Jesus at the Feast of Booths: Go… Make Disciples

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Sermon Outline:

Ministry is driven by:

  1. Mission, not by ambition
  2. Mandate, not by accolades
  3. Love of the Master, not by allurements of the world
  4. Overall view of this passage

Sermon Text:

John 7:1-13

7:1After this Jesus went about in Galilee. He would not go about in Judea, because the Jews were seeking to kill him. 2 Now the Jews’ Feast of Booths was at hand. 3 So his brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, that your disciples also may see the works you are doing. 4 For no one works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.” 5 For not even his brothers believed in him. 6 Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always here. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify about it that its works are evil. 8 You go up to the feast. I am not going up to this feast, for my time has not yet fully come.” 9 After saying this, he remained in Galilee.

10 But after his brothers had gone up to the feast, then he also went up, not publicly but in private. 11 The Jews were looking for him at the feast, and saying, “Where is he?”12 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.” 13 Yet for fear of the Jews no one spoke openly of him.

Sermon Notes:

The Feast of Tabernacles

“Leviticus 23 reveals the fact that there were seven Feasts in Israel’s religious calendar, but there were three of these which were singled out as of special importance. This we gather from Deuteronomy 16:16, where it is recorded that Jehovah said to Israel, “Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the Lord thy God in the place which he shall choose i.e. in the tabernacle, and afterwards the temple; in the feast of unleavened bread inseparably connected with the Passover, and in the feast of weeks i.e. Pentecost, and in the feast of tabernacles.” We reserve a brief comment on the first two of these, until we have considered the third.

The first time the Feast of tabernacles is mentioned by name is in Leviticus 23, namely, in verses 34-36 and 39-44. As this passage is too long for us to quote here in full, we would request the reader to turn and read it through carefully before going farther. We give now a brief summary of its prominent features. First, the Feast began on the fifteenth day of the seventh month (verse 34). Second, it was a “holy convocation,” when Israel was to offer “an offering made by fire unto the Lord” (verse 36). Third, it lasted for eight days (verse 39). Fourth, those who celebrated this Feast were to take “boughs of goodly trees” (verse 40). Fifth, they were to “rejoice before the Lord their God seven days” (verse 40). Sixth, they were to “dwell in booths” (verse 42). Seventh, the purpose of this was to memorialize the fact that “Jehovah made their fathers to dwell in booths, when he brought them out of the land of Egypt” (verse 43). In Numbers 29:12-40 we have a detailed record of the ritual or sacrificial requirements connected with this Feast.

Though Leviticus 23 is the first time the Feast of tabernacles is mentioned by name, there is one earlier reference to it, namely, in Exodus 23:16, where it is termed the Feast of Ingathering, “which is the end of the year (i.e. of the sacred calendar of Feasts), when thou hast gathered in thy labors out of the field.” The Feast of tabernacles, then, was the grand Harvest Festival, when the Lord of the harvest was praised for all His temporal mercies. This one was the most joyous Feast of the year. It was not observed by Israel till after they had entered and settled in Canaan: their dwelling in booths at this Feast memorialized their wanderings in the wilderness.” -A.W. Pink

In John 7:1-13 we see the tide turn in relation to our Lord’s ministry. The hatred of the masses really comes out against Him in vivid and stark ways. All through this gospel Jesus is being revealed in every chapter as the God-Man. And His mission was the redemption of His own on the cross, bringing glory to God as our divine satisfaction and Substitute. All through this process He was making disciples – and we begin this wonderful journey with Him to today!