John 7:1-8 After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him. Now the Jews’ feast of tabernacles was at hand. His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou does. For there is no man that does any thing in secret, and he himself seeks to be known openly. If thou do these things, show 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 alway ready. The world cannot hate you; but me it hates, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil. Go you up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast; for my time is not yet full come.
After the things that happened in chapter 6, Jesus stayed in Galilee, for He could not walk in Jewry – the land of the Jews – because they wanted to kill Him. The Jews’ feast of tabernacles was held on the 15th to 22nd of September (Lev. 23:34-44; Deut. 16:13-16; 2Chr. 8:13; Zec. 14:16-21). This feast was about 7 months before the crucifixion (15th of April).
Christ’s brethren told Him to do to the feast so that His disciples (followers) in Judea may see His miracles. They knew His miracles and no doubt accepted Him as a prophet, but not as the Messiah, for they had found Him declining the kingship (John 6:15) which was one of the Messiah’s chief offices. They could not believe that He would do this if He was really the Messiah.
Jesus Christ was no ordinary man. Another would have taken every opportunity of exhibiting himself before the public that he might become famous, but not so with Christ. Their appeal was to leave the country – the small villages and the ignorant people – and go to the city – the capital, among the learned people and rulers – to make Himself a name.
‘My time is not yet come’ He referred to the time of His sufferings and said to them (His brothers) that the world cannot hate them because they still have its interests at heart and they expected a worldly Messiah. But the world (the inhabitants) hated Christ because He condemned its injustice, pride, ambitions, way of life, and doctrines.
Jesus did not say that He was not going to the feast, but “I go not up yet.” It could have been that He wanted to go alone with His disciples, so as not to bring criticism from His enemies that He was exciting sedition; and also to prevent any popular commotion from a renewed effort to make Him king (John 6:15).