Coming to The One Who Comes to Us – Part 6

John 7:14-52

Coming to The One Who Comes to Us – Part 6

When Jesus Comes Late to the Party

I. TOURISM guide for the Feast of TABERNACLES. (Jn. 7-8; Lev. 23)
A. TENTS: A huge 7-day CELEBRATION. (7:3-4; Lev. 23:39-40,42-43)
B. WATER: The feast is an act of FAITH. (Is. 12:3; 44:3; 58:11)
C. LIGHT : The feast trusts in God’s PRESENCE. (Lev. 23:43)
D. TEACHING: The feast PROCLAIMS the truth. (Deut. 31:9-13)

The Jewish feasts were a key way that God taught “theology” to the Jewish people. There were three main feasts every year and everyone who could would gather in Jerusalem to celebrate together. The rituals and rhythms of the feasts would communicate truths about God and the people in deep and profound ways.

1. Kid’s Question: What is your favourite yearly tradition that you do with your family or friends?
2. Which of the elements of the Feast of Tabernacles do you find most interesting and why?

II. Jesus REORIENTS the entire FEAST . (v.14,28,46)
A. He CONTROLS the TIMING. (7:3,4,14)
B. He is the SOURCE of the living WATER/SPIRIT . (v.37-38; Jn. 15:26)
C. He is God PRESENT in the FLESH. (8:12; Is 60:19)
D. The TRUTH that can heal the WHOLE person. (v.16-24)

What may not become evident by reading the text is that Jesus seems to be doing what he wants to do with the feast instead of following the normal patterns the Jewish people have been following for years. He’s changing everything.

3. How does an understanding of the traditions of the feast change how you read the story of what Jesus did and said there?
4. When has Jesus (or following Jesus) challenged some of your ideas or plans for your life?

III. The RESPONSE is what you might EXPECT . (v.43)
A. The POWERFUL are RESISTANT . (v.30-32,45-49,52)
B. Others are OPEN and CURIOUS. (v. 15,31,40-44,50-51)

For some people these changes feel like like a breath of fresh air. For others they seem dangerous, blasphemous, and something that needs to be stopped immediately. It seems that those who have the most to lose through the changes Jesus is making fight the hardest against Him.

5. In your own life where does the power you have over your life make it hard to surrender to the call of Jesus?

IV. Jesus may REORIENT your “FEAST”. (v.37-38; 8:12; Jn 2:13-17)
A. Faith has both DYNAMIC and STATIC aspects. (v.17; 2 Cor. 4:7-11)
B. It’s more JOURNEY and less ARRIVAL. (v.33-34; Jn 16:12-13)
C. It’s centred on a PERSON, not CONCEPTS. (v.37,38; Jn 5:39-40)
D. And ultimately, Jesus is GOING to WIN. (v.30,44-45; Rev.19:5-7)

This is where an interesting story from 2000 years ago gets right up in our face. We all have habits, patterns, and ways of thinking with which we feel comfortable. And then Jesus just shows up mid-stream and starts doing things differently. It reveals to us what this faith in Jesus and following him might do to our lives as we have them currently structured. It’s a return to this idea of relational trust.

6. Do you feel the tension between the static and dynamic elements of faith? Which is your personality drawn to more? Why are both important?
7. What about “more journey than arrival” appeals to you? What is challenging to you?
8. What does it mean to “abide” with Jesus? To come to a person instead of focusing on concepts?