The Significance of Feasts
Turn in your Bible, if you will please, to John chapter seven. Last week, pastor was in John chapter six and he sort of left us in John chapter six with this challenge, and he said, “Why are you following Jesus?” Why are you following Jesus? Are you following Jesus because it’s easy and because it’s convenient? Sort of like the group of people that were fed by the fish and the loaves and so they were following Jesus because they got something from him. It’s a big challenge not to follow Jesus because we get something from him. The bigger challenge is to follow Jesus just because of who he is and just because of what he’s done, that’s where the big challenge comes in. It’s kind of like Thomas said when they were up in the upper room and Jesus came and he was able to put his fingers in his hand and he was able to put his fist in his side. And Thomas said, my Lord and my God. That’s why we follow Jesus because he’s our Lord and our God.
As a matter of fact, pastor mentioned this last week and it’s just kind of bears repeating I think is that it’s just getting tougher and tougher to stand up and say I belong to Jesus Christ in this world. Isn’t it? I mean, it’s getting really tough. And it’s been tough all over for a long time. If you look at the news, if you pay any attention to the news, you’ll see that there was a church leader in Egypt just this past week. And he was kidnapped about three months ago, tortured awfully, and then executed earlier this week, all by people trying to get him to deny Jesus Christ. Man, the strength and the courage that it takes to not deny our Lord in a situation like that can only come through following Jesus, because he’s your Lord and he’s your God, following Jesus because of who he is.
So it’s a really good challenge and a great challenge. And maybe a little bit of that’ll come up as we now move into chapter seven. So let’s look at chapter seven, verse one. And we’re going to learn as we get into chapter seven that some things changed. A little bit changed, and the scene changed, and some things changed. But we’ll get there in a minute. But chapter seven verse one says this, after these things, Jesus was walking in Galilee and he was unwilling to walk in Judea because the Jews were seeking to kill him. Now, that happened several times, but this particular time, back in chapter five, Jesus had healed a man that had been sick for 38 years by the pool of Bethesda. And he happened to do it on the Sabbath. And ever since he had done that the Jews were seeking to kill him. And so, Jesus, he decided that I’m going to stay out here in Galilee for a while and not go back to Jerusalem right now, not go back to Judea.
And interestingly, he’s going to remind the crowd that’s gathered there in just a few verses down in chapter seven, he’s going to remind them about that. They’re telling him you have a demon, nobody’s trying to kill you. And he’s going to remind them, “Yeah, the Jews would like to kill me because I did that one deed, I did that one good deed.” And so, eventually, he says I’m going to stay here in Galilee for now. That’s the safest place for right now. And that’s good for him.
And now in verse two, here’s something that’s interesting. In verse two, it says, “Now the feast of the Jews, the Feast of Booths, was near.” If you remember back in John chapter six, in verse four, it said something similar. It says, “Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was near.” And so the events in chapter six, the events that John’s recording for us in chapter six, happened just before the Passover. And now we’re seeing that the events in chapter seven are going to happen just before the Feast of Booths or the Feast of Tabernacles. And so I thought, well, in order and understand the significance of that, maybe we need to look at the feasts that God set up for the nation of Israel and just briefly go through the annual feasts, because I think it helps us to understand, not just what’s going on here in chapter seven, but understand some things about our Lord as well. And so, let’s look at those for a little bit this morning.
God initiated seven feasts for the Jews. Four of them happened in the springtime, three of them happened in the fall. And so, the ones that went on in the spring was Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits, and the Feast of Weeks. And we’ll talk about each one of those in a minute. The ones that went on in the fall was a Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles. The last feast was the Feast of Tabernacles. So we’re learning now already that in chapter seven the Feast of Tabernacles is coming up. So we’re toward the end of the Jewish religious calendar year, kind of, is a good way to think of that.
The word “feast” literally means appointed times. And what we learn and what’s so unique about that is how carefully God planned and orchestrated the timing and the sequence of each one of these seven feasts to reveal some amazing things about Jesus. First, his redemptive work, and then, his coming again. And that’s what we’re going to see as we go through these.
And this is worth mentioning as well, three of the feasts, Passover, Weeks and Tabernacles, the Jews living in Judea were required to make the pilgrimage to Jerusalem and participate in these feasts. So what you know, during the time of Passover, during the time of Weeks, during the time of Tabernacles, the city of Jerusalem is packed to the gills with people everywhere, all over. And that’s significant as we get down here a little further and understand this.
Paul explains, and this is pretty good, Paul explains a little bit about where we’re going with these feasts when he’s talking to the church at Colossae in Colossians two verses 16 and 17, he says this, “Therefore, no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink, or in respect of a festival…” In some translations that’s “feast” right there. “… or a new moon or a Sabbath day, things which are a mere shadow of what’s to come.” And then he says this, “But the substance belongs to Christ.” Other translations say “the reality is found in Christ.” That really explains it a little better. The reality of the feasts is found in Christ is what he’s basically saying.
Paul’s telling the church at Colossae that whatever you understood in those feasts, whatever you did in those feasts, really, and understood, those of you that were Jewish and practice them, the reality is really in Christ. And that’s what we’re going to see as we look for these. As a matter of fact, the first four feasts, the feast that went on in the spring, Jesus has already fulfilled. He has already been found as the reality in those feasts. And so let’s look at them, let’s get a little bit detail into some of these. And again, this is, hopefully, just to help us out.
The first feast of the Jewish religious calendar year was the Feast of Passover. And Passover was usually on the 14th day of the first month, the first month of the Jewish calendar. And to this year, it was celebrated on March 27th. Now remember that the Jews, when they counted a day, it usually went from dusk one day to dusk the next day. So you have to remember that as we’re talking about current calendar dates that it started on dusk on the 27th, but it didn’t end until dusk on the 28th, for what we understand, of March. But for them, it was the 14th day of the first month. And obviously, the Feast of Passover is to remember that Jesus delivered Israel from bondage of Egypt. And he passed over the houses. You remember? They sacrificed a lamb and they took the blood of the lamb and painted it on their doorposts. And then God would protect, or God would pass over them when the death angel came. And the word “Passover” actually means to cover. God covered them up so the death angel could pass over them.
And what we know about this, and this is fun to tie it back to Jesus, what we know is Jesus is the true lamb of God. Right? The Bible says that. We’ll see that in just a minute. He is the final sacrifice and his blood didn’t just cover the sin, his blood covers it completely and takes it away. Much different than the sacrifice that the Jews had to make every year. Jesus died on the cross the same day that the Passover lamb was slaughtered and they started their preparation, they started their Passover day, was the same day Jesus died on the cross.
John chapter one in verse 29 says this, and this is, “The next day, he…” Talking about John, the Baptist. “… he saw Jesus coming to him. And he said, ‘Behold, the lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world.'” The lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. Very much equating him back to the lamb of God that the Jews sacrificed so that they could celebrate the Passover. And then first Corinthians five in verse seven, it says, “Clean out the old leaven… And we’ll talk about leaven in a minute. “…clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump just as you are, in fact, unleaven, for Christ, our Passover, has been sacrificed.” So Jesus, there, is even called our Passover and tying us very specifically back to this Passover celebration. So Jesus is the Passover lamb, fulfilled the Passover celebration by being sacrificed on the very day that they celebrate Passover.
Now the next feast is a Feast of the Unleavened Bread. Feast of Unleavened Bread actually starts a day after Passover, and it runs for seven days. So it would run from the 15th through the 21st of the first month. And it’s really oftentimes so much associated with Passover that they call the whole thing Passover, the whole eight days, Passover. But the Feast of Unleavened Bread is different and it’s handled different. This year, it was celebrated on a March 28 through April 3rd, if you want to try to balance it and see where we’re at with that. But leaven, the feast of Unleavened Bread is related to the leaven.
