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Know God in a Year #139 “Thanksgiving” in Jerusalem

The Feast of Tabernacles was the harvest festival, celebrating God’s gifts throughout the year.
Three times a year there were major feasts when people crowded Jerusalem. Many of them had become ritual, but this occasion was joyful, everyone bringing a gift. People built booths from branches, and stayed in them. Everything pretty was brought from the woods, decorating the city until it looked like a beautiful forest.
Jesus is home for a visit in Nazareth. His brothers urge him to go to Jerusalem and declare himself to the world. They aren’t ready to acknowledge him as Messiah, but are now impressed by his works. Still, they are bothered that he does nothing to lessen the antagonism of the priests and rabbis who are surely right.
“You haven’t even been to Jerusalem for a year and a half!”  they say.
“It’s not time yet,” answers Jesus, trying to help them understand, “Our world doesn’t hate you because you agree with it. But it hates me because I confront it’s evil. You go ahead.”
Every event of his life has an appointed time, and he waits patiently. After they leave, God directs him to go down alone, avoiding the crowds, and any possible demonstration to stir the jealousy of the leaders.
In Jerusalem, everyone is talking about him. “Where is he?” people are quietly asking everywhere.
Suddenly, in the middle of the festival, he appears in the temple courts, teaching. His bearing is dignity and courage, silencing gossip that he is afraid of the priests.
John 7:1-14
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