Wednesday, July 17, 2019
“After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem” (John 5:1 KJV).
Thrice, and only in John’s Gospel Record, we read a unique expression. What is it, and why is it significant?
Back in Leviticus chapter 23, some 15 centuries earlier, JEHOVAH God had instructed the nation Israel through Moses to observe seven annual feasts. These were holy days—holidays—meant to teach them doctrine. Focus on their collective title as it appears: “Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts…. These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons…. These are the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD, a burnt offering, and a meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, every thing upon his day:…. And Moses declared unto the children of Israel the feasts of the LORD” (Leviticus 23:2,4,37,44; cf. 2 Chronicles 2:4; Ezra 3:5).
These are “the feasts of the LORD” (or “the feasts of JEHOVAH”). Now, let us make a stark comparison. Today’s Scripture speaks of “a feast of the Jews.” Turn to John 6:4 to read, “And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh.” Finally, John 7:2: “Now the Jews’ feast of tabernacles was at hand.” Whose feasts have they become? Surely, they are not the LORD God’s feasts anymore! Now greatly watered down, God the Holy Spirit no longer wants association with these holidays.
The apostate Jews have made those feasts glorify themselves. It is nothing but empty religion, corrupted with the traditions of men. Years later, Paul, having escaped that evil system, writes in Galatians 1:13: “For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it….” It is not God’s religion but “the Jews’ religion!”
Indeed, if God the Holy Spirit spoke audibly today, He would say, “Christianity has been diluted to become Christendom!” Yes, dear friends, the professing Body of Christ has gone the way of apostate Israel….
Our latest Bible Q&A: “Who or what are the ‘seven Spirits’ found in Revelation?”