Songs and Praise
   

 
 
 

Less 128 JESUS AT THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES

 
John 7:1-53;

Lesson 128 Senior Lessons

MEMORY VERSE:  "My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me, If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine" (John 7:16, 17).

I Jesus in Galilee

Jesus is in Galilee and the Feast of Tabernacles at Jerusalem is at hand, John 7:1, 2; Leviticus 23:34 His unbelieving brethren urge him to go to the feast and openly show himself to the world, John 7:a-5; Matthew 12:46-50; Acts 1:14 Jesus tells them the world does not hate them but hates Him, because He testifies that its works are evil, John 7:6, 7; 3:19; 15:19 Jesus goes to the feast and teaches in the Temple. The people marvel at His teaching, John 7:8-15; Matthew 13:54; Luke 4:22; Acts 2:7

II. Doctrines of God

The doctrine is His that sent Him, and if any man would do His will, they would know if the doctrine was of God or Himself, John 7:15¬18; 3:11; 5:41; 8:28; 12:49 The people are angry because He healed on the Sabbath Day. He explains how they circumcise on the Sabbath, that the Law of Moses be not broken, John 7:19-24; Deuteronomy 1:16; Proverbs 24:23; James 2:1

III Conspirators

The people say, 'Is not this he, whom they seek to kill? . . . Do the rulers know indeed that this is the very Christ?' John 7:25-27; Matthew 13:55 Jesus, teaching in the Temple, tells them that they know Him and know from whence He came, John 7:28, 29; 5:43; 8:42 They sought to take Him, but could not, for His hour was not yet come, John 7:30; 8:20 Many believed on Jesus and said, 'When Christ cometh, will he do more miracles than these which this man hath done?' But the chief priests and Pharisees send officers to take Him, John 7:31, 32 Jesus tells the people He will soon go away and they will seek Him and cannot find Him, John 7:33-36; 8:21; 13:33; Hosea 4:6

IV The Last Day of the Feast

That last great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, 'If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink,' John 7:37-39; 6:35; Isaiah 55:1; 12:3; 44:3; Joel 2:28; Acts 2:17; Revelation 22:17 Many that heard Him believed He was the Christ; others said Christ cometh of the seed of David, so there was a division among them, John 7:40-43; 9:16; 10:19 No man laid hands on Him. The officers said, 'Never man spake like this man,' John 7:44-46 Nicodemus tells them that the Law does not judge a man before it hears him, John 7:47-53; Deuteronomy 17:8, 9; 19:15

NOTES

The Feast of Tabernacles

Jesus has been living in Galilee. The Feast of Tabernacles was at hand when all the Jewish men were to go to Jerusalem to fulfill the Law of God.


Despite all the miracles that Jesus had wrought, His own brothers were still in unbelief. They chided Him about going to Jerusalem to make Himself known to the world. If He really could work miracles, why not let the people see it? Evidently His brothers had not seen the great works Jesus had done in healing the sick, giving sight to the blind, bringing help to the weary, for they said, 'If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world.'


Jesus told His brothers: 'My time is not yet come: but your time is alway ready. The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil' (John 7:6, 7). The world loves its own, and if we go hand in hand with the world, we shall not meet with much opposition. But if we take issue with it and condemn the world for its sins, the world will hate us just as it hated Jesus and sought to kill Him.

Whispering Campaign

Jesus' brethren were going up to the feast, but Jesus Himself tarried behind in Galilee. It was generally known that the rulers sought to kill Jesus; and before He went up to the feast the people were asking the question, 'Where is he?' They wondered whether He would come.


It seemed to be a whispering campaign. No one spoke openly about Him for fear of the Jews. Some said, 'He is a good man.' Others shook their heads and said, 'He deceiveth the people.'

Knowledge Questioned

About the middle of the feast we find Jesus in the Temple teaching the people. They marveled at what He was saying. They exclaimed, 'How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?' Had they believed He was the Son of God they would have known that He not only knew letters but was the Creator of the letters in all languages. Jesus said to alp, '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 my¬self.'

Judging Righteous Judgment

Jesus had, on the Sabbath Day, healed an impotent man at the pool of Bethesda, and that healing stirred the devil. The Pharisees said it was wrong to heal on the Sabbath Day, and the chief priests and rulers sought Him that they might put Him to death. Now we read that Jesus is in the Temple publicly denouncing their unjust judgment and telling them that they circumcise a child on the Sabbath Day, that the Law of Moses be not broken; and yet because He did good on the Sabbath Day and healed a man, they want to kill Him. He says, 'Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.'

Commotion

There was a stir and commotion among the people. Some were saying, 'When Christ cometh, will he do more miracles than these which this man hath done?' and, 'Do the rulers know indeed that this is the very Christ?' Others were saying, 'When Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence he is.' The people were divided in their opinion of Him. When the chief priests and Pharisees heard the murmurings of the people they sent officers to take Him.

Sought but Not Found

Jesus told the people plainly that He would be with them only a little while and that they would seek Him and could not find Him. Many people seek Jesus too late. Some wait until the close of life's day and then try to find Him. 'Because I have called, and ye refused . I also will laugh at your calamity. . . Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me' (Proverbs 1:24-28)


One day Jesus told the people to seek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness. If we do that, we will never lose Him. He will not get very far away from us.

The Last Great Day of the Feast

The last day of the feast had come. It was called the great day of the feast. Like most celebrations, this last day was a high day in their solemnities. We can picture the great throngs of people that had gathered from all over Judea and nearby places to attend this Feast of Tabernacles. Then we can picture Jesus in the midst crying out, 'If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.' What a thrill those words must have sent through every thirsty soul that day! Could it be that this Galilean could give them something that would satisfy their famishing souls? He seemed so positive about it. Even the officers said, 'Never man spake like this man.' No doubt these officers were stern, hardhearted men, as some officers are, yet there was something so wonderful about the words that fell from the lips of Jesus that they could not go up and lay hands on Him to arrest Him.

The Universal Call

What an opportune time to proclaim the Gospel invitation! Not only the people of Jerusalem were hearing the call, but from all over Judea and Galilee and other regions they had gathered there for the feast. Almost 2000 years have elapsed since Jesus gave that universal call, but it is still ringing out over the world today, and wherever there is a thirsty soul he can come to Jesus and drink. He was ever ready to preach to the many or few as the need arose. In our lesson today He was preaching to the multitudes. But He was just as willing to tell it to the woman at Jacob's well. He said to her, 'Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life' (John 4:14). Her soul was thirsty and she drank.

The Results of Believing

What the Lord wanted to plant in the hearts of the people on that last great day of the feast was the fact that He was the Son of God. It seemed hard for people to believe He was the Christ, the Messiah, that was to come. He grew up among them. They knew Him as the carpenter's son. Some thought that when Christ came they would not know whence He came. Some recognized the miracles and said, 'When Christ cometh, will he do more miracles than these which this man hath done?' Jesus knew their thoughts and He said unto them, 'He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.' If they would only believe, the Spirit of God would witness with their spirit that they were beholding the Christ.


The Prophet Isaiah, many years before, had caught the vision, and he too cried out: 'Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price' (Isaiah 55:1). So freely has God given this wonderful Gospel to this world that it can be obtained without one cent. Faith is the requisite. Faith will bring this priceless treasure into the heart.

The Baptism of the Holy Ghost

On this last day of the feast Jesus spoke of more than the universal call to repentance. The Spirit of God, likened to Living Water, does come in when we are saved; and a greater measure of this Spirit is felt at sanctification. But Jesus was on this occasion speaking of the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, who was not yet given. Jesus had promised that when He went away He would sent the Comforter, who would abide with His people and be in them.


Jesus said, 'Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.' The man or woman who wants to be an effectual witness for God must have an overflowing amount of the Spirit in his life so that it may flow out as a river and bring life to the spiritually dead. Jesus told His disciples shortly before His ascension, 'Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth' (Acts 1:8). How necessary it is to be baptized with the Holy Ghost in order to have the power to be witnesses for Christ!


The promise to send the Comforter was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost when the 120 were gathered, 'with one accord,' in the upper room, praising God. They were filled with the Holy Ghost and spoke in other tongues, 'as the Spirit gave them utterance' (Acts 2:4). Peter arose that day and proclaimed that the prophecy of Joel had been fulfilled before their eyes: 'It shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: and on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy' (Acts 2:17, 18).


Peter added: 'The promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call' (Acts 2:39). God is still pouring out of His Spirit and baptizing the truly sanctified today, enduing them with power to be witnesses for Him.

QUESTIONS

1 What was the Feast of Tabernacles?
2 Where, and at what time of year was it held?
3 Why did the Pharisees and chief priests want to put Him to death?
4 What was the opinion of the people about Jesus?
5 Why did not the officers arrest Him?
6 What did Jesus' brethren think about Him?
7 Give the substance of the message Jesus preached on the last great day of the feast.

 
   
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