Leaven, it symbolizes error or corruption, it’s a picture of sin all through the Bible. So during this feast, no leaven could be found in the house of an Israelite. They would take, and they would sweep out their houses very carefully and make sure that they got any crumbs that could have been from old leaven bread and get it out of their house, and they take them outside and burn it. They had to get rid of it. And they’d take it out and burn it.
And Christ was sacrificed or crucified on the Passover. And that’s the same day that they would clean up their house, take out this leaven and burn it and get rid of it. And then his body was in the tomb. As they were starting this celebration of Unleavened Bread, Jesus’ body was in the tomb. Remember they’d taken him down before they got into their official celebration of Passover. Before sundown, they’d taken him down and they’d put him in a tomb. And so, he was in the tomb as they were beginning this feast.
But this is the cool thing, his body didn’t see corruption. We know that, we know that Jesus’ body didn’t seek corruption. He wouldn’t experience corruption. There’s no leaven present in him because he’s unleavened. Right? There’s just nothing sinful found in him. So there’s no error, no corruption in him. And we look at Acts chapter two in verse 27, it says, “Because you will not abandon my soul to Hades nor allow your holy one to undergo decay.” And in a lot of translations that word “decay” is corruption. God had already said he wasn’t going to allow Jesus to experience corruption because there’s no corruption in him. And so, with the unleaven, we see a beautiful picture of Jesus. And so, he’s in the tomb as they start the festival of the Unleavened Bread, the feast.
And now, the next feast is the Feast of Firstfruits. The Feast of Firstfruits took place on the second day of the festival of Unleavened Bread. So it was in the middle, again, of what this other feast that’s going on, this year, celebrated on March 29th. So what’s going on in this is that the winter barley harvest is at hand, they’re harvesting the barley. And so, the first of the harvest is being brought to God as the firstfruits. And so, that’s what they’re celebrating during this feast, what the nation of Israel is celebrating.
But here’s the unique thing, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day. Passover was the first day. The second day was the first day of the Unleavened Bread. The third day was the second day of the Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Firstfruits. Jesus is the Firstfruits. Jesus rose from the dead on the very day that the Feast of firstfruits was celebrated. Isn’t that unique to see how God very specifically has taken care of each one of these feasts and how Jesus fulfilled it.
In first Corinthians chapter 15, verses three and four, we read this, and these are very familiar verses to you, but it just helps us see it all, it says, “For I delivered to you as of the first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures.” And then verse 20 says this, “But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who are asleep.” Jesus very clearly fulfills the Feast of Firstfruits by raising from the dead on the day of that very feast.
And then the final feast of the spring time is the Feast of Weeks. The Feast of Weeks is called such because God had told Israel to count seven days from the Feast of Firstfruits, and then the next day you would start this Feast of Weeks. This was the day you would celebrate the Feast of Weeks. That means it was 50 days. Seven weeks is 49 days and then the next day it started. So 50 days from the Firstfruits, from the celebration of the Firstfruits. And this year, it will be celebrated on May 18th, those that still celebrate these feasts. And so, the Feast of Weeks was also called Pentecost, the Feast of Pentecost because of the 50, the 50 days from the Feast of Firstfruits. And we know that Pentecost means 50th. And so, sometimes you hear it called the Feast of Pentecost and the Israelites, again, brought their firstfruits of harvest. Now it’s a regular grain harvest and they’re bringing their firstfruits from this harvest.
But think about this, after Jesus’s resurrection, on the day of Firstfruits, then he came among his followers, among his disciples for 40 days. You remember? In acts chapter three in verse one, or excuse me, the other way around, chapter one, and verse three, it says, “To these, he also presented himself alive after his suffering by many convincing proofs. Appearing to them over a period of 40 days. And speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God.” So very clearly, Jesus appeared for 40 days after his resurrection. And then he was taken up in the clouds. Right? You remember all that happen?
