10 September 32 A.D. Jesus secretly attends the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem (St. John’s Gospel, chapter 7).
The families would arrive in the storied city of Davidic kings. They would make “booths” or “huts” of tree boughs, branches and palms. They would live there for a week (Lev.23.-35-43). Psalms were sung.
As John 7 records, Jesus went up secretly to Jerusalem to avoid the developing assassination plots on his life.
A slight digression. Of note, a wonderful Greek verb emerges, to wit, that Jesus Himself was the “tabernacle” according to John 1.14. It’s rich and John does not miss the point. Jesus “tabernacle” or “tented” amongst us.
For those who read Greek:
Καὶ ὁ λόγος σὰρξ ἐγένετο καὶ ἐσκήνωσεν ἐν ἡμῖν, καὶ ἐθεασάμεθα τὴν δόξαν αὐτοῦ, δόξαν ὡς μονογενοῦς παρὰ πατρός, πλήρης χάριτος καὶ ἀληθείας.
“14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
This sticks in the craw: my Dad taught me this verb well. He often referred to it, to wit, the full humanity and full deity of Christ in two distinct natures and One Person.
But back to the Feast of Tabernacles. There was a “water-drawing ceremony,” remembering the provision of water (Ex.17). At daybreak, the officiating priest would go to the Pool of Siloam. He would draw water in a golden pitcher and return to the southern side of the Temple. The trumpets would sound three times. The Temple choir would sing the Hallel Psalms (113-118) and say, “Give thanks to the Lord!” The priest would mount the altar and pour the wine and water into two silver bowls.
Jesus was not only the “tabernacle,” but the “Temple” itself, that is, He was “God in the flesh.”
Jesus was the “Living Water.” John 7. 37-38: 37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
But beyond this, we must cease. This would lead to a full-scale review of Jesus’ full humanity and deity. That is treated elsewhere—as it must and should be.
For now, however, lest we forget, on September 10, 32 A.D., our Sovereign Redeemer went to Jerusalem secretly and furtively to attend the Feast of Tabernacles. He was the Manna, the Water, the Tabernacle and the Temple Himself—God incarnate.