy try to twist Scripture in order to question God’s Word or God’s character.  Satan has been doing that ever since Genesis 3:1, when he made Eve question God’s Word and God’s character.  Also, meditate on God’s Word, so you are regularly chewing on it and so God the Holy Spirit will guide you into the light of His Word.

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