John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30English Standard Version (ESV)
Jesus at the Feast of Booths
7After this Jesus went about in Galilee. He would not go about in Judea, because the Jews[a] were seeking to kill him. 2Now the Jews' Feast of Booths was at hand.10But after his brothers had gone up to the feast, then he also went up, not publicly but in private.
Can This Be the Christ?
25Some of the people of Jerusalem therefore said, Is not this the man whom they seek to kill? 26And here he is, speaking openly, and they say nothing to him! Can it be that the authorities really know that this is the Christ? 27But we know where this man comes from, and when the Christ appears, no one will know where he comes from. 28So Jesus proclaimed, as he taught in the temple, You know me, and you know where I come from. But I have not come of my own accord. He who sent me is true, and him you do not know. 29I know him, for I come from him, and he sent me. 30So they were seeking to arrest him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come.
Instead of going to Judea, as the disciples had harshly encouraged Jesus to do in order to show the world all He was capable of, Jesus instead took a long stroll through Galilee to purposefully avoid Judea. His time had not come.
The Feast of Booths was a community-wide festival where everyone would camp in booths, or temporary housing like tents, in order to remind themselves of their people's long homelessness while wandering in the desert for 40 years. This somber festival acutely reminded the people their hoped for Savior had yet to come.
When we don't immediately get the hoped for permanent fix to whatever temporary problem we might be facing, we often begin to question whether Jesus is with us at all.
But we read that Jesus lingered in the Feast of Booths festival. Their Savior was there bearing permanent housing; they were just unaware.
Jesus dwells with us in the housing of our temporary problems even while preparing an eternal home for us without struggles. He never leaves our side.
And so it's in the context of this great festival, wherethese people were again acutely reminded of their need for a Savior, that they begin to question who Jesus really is. They had been hoping for a long-promised Savior on the one hand, and on the other, their leaders had publicly let it be known that they wanted to kill Jesus. They start to question among themselves if this could this really be the Christ? Why else, they figure, have the leaders not killed him yet? Might He be the One? And then, almost as quickly, they talk themselves out of it saying, "Nah, it can't be; we know who this man is and where He comes from."
May we extend our hand to Jesus during this Lenten season and accept His embrace even when we hear, "not yet" from Him.
Unlike Jesus' contemporaries, we know who He is. We know His power triumphs even over death.
Consider a few areas of your life where you are waiting for Jesus to move. Are these areas temporary structures? Does it seem others have moved on ahead of you?
Take some time in prayer and thank God that He is with you while you wait for your permanent home.In the midst of whatever temporary trial you may be in, Jesus' hand is extended toward you. You know who He is. Take His hand and wait. He is with you in the tent that one day will become a mansion.
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