But he promised before he was taken up, he says I’m going to send you a comforter. “In not many days, I’m going to send you a comforter.” And you see in verses four and five, you see how he explains that, he says, “Gathering them together, he commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the father had promised, which, he said, ‘You heard of from me. For John baptized you with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.'” So Jesus had appeared to them for 40 days. And then he said, not many days from now, the Holy Spirit’s coming. And it actually was 10 days when the Holy Spirit came upon them. And when he did, what do we call it? We call it Pentecost. We call it Pentecost because it was 50 days from when Jesus was resurrected.
And so, you see very clearly that Jesus has fulfilled each one of these feasts by coming to the earth as a lamb without blemish, and dying on the cross to pay for sins of the world. He rose again on the third day, and then to all who believe in him, he gives his indwelling Holy Spirit. And so, you see all of these things are fulfilled in Christ. By the way, Pentecost was the start of the church. That’s a start of the church that we are a part of now. And so, that’s kind of exciting.
Well, since Jesus so clearly fulfilled the first four feasts to the very day, then we can expect that he’s going to fulfill the other three, fulfill the three feasts of the fall time as well. The three feasts of the fall, remember, where the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles. Now, they’re celebrated in the fall so there’s quite a break between when the spring feasts end and when the fall feasts start. But it’s really generally understood and accepted that Jesus is going to fulfill these fall feasts by things that go on in the future, when he comes again for his church, and when he comes again to reign on earth and set up his kingdom for a thousand years. Those things that are yet to happen in the future are a part of him fulfilling these fall feasts.
And so, let’s look at some of those. The first one is a Feast of Trumpets. It was celebrated on the first day of the seventh month. We started in the first month of the Jewish religious calendar, and now this one is on the seventh month, the first day of the seventh month. It will be celebrated on September 7th this year, start on dusk on September 7th, finish at dusk on September 8th. And y’all have heard of it before, but you’ve probably heard of it as Rosh Hashanah. And so, that’s the Jewish feast. And these are more commonly celebrated by the Jews now because they didn’t have to have the temple there for it, or they don’t have it anymore for the Day of Atonement and so they have to celebrate them all in a much different way than they did in Jesus’ time.
But the Feast of Trumpets, in the Old Testament, when they blew the trumpets, it was usually for two reasons. It was either to call a solemn assembly of the people, or it was to call them to war. That was the two times when they blew the trumpets. But for this feast, when it came time for this feast, they blew the trumpets as a call to introspection and repentance. It was a time that the nation of Israel was to think inwardly and realize and repent for the things that they had done and to realize all that God had done for them. Many believe that this feast is going to be filled by Christ when he comes for his church, when he comes for his bride, at the rapture, we call it.
And first Thessalonians chapter four, verses 16 and 17, explain it. And it said, “For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. And then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. So, we shall always be with the Lord.” And I love verse 18. We didn’t include it, but it says “comfort each other with this.” What greater comfort is there than that. Jesus is coming again. He’s coming to take his church home. And so, pretty exciting to think about the way that Jesus will fulfill the Feast of Trumpets.
Now, the Day of Atonement it’s pretty interesting. The Day of Atonement, just like Passover meant “cover”, atonement means cover as well. So the Day of Atonement is when they would celebrate God covering, temporarily this time for the nation of Israel, God covering their sins temporarily. And so, it was celebrated on the 10th day of the seventh month. So on September 18th this year, it will be celebrated. And it’s known as Yom Kippur. You’ve heard that as well. And so, part of this feast has already been filled by Christ. You can tell that because it’s called the Day of Atonement and we know what Christ has done as far as that goes. But then, part of it still is yet to be fulfilled.
So on the Day of Atonement, the high priest, and along with several other sacrifices, would take two goats, and they would present two goats before the Lord. And one of the goats would be sacrificed and the blood would be sprinkled in the Holy of Holies, on the mercy seat in the Holy of Holies. And the reason for that was to bring about reconciliation between God and the nation of Israel. And so, that’s what happened with one of the goats. The other goat, the high priest would lay his hands on the other goat. And that was a symbol of the sins of Israel passing onto the goat. And then the goat would be taken out into the wilderness and it would never be seen anymore, more than likely, torn apart by wild animal.
