- Many of his followers, after they had heard him teach this in the synagogue, concluded, This is hard to accept; who can agree with it? When Jesus understood that even his close companions balked at it, he said to them, Are you offended by that? How are you going to have the faith to witness my ascent back to the Throne of the Father where I have come from? I have spoken of the Spirit of light and truth that enlightens. The flesh is nothing, and my message is about light and truth. My teachings are Spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you that do not understand because you do not believe. For Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who were faithless and foresaw who would betray him. And he said, Because of faithlessness I tell you that no faithless man can come with me. Only those who heed the will of my Father who sent me will have power to rise with me.
- At that time many followers left and ended their journey with him. Then Jesus asked the twelve, Are you also going to leave? To which Simon Peter answered, Lord, where else is there to go? You teach the words of Eternal life. All of us believe and are certain that you are the Messiah, the Holy One of the Most High God. Jesus told them, Have I not chosen you twelve, and even among you one follows the accuser? He spoke of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, for he was one of the twelve and would ultimately betray him.
- After this upheaval among his followers, Jesus taught in Galilee, but he avoided Judea because the Jews viewed him as a threat to their authority and were conspiring to murder him. Now the Feast of Tabernacles was about to begin. His half-brothers expected him to attend the feast and mentioned to him, Let us leave here and go to Judea, that your followers there can witness your good works. Because nobody hides from the public and can expect to be noticed. If you are going to work wonders, you really should show yourself in Jerusalem. But these half-brothers did not really believe in him. Then Jesus responded, My time of sacrifice is not yet come, but you are always ready to criticize. The world does not hate you, but it does hate me because I proclaim against false religion and hypocrisy. You go to the feast without me. I am not going with you. The time has not arrived for my life to end. After that conversation, he went as if he were returning to Galilee.
- But after his half-brothers departed for Jerusalem, he turned and also headed for the feast, but traveled so as to be unnoticed. As was their practice, the Jews were on watch for him during the feast and were asking, Is he here? Have you seen him? Jesus was discussed by many people, debating whether he was a good man or a deceiver. But pilgrims avoided discussing him openly because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders who detested him.
- During the celebration of the feast, Jesus arrived and openly taught in the temple courtyard. Hearing what he taught, the Jewish leaders were surprised and posed the question, How can he understand these complex things so well when he never received learning from us? Jesus responded to their question, My doctrine does not come from me, but from God who sent me. Anyone who walks in God’s path will understand his doctrine, because that path increases light and knowledge. I testify of that path. Follow it and you will know whether I am sent by God or I am not sent by God. Teachers who preach from their own understanding only gratify their pride, but a teacher of truth teaches only what God tells him, and that teacher provides a light worth heeding.
- Did not Moses give you commandments to follow, but you disobey them? How can you conspire to murder me when Moses’ commandments forbid murder? The leaders defended themselves by responding, You are possessed by a lying devil. Who do you falsely claim is conspiring to murder you? Jesus replied to them, I did God’s work and healed a man, and you were offended. Moses approved the practice of circumcision (it did not originate with Moses, but originated with the first Patriarchs at the beginning), but Moses continued the practice and you perform circumcision on the Sabbath. If you approve circumcising a man on the Sabbath day in order to obey the commandment of Moses, how can you disapprove of me healing a man on the Sabbath day, an act that makes him whole? Do not use your false traditions to decide if something is good, but use the light of God to decide if any action I take is approved by him.
- Then some of the residents of Jerusalem came upon this exchange and inquired, Is not this the man the leaders want to kill? How is he teaching so boldly while they fail to silence him? Are the leaders afraid that he really is the Messiah? And others said, No, he is from Galilee. The Messiah obviously will not come from there, but from Heaven. Jesus was in the temple as he taught, and he responded to these inquiries by saying, You are familiar with me, and you know I am from Galilee, but I have been sent by the Most High God and you refuse to acknowledge him. I know him. I am from him, and he has sent me. When they heard this, they wanted to kill him on the spot, but because the time for his sacrifice had not come they were held back. But there were those present who heard what he taught, and saw what he did, and believed, saying, When the Messiah comes, will he provide more evidence that he is sent by the Most High God than this man has provided?
- The Pharisees overheard the comments of these believers, and they directed their guards to detain Jesus. But when the guards came, Jesus said to them, I will only be here for a little while, and then I will return to him who sent me. You will then want me to be with you, but at that time you will be disappointed. I will rise up to where you can never come. Then the leaders mocked his response, How can he rise up to a place we cannot go? Will he travel among the scattered Israelites to trouble them? Or try to make gentile converts? What foolishness he utters by claiming he can rise up where we can never come. We would not want to be with him. If he leaves us, why would we ever try to again be with him?
- During the last day of the feast, Jesus proclaimed to the throng, If any man thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Anyone who believes on me, as the scripture promises, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water (he was speaking of the Holy Spirit, which believers were promised. Following Jesus’ resurrection, Divine Wisdom was promised to fill believers).
- This produced controversy with some saying, He is certainly the prophet who Moses said we must heed or be cut off. Others said, He is the Messiah. But others said, He is not true because prophecy never stated the Messiah will come from Galilee. Does not the prophecy predict the Messiah will be a descendant of David and be from Bethlehem? The people were divided because of him. And some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him.
- At a meeting of the Sanhedrin the guards were asked, Why have you not detained him and brought him to us? The officers answered, We have never heard any man speak like he does. Then members of the Sanhedrin said, Are you also deceived? Have any of us who are members of the Sanhedrin believed on him? Only the ignorant public, who do not keep the law as we do, are misled to believe him. Nicodemus, who had earlier come to speak with Jesus, asked, Does our law condemn a man before he can defend himself or respond to the accusations against him? They asked him, Are you also from Galilee? Search and look. There is no prophet foretold to come from Galilee. Their debate ended with that and everyone went home.
