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The fall before Jesus was crucified, His friends in Galilee wanted Him to join them in making pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the fall holidays—Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles.

How Jesus Upset the Feast of Tabernacles

The fall before Jesus was crucified, His friends in Galilee wanted Him to join them in making pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the fall holidays—Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles. Jesus’ apostles knew how dangerous it was for Him in Jerusalem, but His friends wanted Jesus to publicly show the Jewish authorities that He was the Messiah.

Jesus refused to go with them, but after His friends departed, He went by Himself in secret (John 7:3 – 9). While in Jerusalem, Jesus did many things to draw attention to Himself and to anger the Jewish leaders. Two of these things were to make very profound statements about who He really is. But most people don’t see the context for the Jews.

During the Feast of Tabernacles there was a water libation. Pilgrims followed the high priests down to the Pool of Siloam to bring water up a long flight of stairs and to pour it on the altar. It represented the water that sprung from the rock Moses struck with his staff in the wilderness. Three trumpet blasts were sounded and Isaiah 12:3 was recited: “Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation!”. Jesus imposed Himself upon the ritual to say, “I am the living water. If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink” (John 7:37).

In addition, there were huge lamps lit on the temple mount. People celebrated with song and dance around these lamps. They were very tall and displayed four oil torches each. The lighting of these lamps was a very special part of the holiday. Jesus stood in front of these lamps and stated, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12). This caused a huge controversy among the pilgrims—some were converted and some were angered.

At this feast, Jesus also healed the blind man who in turn bore a fearless testimony to the priests that Jesus was the Messiah.