And so, the unique thing about all that is Jesus already made atonement for our sins on the cross. Right? Jesus has already done that. He already made atonement for the sins and he took our sins on himself. And Hebrews chapter nine, this is a little bit of a long passage, but explains it pretty well. He says, “But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, he entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands. That is to say, not of this creation. And not through the blood of goats and calves, but through his own blood. He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ who through the eternal spirit offered himself without blemish to God cleansing your conscience from dead works to serve the living God.”
The whole point of it is, is Jesus’ atonement is far better and permanent, far better than what they could do once a year with these goats, we’re trying to make atonement and with the sacrifices of the calves and the bulls and all the different sacrifices they did. Second Corinthians five in verse 21 says, “And he made him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.” He took on sin for us. And that’s exactly what those goats were supposed to do, pay for sin, reconcile to God, and to take the sin of the people. Jesus did them both. So many believe that Jesus is going to fulfill this feast. In addition to what he’s already done, he’s going to fulfill it when he comes the second time.
Now, when he comes the second time, the nation of Israel is going to recognize who he is. Israel didn’t recognize our Messiah, in general, when he first came. And so, there’s going to come a time when Israel is going to recognize Jesus as their Messiah, they’re going to recognize that he’s God, they’re going to recognize what he did for them, that his atonement was for them as well. And when they recognize that, they’re going to receive him and accept him as their Messiah, as their lord.
Zachariah chapter 12 in verse 10 puts it this way and explains it. And he says, “I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and supplication, so that they will look to me whom they have pierced. And they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only son. And they will weep bitterly over him, like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.” So Israel will one day understand and accept this atonement that Jesus made for them and accept him as their Messiah. And when that happens, when Jesus returns the second time, that’s when they believe this Day of Atonement feast will be fulfilled.
Now we finally get to the Feast of Tabernacles. The Feast of Tabernacles was on the 15th day of the seventh month and it ran for seven days. So this year it’ll run for the 21st to the 27th of September. You see all these fall feasts take place within a few weeks, and then they’re all done. But this feast was to celebrate God’s provision in the wilderness for the nation of Israel. And so, they would build little huts. It was called the Feast of Tabernacles or the Feast of Booths because they’d build little huts and they’d live in them for a week as a reminder of everything that God did and the living situation and conditions that they were in during their 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. And so, they did that.
And then during this feast, also, the temple was illuminated with four large candles. And that was a picture of the pillar of fire that God led Israel with in the desert. And then lastly, the priest would bring from the pool of Siloam, they would bring water and they would pour it over the altar. And that was a picture of God providing in the wilderness from the rock, providing water for the nation of Israel from the rock. And so, they did all these things during the Feast of Tabernacles as reminders of what God had done.
But it’s so interesting to see how Jesus fulfills so much of this feast and so much that he’s already done and that he’s pointing toward. Later on in John chapter seven in verses 37 and 38, on the last day of the feast, it says that Jesus cried out these words. He says, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. And he who believes in me, as the scripture says, from his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.” Jesus says come to me because I’m the living water. You got the water from the pool of Siloam and it’s going to dry up one day, it’s temporary water. As a matter of fact, eventually it’s going to be all destroyed when Jerusalem and the temple are destroyed in AD 70, the whole thing is going to be gone. But Jesus says the water that I offer is living water. It’s going to be there forever. I’m living water. And anybody who thirsts, come to me because I am living water.
And then shortly after the last day of the feast in John chapter eight in verse 12, Jesus says this. He says, “I am the light of the world. He who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” And so, God gave the nation of Israel this pillar of fire to lead them in the wilderness. But Jesus is saying, I’m the light of the world that lasts forever. When you see me, you see the light of the world. You don’t need another cloud or a pillar of fire leading you and stuff. Now I’m that light. I’m the light of the world. And by the way, we’re going to see his light again, that’s a part of his coming again. We’ll see his light again.
