Day 18 (March 14), John 7:1-24
Context: Jesus continues his ministry in Galilee until the Feast of Booths (also known as Shelters or Tabernacles), which is typically in late September or early October. It’s a week-long festival where Jewish people remembered their flight from slavery in Egypt and, specifically, God’s provision for them while they wandered in the desert. The Jews would erect booths, tents or other kinds of temporary shelters to live in during this festival week. Jesus’ brothers tell him to go to the Feast in Jerusalem, but for all the wrong reasons. Jesus rejects their prodding, yet arrives three days into the Feast and in secret. This doesn’t last long, however, and soon the Jews pick up the debate and trial-like examination of Jesus that we saw in chapters 5 and 6, centered primarily on the claim that Jesus ‘broke the Sabbath’ by healing a man at the Pools of Bethesda.
Observations: Why do you think Jesus’ brothers wanted him to go to the Feast of Tabernacles? What do you think of Jesus’ response? Note that the Jews allowed for an infant to be circumcised on the Sabbath (if it was the 8th day post birth), yet they were indignant and offended Jesus healed the entire body of a man on the Sabbath. Jesus claims, ‘None of you keep the law. Why do you seek to kill me?’ How do you think that was received? He also states, ‘My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. If anyone is willing to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or if I speak on my own authority.’ How was that received?
Application: Consider areas in your life where your religious or spiritual practices might actually be blinding you to the real ‘work of God.’ Ask God to reveal it, then turn from it and ask Him to breath fresh life into you. Is there an area of obedience to Christ and the Scriptures you are rejecting, ignoring or refusing to wrestle with? Do the same!!
Prayer: Ask Jesus to make you holy, conformed to His image. Confession, repentance and restoration are wonderful expressions of that!! Ask the Holy Spirit to bring a loving and truthful conviction of these things in the entire Evergreen Body!