Jesus Teaches at the Festival, but not with his brothers

Jesus’ brothers went on their way (after their advice was firmly rejected), now Jesus secretly makes his way to the Festival of Tabernacles. His teaching always amazed those who listened, even if it confused the “wise,” some listened and heard.
John 7:10-24

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One Reply to “Jesus Teaches at the Festival, but not with his brothers”

  1. The central focus of this passage concerns Jesus teaching at the tabernacle, but it’s preceded by his stealthy arrival by which we get to hear what others are saying. The Jewish leaders were expecting him and looking for him and the rumors about who he is continues to spread:

    Some said, “He is a good man.”
    Others replied, “No, he deceives the people.”
    But no one would say anything publicly
    for fear of the leaders.

    The leaders maintained a state of fear to secure their positions of power. One thing that amazes me is how the way people act today is so consistent with the way people acted 2,000+ years ago. Peer pressure existed then as it does now, we just have different ways to communicate–people haven’t changed much at all. Even in the earliest stories of the Bible we see people behaving in manners that we can relate to today. Deception, lying, cheating, etc., were the tools of self-serving humans in Genesis just as they are in 2015.

    With the whispers and rumors spreading, Jesus arrives in the temple courts and begins to teach.

    My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me. Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.

    Jesus constantly points to God as the source. He steers far from any desire for personal glory while speaking directly to the evil in the hearts of the leaders who are trying to trap him to destroy him.

    There is some confusion in the pilgrims who are attending the feast, they are part of the Jerusalem conspiracy, so they question Jesus, “Who is trying to kill you?” Jesus knows they are in the crowd and listening…somewhere…so he continues to stretch the minds of those who would listen. Jesus compares circumcision on the Sabbath to his healing the lame man (John 5:1-9), and leaves them with a penetrating question:

    Stop judging by mere appearances,
    but instead judge correctly.

    The Pharisees were notorious for making grand appearances and gestures. Jesus is trying to wake the people from their mindless following of rules upon rules and drive them to look to God, to love, honor and obey God! These are lessons they haven’t heard preached before. With it comes a really scary notion: personal responsibility. No longer is it acceptable to point to the leaders as if it was their responsibility. We can’t simply donate to the temple so “they” can do what is required. Each of us has a responsibility, a part to play in the kingdom of God. Think for yourself. It’s not hard to understand, but it will be challenging to apply.

    Pray. Study. Make disciples.

    It’s the same solution taught around the globe and it begins with prayer. My wife and I went to see War Room yesterday. Several times during the film I had to wipe away tears, not because the scene was so vividly portrayed, but primarily because of the complete reliance on God for answers. The faith portrayed in this story was so strong that it touched my heart several times. Prayer matters. Richard Fosters book, Prayer, is a great resource to help move us from the sidelines of attending church to be part of the players on the field getting beat up by opponents.

    Lord help us to get out of the bleachers and onto the field!

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