And then just to make this point a little clear, later on in chapter nine now of John, starting in verse five, he says this, he says, “While I’m in the world, I’m the light of the world.” So he repeats that. And then, “When he had said this, he spit on the ground and he made clay of spittle and applied the clay to this man’s eyes who was blind. And he said to him, ‘Go and wash in the pool of Siloam.'” You see, it’s tying back to the pool of Siloam. “… which is translated ‘sent’. And he went away and he washed, and he came back seeing.” The light of the world have given the light of the world to this man that was blind just as a picture to be able to show that Jesus is the light of the world, Jesus is coming again as that light of the world. So Jesus has already, in a lot of ways, and is ultimately going to completely fulfill these three fall feasts.
And it’s so interesting to realize that each one of these things Jesus is reiterating what’s going to happen with it. He’s the light of the world and that light’s going to shine again. And Israel received water in the wilderness. They receive water from a rock. Right? And he is the rock of salvation. He’s called that. And then the water that they received was temporary, but Jesus is living water, just like we learned in chapter six, he’s living bread. Right? So all of these things, and Jesus came here to live with us, to dwell with us, John one says. And one day he’s going to come and dwell again. He’s going to tabernacle again on this earth and he’s going to reign for a thousand years. And that’s when people believe that this final Feast of Tabernacles is going to be fulfilled when Christ returns to tabernacle again on the earth.
And so, we went through all the feasts just to try to understand a little bit of what we’re seeing here in John chapter seven. And remember in John six, it was just before the Passover. And now, in John seven, it’s just before the Feast of Trumpets. And now that we understand the calendar a little bit, we realize that there was six months in between these two chapters in between John six and John seven, six months, basically, had passed. And so, that kind of explains why we see Jesus in a little bit different situation. And all of a sudden he’s there with his family. He was there with all the people and having this discussion with all the people. And now he’s in Galilee and he’s with his family because his brothers are going to talk here in just a second.
But we also know something that’s kind of interesting. We know that Jesus came to fulfill all of God’s plan for all people. Right? And we see that specifically in the feast. And by seeing how he has fulfilled the feast and how he is going to going to fulfill the feast, it really just helps us confirm in our minds things like his deity and his purpose for coming to the earth and his future plans for the earth and how things are going to end. It just helps us get all of that stuff. And it helps us to keep looking to him. You remember what Paul encouraged Titus in Titus chapter two in verse 13? He said, “Looking for that blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and savior Jesus Christ.” Understanding all this helps us look for that blessed hope. It helps us keep our attention on that blessed hope.
With many of them events of chapter seven taking place around the Feast of Tabernacles, now it helps us understand this little challenge that Jesus’ brothers gave him in verses three and four. They said this to Jesus, they says, “Leave here and go into Judea so that your disciples also may see your works which you are doing. For no one does anything in secret when he himself seeks to be known publicly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.” Now, why would Jesus’ brothers want him to go up to the feast in Jerusalem and show himself to the world? Part of the reason is in verse five. Verse five makes it pretty clear and it says, for not even as brothers were believing in him. So one of the reasons that they wanted him to stand up and show himself as they didn’t believe him still, they didn’t believe Jesus.
But I feel like there’s something else to it. I believe that there’s something else to it. You remember, like many in Israel, his brothers probably were looking for a Messiah that would relieve them from the Roman rule? Right? I mean, so many in Israel wanted that at this time. They wanted to be out from under the Romans. They wanted somebody to come and establish a new kingdom. And his brothers are really saying this, “Jesus, if you’re that Messiah, the Feast of Tabernacles is here. Jerusalem is full of people. This is the last feast of the year for another six months. If you’re that Messiah, you got to go and you got to show yourself and you’ve got to make your plan known to the world. Now’s the time. If there was ever a time, Jesus, now’s the time. But not only didn’t his brothers believe in him, they didn’t understand what he was for. Did they? They didn’t understand his purpose. They didn’t understand his plan. They didn’t get it with Jesus yet.
