Living In A World That Hates Jesus is the topic that will be discussed today on RIOT Podcast, a Christian Discipleship Podcast.
Today we will unpack “The Feast of Tabernacles in John 7”. The feast was away the Jews looked back on Israel’s journey through the wilderness and looked forward to the promised kingdom of the Messiah.
The Jews lived in booths made of branches to remind them of God’s providential care of the nation for nearly forty years. Tabernacles were festive times for the people, the temple area was illuminated by large candlesticks, that reminded the people of the guiding pillar of fire.
Each day the priests would carry water from the pool of Siloam and pour it out from a golden vessel, reminding the Jews of the miraculous provision of water from the rock.
The feast was a jubilant time of the year for the people, but it was a difficult time for Jesus, for it marked the beginning of the open persecution of Him and His ministry. Ever since He had healed the paralytic on the Sabbath day, Jesus had been targeted by the Jewish leaders who wanted to kill him.
In our reading today we will see Jesus remained in Galilee, where it would be safer for Him, but He did not remain there. He eventually attended the feast.
Read John 7:1-10
This is the “before the Feast” disbelief. Mary bore other children, with Joseph as their natural Father, so Jesus would have been their half-brother. It seems incredible that His brothers could have lived with Him all those years and not realized his uniqueness about Him.
I’m sure Jesus’ brothers knew about John 6:66 “when many of His disciples deserted Him.” Because of that, they were mocking him when they said “Leave here and go to Judea that your disciples also may see the works you are doing. 4 For no one works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.”
Basically, they were saying that if you want to have a following you need to take advantage of this opportunity and do something spectacular.
Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always here. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify about it that its works are evil.” The world hated Jesus because their minds were blinded by unbelief. This unbelief was prophesied in Psalm 69:8 I have become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien until my mother’s children. Let's read vs 11-24 and talk about what happened when Jesus finally appeared at the festival.
Read John 7:11-24
There are three different groups of people here; the first, of course, is the Jewish Leaders who did temple ministry. The second was the Jewish people, the crowd that came to Jerusalem from outside of the city to worship, and lastly, the crowd of Jews that lived in the city.
G. Campbell Morgan said, “When men are wholly, completely consecrated to the will of God and want to do that above everything else, then they find out that Christs teaching is divine, that it is the teaching of God Himself.”
Jesus responded to the crowd by using the Law of Moses to refute the enemy’s argument. He knew that they would not give in, why? Because their standard of judgement was not honest. They evaluated things on the basis of superficial examination of the facts. They judged on the basis of how they felt and not what it actually was. So He ended his rebuttal with “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgement.”