- Jesus spent that night on the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning he returned to the temple. A crowd gathered to hear him teach, and he sat down and taught them. Jesus again testified to them, I am the light of the world; he that follows me will not walk in darkness, but shall be guided by the light of life.
- The Pharisees challenged him by interrupting, You testify of yourself. The law requires two witnesses and therefore your testimony cannot be true. Jesus replied to them, Even though I testify of myself, my testimony is nevertheless true and binding, for I know where I came from and where I am going, but you do not understand where I came from nor where I am going. You debate about geography rather than understanding that I come from God who sent me. For the present I withhold from condemning you leaders. But if I were to condemn you, I would be right to do so.
- As for your claim that I am my only witness, I am not alone, but the Father is also my witness. It is true the law you claim to follow requires two witnesses. I am one, and the Father who sent me also testifies as a witness of me. They asked him, Where is your Father? Jesus answered, You do not know either me or my Father because if you knew who I am you would understand who the Father is also. He declared this while in the temple treasury as he taught in the temple courtyard. The Sanhedrin failed to detain him because the time for his sacrifice had not yet arrived.
- Then Jesus repeated to them, I will continue onward following the path of my Father, and you will not accompany me, but will instead die under the burden of your sins. Therefore you cannot go where I will be. Then the Sanhedrin scornfully asked, Does he plan to kill himself? Is that why he said, The path he will take we will not join? And Jesus responded to them, You are from a lower estate. I am from the Heavens. You are stuck in this world, and I am not of this world. Because of this I said to you that you will die burdened with sins. If you do not believe that I am sent by the Most High God, bringing light and life with me, you will die burdened with sins. They said to him, So tell us who you claim to be. And Jesus answered them, I am the same as I told you from the beginning.
- I have many things to teach that will be used to judge you; and the one who sent me is the Source of all truth. I am teaching what he has sent me to teach and he provided my message. They did not understand that he was speaking the words of Father Ahman. Then Jesus added, When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I am Son Ahman, and that I have done nothing on my own; but as my Father has taught me, I repeat his words. He sent me and accompanies me here; the Father has never abandoned my side. I always do the things that please him.
- When he spoke these words, many believed on him.
- Then Jesus addressed those Jews who believed on him, Only if you continue to follow my teachings will you be my students indeed, because you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free. The leaders interrupted to claim, We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been slaves to any man. Why do you say we will become free? Jesus answered them, In the name of Father Ahman I say unto you, Whoever misses the mark is the slave of errors. And such a slave will not be allowed to be within Abraham’s house in the resurrection, but the Son will remain part of God’s Family forever.
- If the Son sets you free from sin, you are free indeed. I know that you are Abraham’s descendants, but you conspire to kill me because my teachings have no place within you. I teach you what the Father has shown to me while I was in his presence, and you follow the teaching of your father. They answered and said to him, Abraham is our father. Jesus replied to them, If you were really Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham. But instead you plan to kill me. And why do you plan to kill me: I am a man that has only told you the truth that I have heard from the Most High God; Abraham would never do such a thing. You follow the example of your real father. Then they said to him, You are the product of extramarital fornication involving an unknown number of men, and we are not. We have one Father, even God. Jesus said to them, If God were your Father, you would love me, for I am sent by and represent God. I am not speaking my own words or pursuing my own agenda, but the Father’s words and agenda. Why do you fail to comprehend my words? Your refusal to hearken and submit to my teachings makes you deaf indeed. Your father is the accuser, and you share the envy and rebellion of your father. He was a rebellious destroyer from the beginning, and fought against the truth, because he prefers lies. When he spreads a lie, he advances his agenda. He is the source of deceit in this fallen world. And because I am the Source of truth, you are unable to believe me. Which of you can truthfully show that I have missed the mark? And if I teach the truth, why do you refuse to believe me? Everyone who follows the Most High God hearkens to God’s words. Because you do not follow the Most High God, you cannot hear him.
- Then the leaders retorted, When we refer to you as a Samaritan possessed by a devil we have accurately described you. Jesus answered, I have no devil guiding me; I obey my Father, and you dishonor both him and me. I do not pursue acclaim or honor. You are the ones that seek acclaim and wrongly judge me. In the name of Father Ahman I say to you, If anyone stands watch awaiting direction from me, he shall not be overtaken even by death, throughout eons. Then the leaders of the Jews said to him, Now we know that you are possessed by a devil. Abraham is dead, along with the prophets who were God’s chosen. Yet you claim, If a man awaits direction from you, he shall not be overtaken by death through the eons. Do you claim you are greater than our father Abraham who was overtaken by death, greater than the prophets who are dead? Is there no limit to your vainglory? Jesus replied, If I honor myself, my honor is nothing. It is my Father who honors me, the one who you falsely claim is your God. Unlike me, you do not know him. If I were to say, I do not know him, I would be as much of a liar as you are when you falsely claim him as your God. I not only know him, but I watch for his words like a sentinel always awaiting his direction. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day, and he saw it and was glad. Then the leaders of the Jews mocked him saying, You are not yet fifty years old, and yet you claim to have seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, In the name of Father Ahman I say unto you, Before Abraham was, he knew me as I am. Then they picked up stones to throw at him because they regarded his statement as blasphemy. But Jesus hid from their view and safely departed from the temple, bypassing the crowd undetected.