“After this, Jesus traveled around Galilee. He wanted to stay out of Judea, where the Jewish leaders were plotting his death. But soon it was time for the Jewish Festival of Booths, and Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, where your followers can see your miracles! You can’t become famous if you hide like this! If you can do such wonderful things, show yourself to the world!” For even his brothers didn’t believe in him.” John 7:1-5
“You shall live in booths seven days; all citizens in Israel shall live in booths, in order that future generations may know that I made the Israelite people live in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt.” Leviticus 23:42-43
Jesus didn’t remain on earth long. He had thirty-three years to accomplish his mission and then to move on to Heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father. Also, he knew what he was doing. When his disciples pressured him to go to the Festival of Booths In Jerusalem so he cold be “famous” and show himself to the world, he knew better.
The occasion of going to Jerusalem was to be made known (as “even his brothers didn’t believe him”) and to celebrate the Jewish festival. This festival marked the time of temporary dwelling when the Israelites had left slavery in Egypt and were camping in the desert before they reached the promised land. The festival marks God’s deliverance of his people from captivity and helps them remember his provision even while in the desert.
God was still providing for his people by sending Jesus who was leading the new Exodus. People of earth remain in temporary dwellings, bodies of flesh, as they await their own resurrections from their Messiah who sacrificed himself for the sins of the world.
Jesus’ disciples wanted him to make himself known but he already had (and would) in due time. Just as God provided for the Israelites in the desert, He was still at work through Christ. We serve a God whose character does not change though people remain sinfully the same and continue to wander in deserts of sin and shame.
What I sense from this passage today is Jesus’ resolve to redeem humanity and his disciples urgency to get it done. Jesus was resistant of humanity’s push to fame. He remained obedient to his Father who continues to redeem— be it Israelites living in temporary shelters in the desert or gentiles (that’s us) living in tempories bodies of flesh waiting for our Messiah’s return.
“O Lord, you are good. Even in my waywardness you remain faithful. Even when I am disobedient, you are loving. Come now, Holy Spirit, pave the way for your beauty to be revealed among your people. I praise you Lord for providing a dwelling place after this temporary one. That earth is not my home is a comfort to me! I praise you Lord for unleashing your power of grace in my life. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen