It was an early call out for Judas. Jesus and His twelve disciples were near the Sea of Galilee when Jesus told the twelve one of them is a devil. That was at the end of John chapter six. Summer time was quickly approaching and Jesus and the twelve took off for the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, and John doesn’t pick up the story again for almost another six months. So was a tropical sabbatical in store for Jesus and His disciples? Not hardly, but it would lead to a time of great celebration.
From the other three gospels we know Jesus was quite busy during those six months. After leaving the area of the Sea of Galilee and reaching the Mediterranean Sea, Jesus and His disciples then headed north along the coast to the towns of Tyre and Sidon. Then back east towards Mount Hermon and Caesarea- Philippi. Then down into the Decapolis area, and eventually all the way back down into Jerusalem. That was probably over two hundred miles of walking over hot, rough and rocky terrain.
Along the way Jesus healed the daughter with demon possession. He healed the multitudes of the lame, the blind, the mute, and the maimed. He healed the daughter of the Syro-Pheonician woman. He fed the four thousand with seven loaves of bread and a few fish. He healed a blind man. He took Peter, James and John on the mount of transfiguration. He healed the epileptic boy whom the disciples could not heal. He healed the son with a mute spirit. He told Peter to go get the fish with the coin in its mouth. And those are just the recorded events during this time. A tropical sabbatical it was not. It was a very busy time in the ministry for Jesus Christ.
After all of that we come to John chapter seven. Jesus was in Galilee at the time that was well north of Jerusalem. After these things Jesus walked in Galilee; for He did not want to walk in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill Him. Now the Jews’ Feast of Tabernacles was at hand. His brothers therefore said to Him, “Depart from here and go into Judea, that Your disciples also may see the works that You are doing. For no one does anything in secret while he himself seeks to be known openly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.” For even His brothers did not believe in Him.
The Jews were out to kill Jesus. But the brothers of Jesus thought Jesus should go make himself known. If Jesus was going to be popular He needed to get out and show what He could do, He needed to go and make himself known, and the Feast of the Tabernacles was the perfect opportunity to do just that. The crowds were enormous during the Feast of the tabernacles. This was one of three times during the year where Jewish men had to make the pilgrimage into Jerusalem. So the brothers of Jesus wanted Him to go to the feast and make use of this great opportunity. The brothers had an agenda for Jesus, but it wasn’t God’s agenda.
To be in Jerusalem during the feast of the Tabernacles was an awesome experience. It took place every year towards the end of September or even into mid-October. This was a time of Worship, celebration and thanks for the harvest that God had provided. It was also a time to remember how God had brought the Israelites out of the land of Egypt. During the feast the people lived in homemade shelters or tabernacles made of branches and trees, thus the Feast of Tabernacles. This was to remind of them of how their forefathers lived while in the wilderness. The feast lasted for eight days. It started on one Sabbath and ended on the next.
This was a time of worship, praise, rejoicing and celebration for what God Almighty had done. How is your feast? Do you worship, praise and glorify God? Do you remember all that He has brought you through and give thanks? Do you celebrate His love? Do you celebrate His sacrifice upon the cross of Calvary for your sin? Do you rejoice in the work that He has done for you? Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice! ? Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice!