While continuing in my study of the book of John, it struck me that my Lord Jesus walked so often in threat of violence, of knowledge of those who wanted him dead. The reality of that, what it meant to live like that as a man, impacted me. Even knowing the crucifixion was coming, the pure physical, and emotional reaction on a day to day basis had to be near overwhelming for the man Jesus. The fact that personal sin did not happen as a result is even more evidence of the power of the God Jesus. The refusal to give up on the task He had come to accomplish a sign of pure love.
In the midst of the trials he and the disciples faced, he continued to teach his men the importance of perseverance, the importance of showing what you believe and acting accordingly. The necessity of being aware of what is going on around you and making wise decisions.
After this Jesus went about in Galilee. He would not go about in Judea, because the Jews were seeking to kill him. Now the Jews’ Feast of Booths was at hand. So his brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, that your disciples also may see the works you are doing. For no one works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.” For not even his brothers believed in him. Jesus said to them, “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.” After saying this, he remained in Galilee.
But after his brothers had gone up to the feast, then he also went up, not publicly but in private. The Jews were looking for him at the feast, and saying, “Where is he?” And there was much muttering about him among the people. While some said, “He is a good man,” others said, “No, he is leading the people astray.” Yet for fear of the Jews no one spoke openly of him. – John 7:1-13
The Feast of Booths was something I wasn’t clear on and so I looked it up.
Sukkot: Is also known as the Feast of Booths – The harvest feast of thanksgiving
“On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the produce of the land, you shall celebrate the feast of the Lord seven days. On the first day shall be a solemn rest, and on the eighth day shall be a solemn rest. And you shall take on the first day the fruit of splendid trees, branches of palm trees and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days. You shall celebrate it as a feast to the Lord for seven days in the year. It is a statute forever throughout your generations; you shall celebrate it in the seventh month. You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All native Israelites shall dwell in booths, that your generations may know that I made the people of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”– Leviticus 23:39-43 ESV
Learning more about the feasts, the culture of the time Jesus walked this earth, brings a richness that increases understanding as well as a sense of a deeper connection to God. So much of the past events, the language, the social views are very different from today. It is so easy to plug in current understandings into what we read in the Bible, and sometimes lose so much.
I am grateful for the quality translations we have that help alleviate some of that loss. I am grateful for the many sites that make research easier when those sudden “what?” moments hit when reading.
And so I continue digging deeper.