Summary: A storm is gathering around the person of Christ. In six months, that storm will break in all its fury upon Jesus on the Cross. Friends, that storm is still going on. There is more difference of opinion about Him than any other person who has ever....
Feast of Tabernacles
John 7:2, 11-52
A storm is gathering around the person of Christ. In six months, that storm will break in all its fury upon Jesus on the Cross. Friends, that storm is still going on. There is more difference of opinion about Him than any other person who has ever lived. They cuss at Him and say the worst things about Him that has ever been said. He is a very controversial figure today. Although the storm is gathering, Jesus chose this time to abandon His method of staying away, and He went up to Jerusalem, because it was the Feast of Tabernacles.
(John 7:2) Now the Jews’ feast of tabernacles was at hand.
Jesus went to this feast, but He was in constant danger from the religious leaders who had a plan to kill Him.
(John 7:11-13) Then the Jews sought him at the feast, and said, Where is he? And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but he deceiveth the people. Howbeit no man spake openly of him for fear of the Jews.
The Jews who were looking for Him were the religious rulers—they were looking for Him and expecting Him because the Law required that He come to the feast. The people were divided in their opinion of Christ. Some thought He was a good man (moral, honest); while others thought He was a deceiver (interested only in leading people astray). Because the Jewish hierarchy had not stated their opinion, the people feared expulsion from the synagogue if their open opinion conflicted with the Sanhedrin. There was a lot of discussion concerning Jesus, but it was all done secretly, because anyone would be attacked for making any statement that would be inclined in His favor and they would be in danger of arrest.
(John 7:14) Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught.
Halfway through the feast, Christ went to the Temple and began to teach. The Feast of Tabernacles is in the calendar of God and sets before us the coming of Christ in His return to earth and the events and stages which lead up to that. When Jesus appeared in the temple it was quite sudden. He will also appear suddenly when He returns for we read in Malachi, “…and the Lord whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple…” (Malachi 3:1). This will be fulfilled in His return to earth. The Jews were outraged at His boldness and objected to His teaching.
(John 7:15) And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?
I hope you noticed how often we find Jesus teaching. I believe that shows the priority He placed on the Word of God. The Jews (those would be the religious leaders) were astonished because He had no formal training in the rabbinical schools. They marveled that He could speak as He did. Even His enemies were forced to admit, “Never man spake like this man” (v. 46). Christ had a higher authority for His teaching than Jewish schools; His authority was God the Father.
(John 7:16) Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.
Rejecting the message of Jesus is the same as rejecting the message of God. He had insisted in the past that to reject Him was to reject God. Don’t ever tell me He didn’t make himself equal with God. You may reject that He is, but you can never say that the Bible does not declare Him to be equal with God.
(John 7:17) If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.
“If anyone is willing to do His will” is another translation of this. The Old Testament invites, “O taste and see that the Lord is good…” (Ps. 34:8). There’s an old adage that says, “The proof of the pudding is in the eating of it.” Jesus invites you; come and make a laboratory test. “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine.” There must be an attitude of love for the Word of God. Someone has said that human knowledge must be known to be loved, but divine knowledge must be loved to be understood. Here we have the steps: knowledge, love, obedience.
It’s so easy to sit on the sidelines and be a Monday morning quarterback. We love to tell others how it should have been done or to speak our mind without really knowing. Jesus says, “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” That is the wonder of the Word of God. Friends, if you are willing, God will make it real to you. The Holy Spirit will confirm it to you.