John 7

Feast of Tabernacles

Jesus stays in Galilee because the Jewish leaders are trying to kill him. When it is time for the Festival of Tabernacles, his brothers (upper left corner in red with purple sashes) urge him to go to Jerusalem and show himself to the world.

Jesus declines, so his brothers—who do not yet believe in him—leave for the Festival (part way down in train of people). Later Jesus goes in secret (wrapped in a green robe).

The Jewish leaders (in grey with white head dresses) search for Jesus among the tabernacles (lower left corner).

Halfway through the week Jesus goes into the temple courts (center) to teach, stirring up controversy by claiming his teaching comes from God.

The Feast of Tabernacles involves a special water ceremony where temple priests pour water from the Pool of Siloam (lower right corner) on the corner of the altar. The ritual connects to coming rainfall and crops. But on a spiritual level, the offering is associated with the prophecies in Zechariah 14:8, “And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem….” and Isaiah 44:3, “For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon your seed, and my blessing upon your offspring.”

On the last day of the festival Jesus says, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” The Jewish leaders are outraged and send temple guards (in short grey suits and holding spears) to arrest him. But the guards are impressed with his teaching.

Nicodemus (in grey with the magenta sash as in John 3) tries to reason with his fellow leaders, reminding them that their law does not condemn a man without first hearing him to find out what he has been doing.