A Quiet Arrival

A Quiet Arrival
Life & Light Community Church
Message from 11/5/2022

Life & Light Community Church began in the early months of 2020. What began as an opportunity for me, my wife and step-kids to continue to worship together, has now evolved into a ministry that has expanded to include close friends, family, and those who are simply hungry for the word of God. You can find us on Facebook, so please, feel free to reach out and join us.

“After these things Jesus was walking in Galilee, for He was unwilling to walk in Judea because the Jews were seeking to kill Him. Now the feast of the Jews, the Feast of Booths, was near. Therefore His brothers said to Him, “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.” For not even His brothers were believing in Him. So Jesus said to them, “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.” Having said these things to them, He stayed in Galilee. But when His brothers had gone up to the feast, then He Himself also went up, not publicly, but as if, in secret.”
John 7:1–10 (NASB95)

Throughout the gospel account of John, we find Jesus interacting with people. Such is the ministry of our Lord. In this interaction with people there have been miracles of turning water to wine, and feeding 5,000 men, plus women and children, with a few loaves of bread and fish; we have seen Jesus deal with individuals as well as large groups. And of course, there is always the ever-present tension with the Pharisees.

Today we find another realm in the life of Jesus added to the mix – His family. The brothers of Jesus try to convince Him to show Himself to the world – a world who just happens to hate Him! The brothers want Jesus to go to Jerusalem and to do so boldly, but Jesus makes A Quiet Arrival, allowing Him to walk wisely among those who seek to take His life.

Jesus walks in Galilee because the Jews seek to kill Him. His brothers try to force Him to show Himself to a world that hates Him because He testifies to its evil deeds. So, A Quiet Arrival allows Jesus to attend the Feast of Booths after the arrival of His brothers.

As He attends the Feast of Booths, A Quiet Arrival allows Jesus to walk wisely among those who seek to kill Him; He remains private as His brothers seek to expose Him; and He continues to testify against the evil deeds of a world that hates Him.

In this message we seek to answer the question, “What can the Christ follower learn from A Quiet Arrival?”

As Christ followers, we learn from A Quiet Arrival to continue in the work of ministry – regardless of our circumstances.

1). As Christ followers, we learn from A Quiet Arrival to walk wisely.
Because of our faith and trust in Jesus, there will be times when we are openly mocked.

As chapter seven opens, we find Jesus is still walking in Galilee. John tells us that Jesus was unwilling to walk in Judea because the Jews, the Judean Jews, were seeking to kill Him. To add to the tension, we find in this passage, John tells us the Feast of Booths is set to take place. To complete this tension filled scene, John tells us the brothers of Jesus are present and trying to convince Him to show Himself to the world. Why are the brothers of Jesus pressing Him in this manner? Because, John says, they are not yet believing in Jesus.

That the Judean Jews are seeking to kill Jesus is no big surprise, for John has stated in several other places, thus far in his gospel account, that the Jews seek to kill Jesus. What is surprising, however, is that Jesus was unwilling to walk in Judea. That Jesus is unwilling to walk in Judea is not because He is avoiding confrontation, but rather, because He is remaining faithful to the Father’s will. It is not yet time for Jesus to die, so He remains in Galilee where the Judean Jews cannot reach Him. Jesus is fully aware of the fact that it is not time for Him to go to Jerusalem to die, for twice He says His time has not yet come.

Jesus came to Galilee after the feeding of the 5,000. Part of those following Jesus came from the crowd who were fed by Jesus. We also know they were unwilling to believe the signs they saw Jesus perform while among them. So, Jesus continues in the work the Father has given Him to complete, even though He is fully aware the Jews seek to kill Him. Regardless of His circumstances, Jesus continues in the work of His ministry. Even though the enemy is hard at work in those who should recognize and accept Him, Jesus is focused on the work at hand. The brothers of Jesus openly mock Him as they try to convince Him to show Himself to the world. They do this by using the Feast of Booths, also known as the Fest of Tabernacles, as the venue to show Himself as the Messiah to the world.

This Feast is one of three all Jewish males are required to travel to Jerusalem to attend. It is the third of the Fall feasts and the final of the seven Feasts to the Lord. There are several things concerning the Feast we should be aware of. This feast is to be a reminder to future generations of Jewish people of God’s sustaining and protecting power throughout an uncertain journey. It is a time when temporary shelters were built to remind the Jewish people of the shelters their ancestors lived in throughout the wilderness journey. It is also a time of great rejoicing following the gathering of the harvest. Finally, we must understand the phrase, “Feast of the Jews.” Why does John add this comment? John provides this bit of information because there were several calendars at use during this time. John is making it plainly clear that Jesus is a Judean Jew, and this is the calendar He is following.

For the Christ follower, there is much for us to learn and remember in this passage. Frist, if we are truly following the examples of Jesus, we can learn to keep our eyes fixed on the ministry to which we have been called. The enemy will come against us in the most unexpected ways, even through our own friends and family. Our circumstances must not dictate when, where, or how we minister to others. Our eyes must be fixed on Jesus and the examples He has provided. This means we must learn to walk wisely among those who seek our “death.” Jesus was not avoiding a confrontation; He simply knew it was not the proper time for confrontation. We too must learn the proper time for confrontation and the time to walk away until the time has been prepared for confrontation.

