The earliest Christians followed a Jewish tradition of pausing to pray, preferably together, first thing in the morning, about mid morning, at noon, about mid afternoon, and in the evening. “Just a Note” posts are brief observations made from Scripture readings not related to a lectionary. If I have one to post, it normally appears about 9:00 in the morning, at “the hour of prayer.”
Early in John chapter seven Jesus said that he was not going to go up to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles. Yet shortly afterward, he did go up, but not publicly with the group he had been speaking with. We can easily see this as an example of Jesus acting on his own terms and in his own timing.
What do the people think of him? Some are favorable toward him. Some think he is a deceiver. No matter what they thought, they were very careful of their speech “because of fear of the Jews.” There was great political and cultural pressure which would discourage people from following Jesus openly. They would be cast out of the synagogue. They might even be arrested and killed. Regardless of the repercussions, people had opinions about Jesus.
In many parts of the world today it is dangerous to live as a Christian. The culture seems to be more hostile toward Christianity generation by generation. Yet we see, especially in the places where Christianity may be openly punished by death, the Church is growing. Jesus shows himself as the one who gives eternal life. There is no level of persecution which will keep that down. When Jesus shows up, as he did at the Feast of Tabernacles, we have to make a decision. What is he like? Are we ready to live with that decision?
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