Day 40: Jesus at the Feast of Tabernacles

Text: John 7
Events: The Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus speaks of the promise of the Holy Spirit, More questions surrounding who Jesus was

John 7:2 Now the Jews’ Feast of Tabernacles was at hand” This feast takes place towards the end of September / beginning of October. That year, it fell on September 10-17, AD 32. So timing wise, we are now at the Fall season right before the Spring in which Jesus will be crucified. In Jesus’ day this feast was the most popular of the three required Jewish feasts. It commemorated God’s provision for and protection of the Israelites’ during their sojourn in the wilderness. Many devout Jews built temporary shelters out of branches and lived in them for the week, in order to simulate the wilderness conditions in which their forefathers had lived.

John 7:3-5..that your disciples also may see the works that You are doing.” Not only was the motive for going wrong, as Jesus would not be one to promote Himself. The timing was also wrong – even if it were only by a few of days. The Father would still lead Jesus to still go to the festival, but notice how Jesus wouldn’t even step outside of the Father’s direction by even a day or two.

John 7:21I did one work,” This one work references the healing Jesus had done earlier in Jerusalem (for obviously He had done several other works) of the paralytic man at the pool of Bethesda, in Chapter 5.

John 7:37-39If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.” Please listen with your heart to the following excerpt and then picture the depth of what Jesus was saying in light of the activity that was going on:

Each day during the Feast of Tabernacles a joyous celebration was observed in which the priests brought water (symbolic of the water supplied from the rock in Exodus 17) to the temple from the pool of Siloam in a golden pitcher. During the procession, the people recited Isaiah 12:3. The water was poured out on the alter as an offering to God, while the people shouted and sang. Jesus was the fulfillment of all that the ceremony typified. (see 1 Corinthians 10:4) Those who are satisfied by Jesus will themselves become channels of spiritual refreshment for others.– The New Spirit Filled Life Bible

Today’s takeaway: Going back to verses 3-5, I want to point out that Jesus knew He was hated, but nonetheless that didn’t cause Him to shrink back or avoid the confrontation – but He was wise in His approach. Have you ever been in an environment or had to navigate through a relationship that was charged with negative or even hostile tension? I think Jesus gives us a great example here of how to do that in an effective way. Ephesians 5:15 tells us we are to walk wisely and circumspect. The Amplified Bible puts it this way: “Therefore see that you walk carefully [living life with honor, purpose, and courage; shunning those who tolerate and enable evil], not as the unwise, but as wise [sensible, intelligent, discerning people]…” This does not mean we go looking for confrontation, and neither do we endanger ourselves or others, but we allow God’s ways (honor, purpose, courage, sensibility, intelligence, discernment) to have priority over directing our lives. Are there any tense environments of circumstances you’re trying to navigate right now? Calm your spirit and ask God to help you not follow the impulses of what our flesh or others would have you do; but instead ask God to help you walk through that in a way that glorifies Him and that brings peace to your soul.

Additional (optional) reading: Only the Gospel of John captures the events in today’s passage. However, to tie into today’s notes, consider reading Ephesians 5:15-17; Isaiah 12:3 and 1 Corinthians 10:4