At the Feast of Tabernacles

At the Feast of Tabernacles

Text: John 7:1-13

I.         For a period of time, Jesus decides to take a less noticeable approach to his teaching - John 7:1-5

            A.        The Jews near Jerusalem had become so riled up at Jesus, that they were actively searching for him in order to kill him.

            B.        Jesus stayed in the north, in the Galilee area.

            C.        As the time for the Feast of the Tabernacles approached, Jesus’ brothers suggest he should go to the feast.

                        1.         The feast is one of the three that all Jewish men were required to attend. There would be a large crowd in Jerusalem during this time.

                        2.         They want him to demonstrate his works openly.

                        3.         After all, Jesus wants the world to know him, and that can be done in a hidden fashion.

            D.        Notice that the brothers are not making this suggestion to further Jesus’ work. They did not believe in him at this time.

                        1.         Why then did the brothers want Jesus back in the spotlight?

                        2.         On commentator suggests they basked in the reflected glory of Jesus, so they want him to be noticed

                        3.         They supposed that Jesus was seeking glory and what better time than at the center of Jewish worship before a large crowd. Their suggestion was one of derision. They were mocking Jesus.

II.        Jesus declined, saying that it was not a good time to for him to go at this time - John 7:6-9

            A.        The phrase “my time is not yet at hand” is repeated several times in John.

                        1.         John 13:1 - Jesus appears to be referring to his time to die.

                        2.         It was not time to antagonize the Jewish leaders, so he would not join the brothers where he would be known

            B.        However, the brothers have nothing hindering them and they should go.

                        1.         They don’t have anyone seeking their life.

                        2.         They hate Jesus because he proves the evil of their deeds. - John 3:19

                                    a.         People don’t like being told they are wrong

                                    b.         People don’t like being proven to be wrong

            C.        He tells his brothers to go on, but it wasn’t the proper time yet for him to go.

                        1.         He is not saying he would not go, just that he would not go with them.

                        2.         Waiting until half-way through the feast, the crowds on the road would have died down. People would not notice his entry into Jerusalem.

III.       We hear the reaction of the people to Jesus in overheard conversations - John 7:10-13

            A.        People were looking for Jesus, but for different reasons.

            B.        People were complaining about Jesus – they did not like the idea of his being the Messiah.

            C.        Others thought he was a good man who was doing good deeds.

            D.        Others thought he was misleading people by his teachings, so he could not be good.

            E.        Yet all of this was whispered because they did not want to attract the notice of the Jewish leaders.