Jesus had to preserve his life for the day when he would give glory to God through his death on the cross.
John 7: 1-2, 10, 25-30.
Today’s Gospel opens with Jesus not wanting to stay in Judaea because the Jews were out to kill him. As a result he remained hidden and afterwards he went up to Jerusalem without drawing attention to himself.
Jesus was not the kamikaze type leader who provoked the authorities into violent confrontations to make a point or to annoy them. He did not engage in or encourage violent confrontations. Violence is not of the kingdom of God. Jesus is the face of God: He inspires kingdom building through mutual respect, self-control and harmony with others.
Jesus had to preserve his life for the day when he would give glory to God through his death on the cross. As the passage says: ‘They would have arrested him then, but because his time had not yet come no one laid a hand on him.’ He could not rush into ‘that time’ prematurely by challenging the authorities. Jesus respected his Father’s will and plan enough to know he had to wait until ‘that time’.