The master teacher

May 1, 2019

In the time of Jesus, the Feast of Tabernacles was held in October and was one of the three great feasts that the Lord had commanded the Israelites to celebrate. Jesus delayed going up to the great feast effectively heightening the anticipation and speculation surrounding him. “Where is he?” the people murmured among themselves. Somewhere midway through the feast he came to the temple. A few days later, on the eighth or “great day of the feast,” Jesus stood on the Temple mount and cried, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink.” This was no random declaration but a precisely timed and measured invitation.

One of the great moments of this feast was a procession of priests and pilgrims who marched each morning down the hill to the pool of Siloam and fetched pitchers of “Living Water,”, brought it back up to the Temple and poured it over the altar of the Temple amidst cries from the worshippers of, “We beseech thee, O Eternal, save us, we pray.” It was said that if one had not seen this celebration they did not know joy. For seven days the worshippers began each day of the feast with this ritual, but on the eighth day, they did not—though the priests and pilgrims did surround the altar and pray for living water from heaven. The water poured over the altar symbolized literal rain and the pouring out of living water or the Holy Ghost upon them which brought salvation. It was on that day, in that moment, when that heavenly water that quenches all thirst was not poured out that Jesus stood and proclaimed himself the source of all living water. There could be no doubt who Jesus claimed to be.

Early the next morning Jesus was in the Court of the Women on the Temple Mount when he declared “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life.” Once again this was a calculated declaration both in time and space. In that very court, as part of the Feast of the Tabernacles, four candelabra were erected, each standing 75 feet high. Each one was topped with four large bowls of olive oil. The number four likely symbolizing the giving of light to the four corners of the world. Indeed, when these were lit, there was not a courtyard in Jerusalem that was not illuminated. But on that day, with the Feast concluded and the Temple courts noticeably darker, Jesus declared himself the light of the world. And just moments later, as proof, he would walk off the Temple Mount passing a man born blind and through the elements of living water and light he brought light to a man who had never known it. Not only was he the Master Teacher, but he was and is the Messiah who will heal us everlastingly!

Sources: John 7-9

John and the Feast of Tabernacles by Bruce K. Satterfield, article in The Testimony of John the Beloved, The 27th Annual Sidney B. Sperry Symposium, p. 249-265.

Glenn Rawson is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and he resides in Blackfoot. Watch Glenn Rawson on KPVI Channel 6 at 8:30 a.m. Sundays or listen to his stories on EZ Rock 95.3 from 5 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. For more stories by Glenn Rawson visit www.glennrawson.com or https://www.facebook.com/pages/Glenn-Rawson-Stories/