Finally, the Feast of Booths is important for our faith even today. Many will not agree with this, saying that Jesus did away with the need to observe the feasts. Obviously, this is not true because Jesus and the disciples were faithful to attend the feasts, and for the Christ follower, all seven of the Feasts find their fulfillment in Jesus. This feast is a reminder that Jesus, the Word made flesh, came to dwell among us. Dwell comes from the same root word as tabernacle. Tabernacle means tent, or booth, it carries the idea of pitching a tent. For the Christ follower it is a reminder that Jesus pitched His tent to dwell among us. Further, we are now the dwelling place of Christ through the Holy Spirit. Finally, this Feast represents our eternal future spent with Christ in His eternal kingdom.

Questions for discussion/reflection:

How is the enemy trying to distract you from the work of ministry to which you have been called?
How is the enemy openly mocking your faith and trust in Christ during this season of life?
How is Jesus “dwelling” with you during this season of life?

As Christ followers. We learn from A Quiet Arrival to continue in the work of ministry – regardless of our circumstances.

2). As Christ followers, we learn from A Quiet Arrival to continue exposing evil.
Because of our faith and trust in Jesus, there will be times when we are openly hated.

We have seen that the brothers of Jesus are trying to convince Him to show Himself to the world. What we have not discussed yet is that this world hated Jesus. Why does the world hate Jesus? Because He exposes its evil deeds. Knowing the history of Israel this should not be a surprise for us. The evil kings of Israel hated the prophets for not withholding their criticism. One of the reasons King David is presented in a positive light is because when confronted with his sin by Nathan, the prophet, David responded in repentance and faith, rather than trying to kill the prophet. Like the prophets before Him, Jesus is hated because He will not withhold His criticism of the Judean religious system.

Scripture has ample illustrations of Jesus in a confrontation with the Judean Jewish religious leaders because he will not withhold His criticism of their system. In John chapter 5 we find an example of this when Jesus healed the man at the Pool of Bethesda. The issue with the healing, according to the Judean Jewish religious leaders is because Jesus “worked” this miracle on the Sabbath. They first address the man for carrying his pallet on the Sabbath and then turn their attack to Jesus, once they discover He is the one who performed the miracle. Jesus continued to expose their evil deeds because, at the heart of the matter, was the fact that the religious leaders turned a blind eye to the people of God seeking a miracle at a place of pagan worship.

We must, next, understand the context of “world.” In his writing, John presents Jesus and the Judean Jews as one community, one family, and one people group within the wider Israel. Traditional teaching has said the “world” is the entire nation of Israel, or the wider known world. But, having dug deeper into the gospel account of John, we have already learned that John presents Jesus as a Judean Jew. So, in this context, “world” is the system of the Judean Jews that sought to take His life and end His ministry. John 1:11 helps put this in context of “His own.”

We must also understand the contrasts that are presented between Jesus and His brothers. The first contrast is the way in which the brothers want Jesus to show Himself to the world and the way Jesus arrives at the Feast. The brothers press Jesus to do things publicly, not in secret. Here, publicly means “in boldness.” We might say something like “toot your own horn.” In others, words, make yourself known and do it loudly! Jesus., however, arrives at the feast and does what He does in secret. Here, secret means “as if hidden.” We would say He is doing things privately or “on the downlow.” The other contrast has to do with time. Jesus says the time for His brothers is “always opportune.” Here, “opportune” means prepared. The world will always accept the brothers at any time because the world does not hate them…they are welcome! Time for the brothers is quantity of time. But Jesus says His time has not yet come. For Jesus, time could also be translated as “hour.” For Jesus, His time will be marked by certain characteristics. It is quality of time, not quantity of time.

For the Christ follower, we must be aware of the fact that we are exposing evil as well. Sometimes we may, in fact, need to use words and have a confrontation with people. But more likely it will be as simple as your lifestyle making people uncomfortable because you are different. When a Christ follower lives out their beliefs before others, it makes an impression that is hard to forget. Some will ask and accept, while others will fight against you at every turn. Some will even hate you, most, for what your lifestyle and beliefs stand for against their lifestyle and beliefs.

We must also be aware of our world. This is not the world at large but the world of our family and close friends. It may also spill over into work relationships and our neighborhoods. Your circle of influence is your world, and your life speaks to everyone you come into contact with. Finally, we must be aware of our time. As Christ followers, ours is a quality of time. We are to be making the most of our time because time is short. The time and effort we put into making relationships is important and take quality, not necessarily a quantity, of time. Yes, both would be ideal, but we must use our time wisely, just as we must walk wisely among those we meet.

Questions for discussion/reflection:

What ministry is Jesus calling you to in your “world” today?
How do you sense Jesus calling you to expose evil during this season of life?
How are you being hated, by the enemy himself or though others, during this season of life.

As Christ followers. We learn from A Quiet Arrival to continue in the work of ministry – regardless of our circumstances.

The life of the Christ follower is never easy, nor have we been promised that it would be. In fact, Jesus tells us that we will find trouble in this world. The work of ministry is hard work, and make no mistake about it, we have all been called to some sort of ministry. Doing the work of ministry that has been prepared for us, we will find times when we are openly mocked. People will try to convince us to do things we wouldn’t normally do. They will taunt us, tease us, and at times, even hate us. Our lives as Christ followers will make some people very uncomfortable, and most of them will know only one way to react – to lash out at what is making them uncomfortable. It truly is not personal, but you represent something counter to what they believe and the way they live.

But we can take great comfort in knowing that the One who calls us to this ministry, dwells within us, giving us the strength, courage, and power, we need to complete the work prepared for us. Jesus has come to give us life and life abundantly, not to lead us to our destruction by an enemy that hates us. He has promised to be with us always, even in the darkest and hardest of times. No, the life we have been called to is not an easy life. But it is a life well worth living as long as we walk wisely among those with which we live and work.

We do all things through Christ our Lord,
Amen and amen.
Next Week” John 7:11-19

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: