The Feast of Tabernacles, Part V
Christian greetings! What I had thought to do was speak on the Feast of Tabernacles from John chapter nine. In studying this, I went back to the previous two chapters and things got a little out of hand. Praise the Lord that God is not in time and we are a small congregation because I'm afraid I have indulged myself somewhat in preparation. A more skilful minister might have covered the material with a handful of references. I have a Bible study of these three chapters.
John 6:1-13, 'After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias. And a GREAT MULTITUDE followed Him, because they saw His miracles which He did on them that were diseased. And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples. And the PASSOVER, a feast of the Jews, was nigh.
When Jesus lifted up His eyes, and saw a great company come unto Him, He said unto Philip, "Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?" And this He said to PROVE him: for He himself knew what He would do.
Philip answered Him, "Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little".
One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said unto Him, "There is a lad here, who has five BARLEY loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?" [The barley harvest was at the time of Passover. The five loaves represent grace to the Church Ages and the two fish represent Pentecost and the Bride Age moving in the living water of the Holy Spirit—alpha and omega—the Word at the beginning and at the end].
And Jesus said, "Make the men sit down." Now there was much grass in the place. So the people sat down, in number about FIVE THOUSAND. [Five is the number of grace and we come in under Abraham's grace Covenant]. And Jesus took the loaves; and when He had given thanks, He distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would.
When they were filled, He said unto His disciples, "Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost". Therefore they gathered them together, and filled TWELVE baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten' [but NOT of the fishes because Israel is not partaker of the Pentecostal Feast and is not restored as the Church. Sufficient for the 144,000 of the twelve Tribes of Israel to feed their souls on the same Gospel which gave us eternal Life.
Here is an amazing illustration of the fickle nature of men. The seventy apostles had been sent forth and were in absolute wonderment at the work of the Holy Spirit in their ministry feed their bellies on a miracle God has done through Jesus. The next day, they depart from Him in unbelief because they are offended when He says, 'Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, ye have no Life in you' (John 6:53-61).
We might wonder why there were so many people with so much free time on their hands. According to the previous chapter the Feast of Passover was drawing near when all adult men must present themselves at the Temple in Jerusalem. This was a caravan of pilgrims en-route to Jerusalem for the Passover].
John 6:14-16, 'Then those people, when they had SEEN the miracle that Jesus did, said, "This IS of a truth THAT Prophet that should come into the world".
When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and TAKE Him by FORCE, to MAKE Him a king, He departed again into a MOUNTAIN by Himself. And when EVENING was now come, His disciples went down unto the sea, And entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now DARK, and Jesus was NOT come to them'.
[The caravan, RECOGNIZING His vindication as Messiah, proposed to FORCE Him to be the king of Israel. But He completely delivered Himself from them. He 'walked in Galilee no more' (John 7:1) means that He did NOT accompany them to the Passover].
John 6:18-7:1, 'And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew. So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus WALKING ON THE SEA, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid. But He saith unto them, "It is I; be not afraid".
Then they willingly received Him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went. The day following, when the people which stood on the OTHER side of the sea saw that there was NONE other boat there, save that one whereinto His disciples were entered, and that Jesus went not with his disciples into the boat, but that His disciples were gone away alone; (Howbeit there came other boats from Tiberias nigh unto the place where they did eat bread, after that the Lord had given thanks:) When the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither His disciples, they also took shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus. And when they had found Him on the OTHER side of the sea, they said unto Him, "Rabbi, when camest thou hither?"
Jesus answered them and said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, You seek Me, not because you saw the miracles, but because you did EAT of the loaves, and were filled. Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for Him hath God the Father SEALED.
Then said they unto Him, "What shall WE do, that we might work the WORKS of God?" [Perhaps they wanted to speak their food onto the table]. Jesus answered and said unto them, "THIS is the WORK of God, that ye BELIEVE on Him whom He hath sent."
They said therefore unto Him, "What sign shewest Thou then, that we may see, and believe Thee? what dost Thou work? Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat'." Then Jesus said unto them, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, MOSES gave you NOT that bread from heaven; but My Father giveth you the TRUE Bread from heaven. For the Bread of God is He which cometh down from heaven, and giveth Life unto the world."
Then said they unto Him, "Lord, evermore give us THIS bread."
And Jesus said unto them, "I am the Bread of Life: he that comes to Me shall never hunger; and he that believes on Me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, 'That ye also have seen Me, and believe NOT. All that the Father gives Me SHALL come to Me; and him that comes to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me. And this is the Father's will which hath sent Me, that of all which He hath given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the LAST day. And this is the will of Him that sent Me, that everyone who SEES the Son, and believes on Him, may have everlasting Life: and I will raise him up at the LAST day.
The Jews then murmured at Him, because He said, "I am the bread which came down from heaven".
