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In Mark 7:24 it says

Jesus got up and went away from there to the region of Tyre. And when He had entered a house, He wanted no one to know of it; yet He could not escape notice.

The same event is described in Matthew 15 but it doesn't mention Jesus being unable to stay hidden.

But in John 8:59 it says

Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple.

I know this is not the main point of either passage, but I noticed this and would like to better understand the difference between the two situations. I think in John, Jesus supernaturally hid himself but in Mark it's more of a figure of speech.

  • Sometimes, He succeeded; other times, He did not. – Lucian Oct 1 '18 at 13:37
  • I'm confused: one is about preferring not to be noticed, and consequently being noticed. The other is about escaping a crowd. They are not comparable. – Sola Gratia Oct 2 '18 at 11:16
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At the time of Christ, Judaism was a religio licita (permitted religion); as such there were legal concessions made to the Jewish people. For example, "Jews might gather freely in thiasoi, observe the Sabbath and the Jewish festivals, send money to the Temple in Jerusalem, and enjoy autonomy in their communal affairs. Jews were also absolved from compulsory enrollment in the Roman military."

In particular, the Romans gave a measure of autonomy in how the Temple affairs were governed. The existence of the Sanhedrin as an official body to meet and pass judgment on matters in their jurisdiction is an example of their legal standing.

Earlier, John noted the presence of "law enforcement" agents under the direction of the chief priests:

The Pharisees heard the crowd muttering these things about him, and the chief priests and Pharisees sent officers to arrest him. (John 7:32) [ESV]

This same condition is found throughout the book of Acts, where the disciples and Apostles in the Temple precincts are arrested, beaten, and in Stephen's case, stoned to death under the authority of the chief priests and the Sanhedrin. This is the point John is making.

The fundamental difference between the two situations is the legal situation: in the Temple, a Jewish person was subject to the chief priests who had the ability and resources to enforce their rules and decisions. They had official "police," a prison, a system for trials and for carrying out their decisions; outside of Jerusalem, they had less power.

Those sent to arrest Jesus decided not to follow their orders:

The officers then came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, “Why did you not bring him?” The officers answered, “No one ever spoke like this man!” (7:45-46)

However, after saying those who were against Him were children of the devil, there was a different response:

So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple. (8:59)

The earlier favor Jesus had with the officers and others undoubtedly evaporated after He accused them of being children of the devil. In order for Jesus to die by crucifixion and not by a quasilegal stoning, it was necessary for him to hide from the officials who had real authority to legally arrest Him and leave the Temple, the location where their authority was greatest.

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No, there is no contradiction.

Just because Jesus has the ability to do something and either refuses to do so or speaks of His desires, does not mean there is a contradiction. Jesus had the ability to call a legion of angels to take Himself off the cross but chose not to do so. The whole point of Christ coming to earth was for Him to offer Himself as a sacrifice for mankind. That sacrifice was to be at the perfect time in human history. Jesus used or refrained to use His power to make sure He met his divine appointment.

  • Sorry I did not mean to say it was a contradiction, was only looking to understand the difference. I have fixed the title to reflect that. – WnGatRC456 Oct 3 '18 at 13:04

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