So Jesus explains to them in verses six through eight, he says, “My time is not yet here, but your time is always opportune. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify of it that its deeds are evil. Go up to the feast yourselves. I do not go up to this feast because my time has not yet fully come.” So Jesus makes it clear, my time’s not yet. But listen, your time, your kind of plan that wants to have a different kind of Messiah than I’m going to be, that kind of plan is available all the time, it’s always ready. That kind of plan is always at hand. And it had been for a long time. That’s what many of the Jewish nation was looking for. But Jesus says I’m not going to go up to the feast based on your plan. I’m not going to go up to the feast based on when you think the time is right. I’m going to wait until God’s perfect timing. That’s when I’m going to go to the feast.
And then he says, besides, and he reminds them of this. The world can’t hate you, but the world does already and will hate me because of my testimony against it. He says, so you go up to the feast. I’m not going to go up now because my time hasn’t fully come. And Jesus stayed in Galilee, stayed there.
So as we finish up these verses this morning, I want to make three points of application that I hope will be helpful to us here today and helps us kind of bring all this together and understand why we went through it all. But the first is that Jesus came to the earth to fulfill God’s plan. I mean, very clearly, he came to fulfill God’s plan. And listen, he’s going to come again. And all as a part of God’s future plans. Everything is a part of God’s plan. And he’s going to come and fulfill all of his plans for the people, for his people and for the whole world. That’s going to happen.
And that’s so encouraging to us. That’s encouraging because that helps us as we look for the hope that we have in him, as we look for and hope in and just wait for his glorious appearing. That’s pretty exciting for us. It gives us reason to hope in his glorious appearance.
Secondly, during his earthly ministry, Jesus’ brother didn’t believe in him. We just talked about that. Praise the Lord, in Acts chapter one, they eventually do. Right? They’re in the upper room. They’re with Mary, they’re with their mother. And they’re with all the disciples and apostles and everybody in the upper room waiting for the day of Pentecost, praying, and everything. So eventually, we know that they do believe in him.
But we learned something really good about this and it’s that we shouldn’t be surprised when people reject Jesus. I mean, he was right there in front of his brothers for years. As a matter of fact, this particular time, the time that we’re talking about, the Feast of Tabernacles, in about six months is the feast of Passover when Jesus will be crucified.
So Jesus is probably 32, 33 years old. He’s been around his brothers for a lot of years. They had to be effected. This is a sinless man walking on earth. They had to be effected by his life. And yet they didn’t believe him yet. So it shouldn’t surprise us when people reject Christ, even when he’s standing there right in front of them, even when they see right, see everything about him right in front of them. But we can also realize from this because we know his brothers did eventually believe in him that we know there’s always a chance. Don’t ever give up on anybody. Keep praying, keep telling them about the Lord, keep being the example Christ wants us to be, because there’s always hope for everybody.
And the last thing I’d like to point out this morning is that… And this has been a real big challenge for our family this week. But we’re going to see next week that Jesus eventually did go up to the feast, but he went up in God’s timing. And it’s so critical for us to understand that everything works off of God’s timing. Everything takes place off of God’s timing. We might think that we see and that we know and that we understand things and we want it really bad and just all of those things. But only God knows what’s best for us. And only God knows the best time for it. It’s so critical to catch that. It makes so many things in our lives and so many challenges in our lives a little bit easier to take.
I saw a quote from Corrie ten Boom this week, and it says, “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” And the value of that is that’s what it looks like when you’re waiting for God’s timing is your trust in your unknown future, but you’re trusting it to your known God. And that’s pretty encouraging. So never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.
And I’ll tell you. I can just tell you this, I’m so thankful to see the way that God intricately has woven all of these trues about Christ throughout the whole Bible and the way that Christ has already fulfilled so much and is going to continue to fulfill everything exactly as God has planned. That’s just encouraging to me and I hope it’s encouraging for you.
So, as we look for our blessed hope and for the glorious appearing of our great God and savior, Jesus Christ, I pray that we’ll continue to share the truth of who he is. Continue to show forth Christ’s love and show forth who he is to whoever God brings us in contact with. And that we’d be found faithful waiting for him to fulfill his plan in each of our lives and to fulfill his plan in his perfect timing for us.