And they said, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?"
Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, "Murmur not among yourselves. No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall be ALL taught of God' [that is all the ELECT]. Every man therefore that hath HEARD, and hath LEARNED of the Father, cometh unto Me. Not that any man hath seen [fully discerned] the Father, save He which is of God, He hath seen [or DISCERNED because He is under pre-eminence to] the Father. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believes on Me has everlasting Life.
I am that Bread of ETERNAL Life. Your fathers ate manna in the wilderness, and are DEAD. This is the Bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and NOT die.
I am the living Bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this Bread, he shall live forever: and the Bread that I will give is My FLESH, which I will give for the life of the world. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us his FLESH to eat?"
Then Jesus said unto them, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, 'Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, you have no Life in you. Whoso eats My flesh, and drinks My blood, has eternal Life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He that eats My flesh, and drinks My blood, lives in Me, and I in him. As the living Father has sent Me, and I live by the Father: so he that eats Me, even he shall live by Me. This is that Bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead [meaning LOST]: He that eats of this bread shall live forever'."
He said these things in the synagogue, as He taught in Capernaum. Many therefore of His disciples, when they had heard this, said, "This is an hard saying; who can hear it?"
When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples murmured at it, He said unto them, "Does this offend you? What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where He was before? It is the Spirit that quickens; the flesh profits nothing: the Words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are Life. But there are some of you that believe not." For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.
And He said, "Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto Me, except it were given unto him of My Father."
From that time many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him [that's the seventy].
Then said Jesus unto the twelve, "Will ye also go away?"
Then Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the Words of eternal Life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God."
Jesus answered them, "Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?" He spoke of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for it was he that should betray him, being one of the twelve. After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for He would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill Him".'
[Jesus mentions only that he remained in Galilee because although Judaea was the main focus of His ministry, had He publicly entered Judaea, He would be in peril for His life. His isolated and sudden appearance and His ministry in Judea hereafter takes place only under the PROTECTION of SECRECY of friends. He 'walks in Galilee' from Purim to Tabernacles].
John 7:2-4, 'Now the Jews' FEAST OF TABERNACLES was at hand. His BROTHERS therefore said unto Him, "Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that Your disciples there may also see the works that You do. For there is no man that does anything in SECRET, when he seeks to be KNOWN OPENLY. If You MUST do these things, show Yourself to the world".'
[Jesus declined his second opportunity and the demand that He join a festival caravan. And although He did travel to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles, He did not travel with a festival pilgrimage or as a festival pilgrim.
His brothers of the flesh, James, Joses, Simon and Judas (Matthew 13:55; I Corinthians 9:5) surely meant to act as His guardians here, as in Mark 3:21 they sought to protect Him. They knew a Messiah couldn't complete His vindication and His work outside of Judaea and Jerusalem. They were, however wrong thinking lightly of His quiet ministry in Galilee; hoping that by a public appearance in Jerusalem, He might carry the nation with Him; (it seems Judas tried this to the end); and they were wrong in not submitting themselves to Him they called teacher.
They considered it essential He reinforce the faith of His followers in Judaea, and the important Jews who'd gathered from all over the world to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles, more important that His secret and secluded workings in Galilee.
"How can you be a public personage when you have a private ministry?" No politician ever acted in secret. However, God is not a showman and He's looking for character. He sees what we do in secret and is not unmindful of our service to Him. He desires to see humility to His Word or pre-eminence that He may gather glory unto Himself. It's His Word that must fulfil itself, not our might or power lest we should boast. His Word correctly placed will manifest what was spoken].
John 7:5, 'For neither did His BRETHREN (i.e. His brothers in the flesh) BELIEVE in Him.' [This was a crisis of confidence rather than unbelief.
Like Mary in Mark 3:30-32, 'Because they said, He has an UNCLEAN spirit. There came then His brethren and His mother, and, STANDING WITHOUT, sent unto Him, [they were afraid of being deemed UNCLEAN although they knew He was Messiah anointed with the HOLY Spirit], CALLING Him. And the multitude SAT ABOUT Him, and they said unto Him, "Behold, Thy mother and Thy brethren WITHOUT seek for thee".' They were 'standing without' because they lacked confidence in WHO He was. Two other examples are Peter in Matthew 16:21-22, 'From that time forth began Jesus to show His disciples, how that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. Then Peter took Him, and began to rebuke Him, saying, "Be it far from Thee, Lord: this shall not be unto Thee".' And Thomas in John 20:25, 'The other disciples therefore said unto Him, "We have seen the Lord". But he said unto them, "Except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe".'
They BELIEVED in His Messiahship, but were IMMATURE, lacking confidence to yield to Him pre-eminence, and to rest in His judgment]. bb960315.htm
The Feast of Tabernacles, Part VI
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