Summary: This message looks at Jesus' final observance of the Feast of Tabernacles. Jesus had been avoiding going to Jerusalem since Passover six months before this. We will look at this feast using three time periods designated in the text (beginning, middle, and end of the feast).
“HEADING TO THE FEAST!”
Greenmount and O’Leary Churches of Christ
May 16, 2021
Video Link: https://youtu.be/C7Au0CF8tLI
1.) Today’s text in the Gospel of John is in the final year of Jesus’ ministry.
A.) By this time, the religious leaders had already decided to kill Jesus.
B.) After the feeding of the 5,000 many of the people had also rejected Jesus.
C.) The result of these things is that since the Passover feast about six months before this, Jesus has completely avoided the city of Jerusalem and even Judea itself.
ca.) Today we will pick up our text as the Jews are getting ready to again go to Jerusalem, this time for the feast of Tabernacles.
2.) As we look at John 7 today, I believe our text can easily be divided into three sections; These are:
A.) The Beginning of the Feast.
B.) The Middle of the Feast,
C.) and the end of the feast.
D.) So, let us look at: some
I) EVENTS AT THE BEGINNING OF THE FEAST (7:1-13)
1) It has been six months since the Feast of Passover.
A) Jesus has been avoiding Jerusalem because of the depths of hostility against him there.
aa.) John 7:1
2) Jesus’ brothers pushed for Jesus to attend the feast of Tabernacles.
A) John 7:3-5
B) They may have reminded him of his religious obligations.
ba.) Every Jewish male was required to be at Jerusalem for the three major feasts.
baa.) Deuteronomy 16:16
“Three times a year all your men must appear before the LORD your God at the place he will choose: at the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks and the Festival of Tabernacles. No one should appear before the LORD empty-handed:
bab.) It was part of the law that Jesus had to go to the feast.
C) It was also the desire of Jesus’ brothers to encourage Jesus to publicly reveal his messianic identity.
ca.) Even though they did not believe in him. (7:5)
caa.) I am not sure if this was mockery on the part of his brothers or not.
cab.) Afterall, if they did not yet believe in him, why would they want him to do this action?
3) Everything about the ministry of Jesus was according to the plan of God.
A) The half brothers of Jesus could not understand that everything had to be done in a certain time frame to meet the plan of God.
aa.) For over six months now Jesus had stayed away from Jerusalem.
ab.) He had to follow the plan and timing of God so he would be sacrificed for man’s sin at the time of the feast of Passover in another seven or eight months of time.
4) Jesus told his brothers to go without him that he would not be attending as it was not the right time.
A.) John 7:9
B.) I want you to notice that Jesus did not say he was not going to the feast, but that he was not yet going up to the feast.
C.) Jesus was not going to the feast with the caravans of Jews but would later go up secretly.
ca.) At this point it was not the right time to draw too much attention to himself too early.
cb.) Jesus would go in the middle of the week when the crowds had already completed their travel, and the religious leaders had concluded he would not be coming to the feast.
5) Our text shows us that people were looking for Jesus at the feast.
A) John 7:11-13
B) There were many people talking about Jesus and looking for him.
ba.) Though there was much talk, most of it was just whisperings because of fear of the Jewish leaders who wanted to kill him.
bb.) Even in their conversations there was a great deal of debate over Jesus.
bba.) Scripture tells us that some felt he was a good (or Godly) man.
bbb.) Others felt he was someone who was deceiving the people.
bbc.) With such mixed views we understand why Jesus had to be so cautious in going up to Jerusalem.
bbd.) Well, that brings us to look at:
II) EVENTS AT THE MIDDLE OF THE FEAST 7:14-24)
1) Jesus comes to the feast. (7:14)
A.) Jesus missed the first half of the feast.
aa.) The feast lasted for seven to eight days, so this would have been somewhere around the fourth day of the feast.
aaa.) Jesus waited long enough that nobody would have been looking for him to come.
aab.) In this way, he would have caught the religious leaders off guard.
.01) Earlier the religious leaders were watching for Jesus in desire to arrest him when he showed up.
.02) By coming after the Jewish leaders had given up looking for him, he was able to go up into the temple and preach and teach.