Jesus at the feast of Booths

John 7:1-24

After this, Jesus went around in Galilee. He did not want to go about in Judea because the Jewish leaders there were looking for a way to kill him. 2 But when the Jewish Festival of Tabernacles was near, 3 Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Leave Galilee and go to Judea, so that your disciples there may see the works you do.4 No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.” 5 For even his own brothers did not believe in him.

6 Therefore Jesus told them, “My time is not yet here; for you any time will do.7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil. 8 You go to the festival. I am not going up to this festival, because my timehas not yet fully come.” 9 After he had said this, he stayed in Galilee.

10 However, after his brothers had left for the festival, he went also, not publicly, but in secret. 11 Now at the festival the Jewish leaders were watching for Jesusand asking, “Where is he?”

12 Among the crowds there was widespread whispering about him. Some said, “He is a good man.”

Others replied, “No, he deceives the people.” 13 But no one would say anything publicly about him for fear of the leaders. 

Not until halfway through the festival did Jesus go up to the temple courts and begin to teach. 15 The Jews there were amazed and asked, “How did this man get such learning without having been taught?”

16 Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me. 17 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. 18 Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him. 19 Has not Moses given you the law? Yet not one of you keeps the law. Why are you trying to kill me?”

20 “You are demon-possessed,” the crowd answered. “Who is trying to kill you?”

21 Jesus said to them, “I did one miracle, and you are all amazed. 22 Yet, because Moses gave you circumcision (though actually it did not come from Moses, but from the patriarchs), you circumcise a boy on the Sabbath. 23 Now if a boy can be circumcised on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses may not be broken, why are you angry with me for healing a man’s whole body on the Sabbath? 24 Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.”

Jesus at the Feast of Booths

In John 7–8, Jesus’ Christological claims grow even more dramatic, and the response of the Jews grows increasingly hostile. Nothing is as disruptive as grace. The Jews wanted to put Jesus to death. Indeed, they did put him to death, but only at the appointed time (see 7:6) and only for God’s saving purposes (Acts 2:23–24). God’s sovereignty never sleeps. Even the most disastrous and inexplicable of events are under his wise, governing hand.

Even members of Jesus’ own family struggled with their half brother’s identity—coming to faith only after his resurrection (Mark 3:21Acts 1:141 Cor. 15:7). None of us can presume upon our relationship to Jesus. It comes by grace alone through faith alone. We too, like Nicodemus, must be born from above so that we might believe from within. 

In dramatic fashion, Jesus moved into the temple courts and began to teach. His words generated astonishment and rage: astonishment because of the depth of knowledge he possessed as a seemingly untrained rabbi; rage because his teaching exposed the people’s sin. At the same time his teaching further distinguished him, his earthly authority, and his heavenly status.

The gospel of grace that comes to us because of who Jesus is and what Jesus has done in our place does not land on people in a neutral way. It is either received with joy or rejected with contempt. The gospel is the aroma of life to some and the aroma of death to others (2 Cor. 2:15–16). There is no middle ground.

*These devos are taken from Crossway's, ESV Gospel Transformation Bible.