Verses 1-9 are a conversation between Jesus and His natural brothers. It is time to go up to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles. The brothers' unbelief comes out as they almost taunt Him. When I first was reading that they did not believe Him, I thought it was a little comforting to know that these guys who had been around Him His whole life were having difficulty perceiving Who He was. But, as I thought about it this morning, I decided that believing Who He is and not taking Him at His Word is worse. That is SO humbling.
Verse 7: "The world...hates Me because I testify that what it does is evil." This statement is proved out in the remainder of the chapter with all of the arguments about who He is and wanting to arrest or kill Him. He was not taking a neutral stance. He was revealing His relationship with the Father, and the 'powers-that-be' didn't like it. (In verse 16, He clearly states that His teachings are not His Own, but the Father's.) Others seemed to be genuinely trying to figure out whether or not He was Who He claimed to be. These thoughts are threaded throughout the chapter, but most heavily from verse 30 on.
Verses 10-13 show that Jesus does go to Jerusalem, though He refused to go with His brothers. He went alone "...as if He did not wish to be observed." People had been looking for Him and discussing Him.
Verses 14-29: Jesus went to the temple court to teach. Some people were getting angry with Him and wondering at how He could teach with such authority, not having been trained in the Word as a priest. He pointed out that He was just doing what the Father had sent Him to do. And He reasons with them:
Verse 18 "He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He Who is seeking the glory of the One Who sent Him, He is True, and there is no unrighteousness (Amplified--falsehood, deception) in Him."This verse points to Him and the Father being One. "He is true." Back in chapter 1, it says, "God is true." And in verse 28 of this chapter, it says, "the One Who sent Me is true.", plus, He indicates later in verses 29 and 33 that He has come directly from the Father's presence and will be returning there again.
Verses 30-53 show the growing animosity of the religious leaders, as well as the curiosity of all the people about who He really is. Some are angry enough to want Him arrested or killed. Others seem to be genuinely trying to puzzle through what He says and to decide if He might be the Messiah. They even try to recall what the prophets say about what town Messiah will come from. Nicodemus tries to defend Him and gets 'put in his place'. Things are heating up.
Verses 38-39 are my favorite verses in the chapter. These verses are a description of what I want to be like.
"He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.' But this He spoke of the Spirit..." (NASB)
"'Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.' By this He meant the Spirit..." (NIV)
I want to be a conduit of the Spirit!