John 7:13 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 7:13, NIV: But no one would say anything publicly about him for fear of the leaders.

John 7:13, ESV: Yet for fear of the Jews no one spoke openly of him.

John 7:13, KJV: Howbeit no man spake openly of him for fear of the Jews.

John 7:13, NASB: However, no one was speaking openly about Him, for fear of the Jews.

John 7:13, NLT: But no one had the courage to speak favorably about him in public, for they were afraid of getting in trouble with the Jewish leaders.

John 7:13, CSB: Still, nobody was talking publicly about him for fear of the Jews.

What does John 7:13 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jesus' earthly ministry was often the source of controversy and debate. Ultimately, this is grounded in mankind's natural hatred of conviction. Showing someone the reality of his sin is a sure fire way to earn his anger (John 15:22–24). Likewise, people are attracted to flashy miracles and other signs (John 6:26), even though they aren't really interested in spiritual truth (John 6:66). Jesus' willingness to confront the religious leaders of Jerusalem (John 5:39–40) was a particular source of scandal. A full year prior to the events of this chapter, Jesus had healed a lame man at the Pool of Bethesda (John 5:1–9), enraging the Pharisees (John 5:10–12). His response to them earned Him their hatred, and their desire that He be killed (John 5:18).

That seems to be the mood driving the people to discuss Jesus furtively, rather than openly. The people are curious and split on their view of Jesus, but are afraid to express those ideas too publicly, for fear of Jerusalem's religious leadership (John 7:1).