Saturday, October 19, 2013

John 7:1-10:41 Jesus at the Feast of Tabernacles

Leviticus 23 mentions all the feast of the Lord. The main ones are the Sabbath, Passover, Feast of the first fruits, Feast of Weeks, Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah), Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) and Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot).

The Feast of Tabernacle is a seven day holiday instituted in the Torah. It takes place right after Yom Kippur. Rosh Hashanah is a fairly gloomy time as it is a time of repentance. For 10 days the Jews present offering to God and repent. Yom Kippur is a day of Atonement. Righteousness finally restored.

Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) on the other hand is a happy celebration. It is known as the week of rejoicing.

"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. You go up to the feast. I am not going up to this feast for my time has not yet fully come." John 7:7-8 (emphasis mine)

Jesus is telling his brothers that he is not going.


Let’s step into the time machine and go back to the Israelites in the desert at the foot of Mount Sinai (cf Exodus 20-32).

View from Mount Sinai

Moses is about to go up the mountain and is about to receive the 10 Commandments. The Israelites were to wait at the foot of Mount Sinai. Moses’ last words to them were

“Be ready on the third day, do not go near a woman.” Exodus 19:15

Moses was on Mount Sinai for much more than 3 days and the Israelites were getting antsy. So they decided to make a golden calf, worship to it and party.

When Moses came down the mountain and saw the debacle, he saw red and throw the tablets down. Thus being the first person to break all 10 commandments. :)

Moses ask for God’s forgiveness and go up the mountain again. The Israelites were to wait and repent. The first Rosh Hashanah and the first Yom Kippur. After this they started building the Tabernacle that would hold the Ark of the Covenant.

So the feast of Tabernacles represents restored fellowship with the Lord, God’s presence among His redeemed people.

"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us" John 1:14 (emphasis mine)

gerund or present participle: dwelling
live in or at a specified place.
"groups of gypsies still dwell in these caves"
synonyms:reside, live, be settled, be housed, lodge, stay;
informalput up;
formalabide, be domiciled
To dwell means that you are here to stay. When God restored His fellowship with the Israelites it was after a time of repentance. John had hinted before that there had been a serious spiritual decline in Israel. Jesus knew (knows) what was in the heart of men (John2:24).

Falsehood is the heart of men. Jesus was not there publicly at first because his true presence would not be recognized. Sins were not atoned for.
Interestingly enough John7:11 states that the Jews were seeking him.

Are you a seeker?

 "About the middle of the feast, Jesus went up into the temple and began teaching." John 7:14
Specific passages of the Torah are read throughout the year. So there would be specific readings for the feast of Tabernacles. Halfway through the feast the reading would have been on Exodus 33-34.
Exodus 33-34 is about the second time Moses went up the mountain and brought back the commandments. It is about righteousness being restored and fellowship with God. It is about building the Tabernacle and God's presence dwelling among them. Jesus is reading about himself, dwelling among His people and restoring relationships. How beautiful is that?!?!

Some wanted to kill him but most were asking

Can this be the Christ?

The Feast of Tabernacles has a prophetic fulfillment. Zechariah 14:16-17 states that every nation will come to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts at the Feast of Tabernacles. Ezekiel 37:26-27 states that at that time God's dwelling place with be with them and that He will pitch His tent forever.

"During the seven days of Sukkot a sacrificial pouring out of water (called a "water libation") was performed at the Temple (Sukkah 51a-b). In a ceremony called nisuch ha-mayim, the High Priest would lead a procession to the pool of Shiloach (Siloam) where he would fill a golden pitcher with water and then return to the courtyard of the Temple."
Jeremiah 2:13 is a warning from God to His people as He is telling them that they have sinned against Him by forsaking Him, "the fountain of living waters." On the last day of the feast Jesus stands up and shout "If anyone thirst, let him come to me and drink." John 7:38.

All who are thirsty........ It is a recurring theme throughout the Bible. Water is a mean of purification, cleansing and refreshment. During his encounter with the Samaritan woman, Jesus told her that  the water He gives will become a spring of eternal life.

Where do you get refreshed? Facebook? TV? Magazine? Or the Word of God? We make up all kind of excuses (me included) as for why we do not have the time to read the Bible and why we do not have anything to share about the passage because it was too long. We do not have the luxury to allow ourselves such excuses. We HAVE to spend time in His word and be truly refreshed.

After the water ceremony four giant Menorahs were lit.

The whole temple would be lit and become this beacon of light in Jerusalem.

Again Jesus spoke to them saying, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." Jesus 8:12 (emphasis mine)

 Jesus IS the Feast of Tabernacles. Jesus is I AM. Jesus IS all that we need.

The next sign he performs goes to prove all of that.
John 9 talks about the blind man. Many things can be drawn from that passages but here we will focus on the first part, the healing part.
Jesus spits on mud, puts it on the man's eyes and tells him to wash it in the pool of Siloam.

The pool of Siloam is the same one that the Priest would draw water from for the water ceremony during the feast of Tabernacles.

All who are thirsty.....

This pool is fed by a stream called the Gihon spring. This spring is mentioned in the book of Genesis as one of the spring flowing from the garden. The same spring was flowing at the bottom of the mountain where Abraham took Isaac to sacrifice him.
So the blind man went to the pool of Siloam and cam back seeing. (John 9:7)

I AM the light of the world.

Why did John write this gospel? He tells us in John 20:31 "but these things are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name."

John very carefully picked 7 signs and 7 I AM statements. Make sure to write those down and ask yourself what they mean to you. We have shown here that Jesus IS the feast of Tabernacles. We will later on show that he is the Passover and Pentecost. We will hopefully prove that he is everything, that in Him all things were made. John 1

Do you believe?