4/2 The Feast of Tabernacles (The History)

  • THIS WEEK’S BIBLE READINGS    March 27 - Apr. 2,  -  John 7:1-24,
  • NEXT WEEK’S BIBLE READINGS   April 3 - 9, -   John 7:25-52,

TEXT:  John 7:1-24; Ex. 23:16;  Lev. 23:33-44; Deu. 16:13-17; Heb. 11:13:16; Is. 12:3


IN A NUTSHELL: We all know Jesus kept the law without fail.  We also know that by age 12 Jesus was going to Jerusalem for the various feasts.  This means that more than likely for 20 years Jesus had come to Jerusalem with the thousands of other Jews to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles.  He slept, ate and celebrated God's provision with his family in a Sukkot.  This Sukkot was a type of tent with loosely placed palm leaves so the stars could be seen at night. By now (in John 7) his ministry campaign, humanly speaking, was crumbling.  In recent months thousands had walked away and here we see his family subtly scoffing at his intentions to recruit disciples. The history of the Feast of Tabernacles was full of purpose.  Look to God for all hope and provisions, illustrated powerfully through the water & manna in the desert. This life is a journey, when it doesn't feel like home... look up, trust Him!    


  1. How is the Feast of Tabernacles described at it's beginning?  Ex. 23:16;  Lev. 23:33-44; Deu. 16:13-17

  2. How did Jesus' brothers react to Jesus regarding his going to the Temple?  John 7:1-24  Does this seem strange in light of the fact the Jewish leaders are trying to kill him? 

  3. Keep in mind the context John describes for Jesus in chapters 5 & 6; the conflict, the fickleness of mankind and thousands walking away.  How would you feel about going to the required feast of tabernacles if you were Jesus?  If you were one of the disciples supporting Jesus?  How would you feel if you were one of Jesus' brothers and the Jewish rulers were wanting to kill your brother? 

  4. What is the significance of the "Water LIbation" taking place during the feast of Tabernacles? Is. 12:3 

  5. What does Heb. 11:13 tell us about people who live by faith?



  1. Can you describe a period of time in your life where you thought you were trying extra hard to do the right thing but it seemed like nothing was working out like it should?  

  2. How did your situation finally work out?  Were there any faith lessons you learned about yourself, about God during that time?

  3. Are there any particular religious traditions or rituals that seem confusing or empty to you? 

  4. Do you celebrate in particular traditions or rituals that remind you to "look up", to think about how He has provided for you or other believers in the past?

  5. Why do you think John included the account of Jesus' brothers skeptical responses in a book supposedly written to promote confidence and faith in Jesus?