10 However, after his brothers had left for the festival, he went also, not publicly, but in secret. 11 Now at the festival the Jewish leaders were watching for Jesus and asking, “Where is he?” 12 Among the crowds there was widespread whispering about him. Some said, “He is a good man.” Others replied, “No, he deceives the people.” 13 But no one would say anything publicly about him for fear of the leaders.
Thoughts: The people were afraid of the leaders. The leaders were putting people out of the synagogue who were following Jesus (9:22; 12:42). The question about Jesus was "Is he good?" of "Does he just appear to be good?" It is always a matter of faith in the end. Will we put our trust in the goodness of the Lord, or do we think it is just a show? We live in such a skeptical age, that many refuse to believe in any truly universal good. It is good to be a little skeptical about human beings and their belief systems. But we can be so skeptical that we eliminate faith, hope, and eventually true love altogether to our own detriment. Our world today in the west is almost there: faithless, hopeless, loveless. Yet faith, hope, and love are available to us if we will just believe.
Prayer: In such a skeptical world, Lord, help me to put and keep my trust in you.
John Calvin Abridged: At this time the only Church on earth was in chaos. They gaped for their redemption like a hungry man- yet when Christ appears they remain in suspense.