The Feast of Tabernacles(v1-24)
Timing is everything. A theme of this Gospel is that the timing of the Gospel is in God’s hands. Jesus walks a path he set in heaven, from ancient times. His life, his death, his teaching and his works fit a precise schedule. ‘My time has not yet come’ were his words at the wedding in Cana, and now as the cross looms, he continues with the awareness that the right time has not quite come yet.
His delay in going to the feast actually focuses attention on him, and yet prevents his opponents from acting too soon. When he does arrive, people are amazed by his teaching, but shocked by his claim that someone is trying to kill him. He takes his dispute with the religious leadership public – the questions about his identity, his judgement against the Pharisee’s hypocrisy (v19) and Sabbath Day healing create a problem that the religious leaders must resolve. Remember, that they could resolve it by accepting the authority of Jesus, They could stop being shallow in their judgement and make the right choice about Jesus. But in their pride few of them will take that path right now. John’s account constantly address the reader with the same question: Will we make the right judgement about Jesus?
Is Jesus the Christ? (25-44)
There can only be one Lord. Those who turn to the truth, to Jesus, find themselves opposed by those who reject Jesus. People are divided on this point: Is Jesus Lord or not? As the crowds debate this question, the Bible has given us the information we need to answer correctly: We do know that Jesus is from Nazareth, but he is also from Bethlehem, He is also from heaven. We do know where he is going – to death and resurrection, to hell and to heaven. We do know that the living water is the Holy Spirit whom he gave to the church at Pentecost. We know things that the crowds couldn’t know yet, so we don’t need to be puzzled, but believe – Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, Lord of all Creation, and Saviour of everyone who turns to him.
Unbelief of the Jewish Leaders (45ff.)
We see division even among the Jewish leadership. Some, like Nicodemus, are keeping an open mind, or even believing in Jesus. But anyone who fails to be totally opposed to Jesus is considered disloyal. The temple Guards, and anyone who tries to see both sides is condemned. Don’t think that all the Jewish leaders condemned Jesus:.People like Nicodemus were probably never told about the arrest and ‘trial’ of Jesus until after it was over. There are still ‘Nicodemuses’ in the world today, standing up for Jesus even when it is dangerous. It is hard to stand against the majority, but for those who believe, Jesus is a majority of one!