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To Jerusalem for Feast

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Life of Jesus Map - Feast of Tabernacles to Hanukkah in 29 A.D.

We pick up the life and ministry of Jesus in the early fall of 29 A.D. He and his disciples, who are in Capernaum at the time, leave the city and begin to travel though Galilee (Mark 9:30, Matthew 17:22). Their ultimate destination will end up being Jerusalem, which they will visit twice before the end of the year (to observe the Feast of Tabernacles (one of God's annual Feast periods) and Hanukkah).

As the group travels through the area called Galilee, his physical brothers meet up with him (likely in Nazareth). They strongly admonish their stepbrother to expand his popularity by openly performing miracles, in Jerusalem, during the upcoming fall Feast (John 7:2 - 8). Although Jesus declines their offer to journey with them to the city (a trip of 74 miles or 119 kilometers), he secretly goes to Jerusalem several days after they leave him (John 7:9 - 10).

Jesus does not begin publically teaching at the temple in Jerusalem until the middle of the Feast of Tabernacles (John 7:14). He tells the Jews that they, in spite of what they believe, do not keep God's laws and then asks why they seek to take his life. He additionally affirms that the Father sent him to earth to fulfill His will (14 - 31). The Pharisees and chief priests, upon hearing reports that the crowds are debating whether Jesus is the promised Messiah, send officers to arrest him (verse 32).

When the Last Great Day of the feast begins (at sunset on October 17) in Jerusalem, Jesus loudly proclaims that if anyone is thirsty (spiritually) they should come to him to drink (John 7:37 - 39). The officers dispatched to arrest him return to the Pharisees empty-handed. They state that, after hearing him speak unlike any other man they have known, their consciences would not allow them to apprehend him. Nicodemus, a Pharisee, who hears the report of the officers, tries in vain to defend Jesus before the other Jewish religious leaders present in Jerusalem (40 - 53).

Map of Nazareth
WHY was Jesus born?
Map of ancient Jerusalem

Jesus, while still in Jerusalem after the Feast, is brought an adulterous woman caught by some religious leaders (John 8:3). They seek to know how he would judge her and her sin, given that Old Testament law demanded her life (verse 5, see also Leviticus 20:10, Deuteronomy 22:22 - 24). His brief response, coupled with words he writes on the ground (which the Bible does not reveal), convicts their consciences. They, one by one, leave the area until all those who accused the woman are gone (John 8:3 - 11).

The Pharisees, on likely the same day as the incident with the adulterous woman, verbally attack Jesus while he is teaching in the temple treasury area (John 8:12 - 29). He responds to their accusations by stating they will die in their sins. He also tells them (and other Jews) that, although they are physically descended from Abraham, their spiritual father is actually Satan the devil! After he is twice accused of being possessed by a demon, the Lord not only rightfully labels his accusers as liars but also makes the startling declaration that he is the "I AM" or God of the Old Testament! Those who hear him begin to gather stones to kill him for blasphemy! Jesus, however, because it was not yet his time to die, escapes out of the temple (John 8:30 - 59).

Jesus, on a weekly Sabbath day shortly after the feast ends, heals a man born blind by having him wash in the pool of Siloam located in Jerusalem (John 9:1 - 41). After the Pharisees quiz the man about who healed him and how it was done, he is cast (excommunicated) out of the synagogue! The Lord finds the man and reveals to him that he is the Messiah. After giving the parable of the good Shepherd (10:1 - 21) Christ and the disciples travel back to Capernaum (Matthew 17:24).

Next Map in Life of Jesus Series
To Jerusalem for Hanukkah

Additional Study Materials
What exactly IS the Feast of Tabernacles?
What will the NEW Jerusalem look like?
Picture of the Pool of Siloam

Life of Jesus - To Jerusalem for Feast
Primary Sources

AMG Concise Bible Dictionary
Barnes' Notes on the New Testament
Harmony of the Gospels in Modern English

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