The Gospel of John
Jesus at the Feast of Booths
Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passages of Scripture. Reread them. From memory, determine the central points.
- Feast of Booths, or Tabernacles, one of the three Great Feasts of Israel, like Passover and Pentecost, when all men that were capable were to come to Jerusalem for eighth days. It would have been in late September or early October. It celebrated God’s care for His people while in the wilderness following their escape from Egypt. People constructed little houses of brush or tree limbs. Many Jews do so today.
- Already, at this point, and we do not know at what point in Jesus’ public ministry this took place, but He knew about His opposition.
- Jesus’ own family members wished, but for reasons that are not clear, wanted their half-brother as they were but likely did not know about the “half” of it, wanted Jesus to show off His miracles in Jerusalem.
- Jesus knew that the Kairos, or the timing of God, was not yet.
- The “hate” Jesus refers to is generated by fear, the fears associated with guilt, shame, exposure, judgment, and everlasting death, And reasonably so. We have all experienced this to some degree. Here it is now from Jesus and is, when understood properly, the fundamental of all terrors.
- Jesus urges His brothers to go up to the Feast, like they had no doubt done many times before; Jesus will not go up with them at that time. It is thought that Jesus considered that such an entrance into the temple to be dangerous.
- After His brothers had departed for Jerusalem, Jesus privately made the journey. And indeed, the Jewish leadership was looking for, expecting even, Jesus’ arrival. This indicates that some considerable time had passed in Jesus’ ministry, which is otherwise recorded in the Synoptic Gospels.
- There was then, as there is now, much confusion about Jesus. “Much muttering” John the Apostle tells us, was evident in Jerusalem. And this among the citizens and visitors gathered for the Feast of Booths.
- “A good man” some said, others that “he is leading the people astray.”
- For fear of the religious authorities, no one spoke publicly about Him. We must ask: Is the same true today? Or will such come to be?