"Now the Jews' feast of tabernacles was at hand. His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judæa, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest. For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world. For neither did his brethren believe in him. Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is always ready. The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil. Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast; for my time is not yet full come. When he had said these words unto them, he abode still in Galilee." John 7:2-9
Until Jesus' crucifixion and glorious resurrection, Jesus' own brothers did not believe in Him.
We see that His own brethren chided Him about going up to Jerusalem and showing His mighty works to His disciples so that He would become known and accepted as the Messiah. They told Jesus that, if He wanted people to believe in Him, He should openly show by His works that He is the Messiah and Savior He claimed to be (cf. Matt. 4:1ff.).
Of course, faith comes from the Holy Spirit revealing God's truth to hearers of God's Word and not by observing miracles (cf. John 6:63; Rom. 10:17). Jesus would not establish His kingdom by working miracles. Rather, it would be through the preaching and teaching of God's Word.
Jesus pointed out to His brothers that His time (the time for Him to be revealed as the Messiah and Savior by His death on the cross and His resurrection on the third day) was not yet. However, it was their time to repent of their sinful ways and look to Him as their Savior from sin and eternal death and damnation.
It is somewhat striking to note that Jesus' own brethren, despite the teaching and instruction of Mary and Joseph, did not believe in Jesus as God the Son in human flesh, who came into this world to die for the sins of all and rise again. Yes, it is true that even the best parents can raise children who do not believe -- again because faith in Christ Jesus is the result of the Spirit's working through the Word and not through human efforts or arguments.
For those who do not believe, the time is always ripe for them to hear and consider God's Word so that the Holy Spirit might convince them of its truthfulness and move them to place their faith in Jesus and His cross. St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians: "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation" (2 Cor. 6:2).
Jesus pointed out that the world did not hate His brothers because they were of the world, but the world hated Jesus because He testified of the world that its works were evil and unacceptable in God's eyes. The same is true today. The world loves and accepts churches that wink at sin and preach a gospel of universal justification and acceptance, but the world hates churches and believers who teach all that the Bible teaches and call upon all to repent of their evil and sinful ways and look in faith to Christ Jesus and His atoning sacrifice on the cross as their only hope of salvation.
Jesus did not come into this world to wow people into believing by working mighty miracles, healing the sick, and feeding the poor. He came into this world to uphold God's law and fulfill all its righteous demands in our stead and then to bear on the cross the full and just punishment God's law demands on account of our sins that we might repent and look to Him and His cross in faith and be saved!
It's not quite yet time for Jesus to return to earth and show Himself to the world as the almighty God and our Judge. It is, however, your time and my time to repent and look to Him for pardon and forgiveness before it is too late!
"Grant that I hear Your life-giving Word, O Lord, and that Your Spirit enlighten my heart to believe. In the name of Christ Jesus, my Savior, I pray. Amen."
[Scripture is quoted from the King James Version of the Bible. Devotion is by Randy Moll. He may be contacted by email at [email protected]. More of Moll's devotional writings are freely available at https://mercifulsaviorlutheran.net. Opinions expressed are those of the author.]