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The Feast of Booths had begun before Jesus arrived in Jerusalem. He hid in the crowds listening to the people, discerning what His Father was doing in their hearts. Right in the middle of the celebration He went up into the temple and began to teach. His authority was so obvious that no one challenged him. They marveled at His teaching. 

They said, “How has this man come to know so much without studying in one of the rabbinic schools?” 

Jesus proclaimed, “My teaching is not my own, but His who sent me. If you want to do God's will, you will know whether my teaching comes from God, or whether I teach on my own authority. The one who speaks on his own seeks to glorify himself. But the one who speaks for another has no reason to lie. Moses gave you the law and none of you keep it. So why are you trying to kill me?” The people looked nervously around and saw several Pharisees in the crowd. No one dared admit that they wanted to kill him. The leaders of the people had publicly turned against Jesus at a previous feast when He healed a man on the Sabbath.

Someone in the crowd, possibly a Pharisee, shouted, “You must have a demon. Who is trying to kill you?” Most of the people trembled at this denial. Jesus ignored the comment.

“You perform circumcisions on the Sabbath for the law to be observed. Why are you upset that I made a man’s whole body well on the Sabbath? Do not judge by mere appearances but by what is true and right.”

The people began to wonder why the Pharisees had not said more. Some of them began to say, “Is this not the man they want to kill? He is speaking openly and the rulers do nothing to stop him. Could our leaders know in their hearts that he really is the Christ?”

Others were saying, “But we know where this man comes from.” They had heard rabbis teach that no one will know where the Messiah comes from when he appears. 

Jesus responded to this as He taught in the temple. “You know who I am. And you can know who sent me by what I do. I did not come of my own accord. He who sent me is true, but you do not know Him. I know Him for I came from Him.” The tension continued to build. The only reason no one laid a hand on Him was because His time had not yet come.

Yet many of the people believed, saying, “When the Christ comes, will He give us more signs than this man?” When the Pharisees heard the people say this they reported to the council. And the chief priests sent officers to arrest Jesus. 

An eerie feeling filled the temple as Jesus said, “I will only be with you a little while. I must return to my Father. You will seek me and will not find me. For where I am going you cannot come.” The people questioned one another about this. “Where was he about to go? The whole crowd was mesmerised as Jesus promised those who would believe that their souls would cease to hunger and thirst. He said rivers of living water would flow from within them. 

As the feast came to an end the officers returned to the council. The chief priests demanded, “Why did you not arrest him?”

The officers looked sheepishly at one another. The ranking officer among them said, “No one ever spoke like this man.” 

The Pharisees scorned them. “Have you been deceived as well? This rabble who do not know the law are cursed.” When Nicodemus, one of their number, said that they had never really given Jesus a hearing, they scorned him as well. “ Are you from Galilee too?” they asked.

 

 

 

This story was taken from John 7:14-46

 

 

Lord, you speak to us like no one ever has. Saturate our lives with your teaching,

so that rivers of living water may flow from us.

 

 

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