45. Jesus at the feast of the tabernacle
AFTER these things, Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him.
Now the Jews’ feast of the tabernacles was at hand. Jesus’ brethren therefore said unto him, Go into Judea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest. For there is no man that doeth anything in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world.
For neither did his brethren believe in him.
Then Jesus said,
My time is not yet come: but your time is always ready. The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil. Go ye up unto this feast: for my time is not yet full come.
¶Jesus abode still in Galilee.
But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret.
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 sought him at the feast.
¶Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and taught. The Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned? Jesus answered,
My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.
Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me?
The people answered, Who goeth about to kill thee? Thou hast a devil. Jesus answered,
I have done one work, and ye all marvel.
Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision (not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers); and ye on the sabbath day circumcise a man. If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath day?
Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
Then said some of them of Jerusalem, Is not this he, whom they seek to kill? But, lo, he speaketh boldly, and they say nothing unto him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is the very Christ? Howbeit we know this man whence he is, but when Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence he is.
Then cried Jesus in the temple as he taught, saying,
Ye both know me, and ye know whence I am: and I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true, whom ye know not. But I know him; for I am from him, and he hath sent me.
Then they sought to take him: but his hour was not yet come.
Many believed on Jesus, and said, When Christ cometh, will he do more miracles than those which this man hath done?
¶The Pharisees and chief priests heard that the people murmured such things concerning Jesus, and sent officers to take him. Then said Jesus,
Yet a little while am I with you, and then I go unto him that sent me. Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come.
Then said the Jews among themselves, What manner of saying is this that he said, Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me:and where I am, thither ye cannot come?
¶In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried,
If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive.)
¶Many of the people, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet. Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee?
So there was a division among the people because of him. And some of them would have taken him; but no man laid hands upon him.
¶Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees. They said, Why have ye not brought him? The officers answered, Never man spake like this man.
And every man went unto his own home. Jesus went unto the mount of Olives.
Scripture: John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30
Meditation 1 of 2:
What was the aim of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection? He willingly suffered and went to the cross for our sake, to redeem us from sin and to restore our relationship with God the Father. Jesus met opposition and hostility with grace and determination to accomplish his Father’s will. Can anyone treat Jesus with indifference? We either accept or reject his claims, and his promises and his threats with faith or with disbelief and contempt. The consequences are enormous, both in this life and in eternity. The religious authorities sought to arrest Jesus because they could not accept his claim to be the Son of God. Jesus made two startling statements: that he was the Messiah, God’s Anointed One, and that the Jews did not know God but that Jesus alone knew him. He claimed to be in a unique relationship with God and to know him as no one else did. To the Jews this was utter blasphemy. This same choice is still before us. Either, what Jesus said about himself is false, or what he said about himself is true, in which case he is what he claimed to be the Son of God. Do you know the joy and freedom of surrender to Jesus, the Word of God and Redeemer of humankind?
“Eternal God, who are the light of the minds that know you, the joy of the hearts that love you, and the strength of the wills that serve you; grant us so to know you, that we may truly love you, and so to love you that we may fully serve you, whom to serve is perfect freedom, in Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Prayer of Saint Augustine)
Scripture: John 7:40-53
Meditation 2 of 2:
Are you willing to give yourself totally to the Lord Jesus? No one could be indifferent for long when confronted with Jesus’ message. It caused division for many who heard it. Some believe he was a prophet, some the Messiah, and some believed he was neither. The reaction of the officers was bewildered amazement. They went to arrest him and returned empty-handed because they never heard anyone speak as he did. The reaction of the chief priests and Pharisees was contempt. The reaction of Nicodemus was one of timidity. His heart told him to defend Jesus, but his head told him not to take the risk. There often will come a time when we have to take a stand for Christ and for the gospel. To stand for Jesus may provoke mockery or unpopularity. It may even entail hardship, sacrifice, or suffering. Are you ready to stand for Jesus and to defend the cause of the gospel?
“Lord, your gospel brings joy and freedom. May I be loyal to you always, even though it produce a cross on earth, that I may share in your crown in eternity”