|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
7:1-13 The brethren or kinsmen of Jesus were disgusted, when they found there was no prospect of worldly advantages from him. Ungodly men sometimes undertake to counsel those employed in the work of God; but they only advise what appears likely to promote present advantages. The people differed about his doctrine and miracles, while those who favoured him, dared not openly to avow their sentiments. Those who count the preachers of the gospel to be deceivers, speak out, while many who favour them, fear to get reproach by avowing regard for them.
Verse 9. - Having said these things to them, he abode in Galilee. Such a respite cannot mean a few days only. Not until after this period, and possibly after the brethren had started on the pilgrimage, did "he steadfastly set his face to go up to Jerusalem." A great question arises as to the possibility of harmonizing this journey with the great intercalated portion of Luke's Gospel (Luke 9:51-18:31). This is not the place to consider the numerous and complicated problems involved. One thing is certain - that the synoptists all describe the final departure from Galilee, which followed a period of partial retirement from the multitude, and of instructions, miracles, and advice rendered in the inner circle of his immediate followers. They also (Matthew 17:24; Matthew 19:1; Matthew 20:17; and Mark 10:1 especially) indicate that, on our Lord's journey to Jerusalem after closing his Galilaean ministry, he went into Judaea, and thence to the land of Peraea on the other side of the Jordan. This latter statement is perfectly in harmony with John's representation (John 10:40), where, after an extended journey in Judaea and the neighbourhood of Jerusalem, we hear that he spent three months beyond Jordan Numerous critics, whose views are well entitled to consideration, urge that on this occasion our Lord did resume his Galilaean ministry and effect his final departure as described in Matthew 19:1. Now, the circumstantial way in which Luke describes incidents upon the last journey to Jerusalem leads many to look for the full chronological detail of this last transaction. It contains, however, many incidents between John 9:51 and John 18:31, where the final events of the last approach to Jerusalem are brought into chronological relations with the other three Gospels, which could not all have been connected with the journey to the Feast of Tabernacles. Edersheim and Weiss alike infer that, since Luke says nothing of the Feast of Tabernacles, he has reckoned in this period the events appertaining to the Peraean ministry and the return to the Feast of Dedication, as well as the final determination to challenge the authorities at Jerusalem, with his assertion of true Messiahship, and the last approach to Jerusalem. Luke does not describe the route taken, but implies on several occasions Christ's growing determination to confront Jerusalem; and also implies that he had visited it "often" (Luke 13:31-34), with the purpose of gathering it under his gracious sway and protection. There are, moreover, a few incidents mentioned which synchronize with the journey to the Feast of Tabernacles. He went through Samaria instead of by the frequented Peraean route on the other side of Jordan (Luke 9:52). There the Samaritans refuse to receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem, and the Boanerges are rebuked for their Elijah-like desire. The incident of the cure of ten lepers, one of them a Samaritan, probably belongs to the same journey; and, above all, the interesting fragment of the visit to Martha and Mary at a certain village. This village may, as Edersheim suggests, have been the retirement from which our Lord emerged in the midst of the Feast of Tabernacles. Many other of the narratives belong to the closing period of our Lord's life. The most difficult event to harmonize with the suggestions of this passage of John and with the subsequent hints of chronological arrangement, is the choice of the seventy disciples, which Weiss regards as a kind of misapprehension, but which Edersheim (loc cit.,vol. 2:135) believes to have been one of the great events of this journey to the Feast of Tabernacles. It must be admitted that it is strangely inconsistent with the journey which was conducted as it were "in secret." It would be more natural to believe that it was one of the incidents of the ministry in Peraea, of which Mark gives traces, and for which John provides the true place (John 10:40). Lunge and Godet argue that between the departure from the capital (ch. 9.) and the Feast of Dedication, our Lord resumed his work in Galilee, and there pursued the abundant ministry recorded between Luke 10. and 18. (see notes of Godet and Lunge, 10:22; 10:40); and that the final departure from Galilee was with a great convoy. Ewald and Meyer regard this as a violent attempt at harmonistic arrangement of the details before us. To resume the narrative -
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
When he had said these words unto them,.... Had exhorted them to go up to the feast, and told them that he should not go yet, and the reason of it:
he abode still in Galilee; and went not up with his brethren, nor at all at present; showing hereby a firmness and resolution of mind, not using lightness of speech; and his words being not yea, and nay, but all of a piece, and by which he abode.
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