Books of the Book: John

Conflict in the Temple

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Deyvy Rodriguez & Jon Paulien


Series Code: JBOTB

Program Code: JBOTB00013A

00:20 Hello, friends and welcome back to this program
00:22 "Books of the Book."
00:24 My name is Deyvy Rodriguez
00:25 and I'm so happy
00:27 that you are able to take this time
00:28 to join us in this Bible study.
00:31 And if you have your Bibles, you are welcome to open them.
00:34 Today we are on chapter 7
00:36 and we are studying the Gospel of John.
00:39 And with us we have Dr. Jon Paulien,
00:41 he is currently the Dean of Religion
00:44 at Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, California.
00:49 And welcome back, Dr. Paulien.
00:51 It's always good to spend time with you, Deyvy.
00:53 Same here.
00:55 Now you are now at Loma Linda,
00:58 but before that you were at Andrews University.
01:01 Tell us what you did there?
01:03 Well, I was there for about 26 years
01:05 and I went there as a doctoral student
01:07 and fairly quickly,
01:09 they had me teaching a couple of classes alongside.
01:13 And as I finished the program,
01:15 I stayed on and continued teaching.
01:17 Studying?
01:18 Continued teaching and studying. Okay.
01:20 You do the ones and do the other.
01:22 For 26 years?
01:23 Yeah. Wow.
01:24 Okay, you must have loved it there.
01:27 Well, it was a place that used to catch
01:29 special snowfall and rainfall.
01:32 If you get a cold north wind
01:34 then we go down to 500 miles to Lake Michigan
01:36 and dump just on a small little area
01:39 right at the bottom of the lake
01:40 and we were in the middle of that.
01:41 So I remember once it's snowed 28 consecutive days. Wow.
01:46 For 28 days, you look out the window.
01:49 There was never a time
01:50 when there weren't snow flakes in the air. Wow.
01:52 And, you know, it was just piled over the head and so on.
01:56 How is the weather in Loma Linda compared to?
01:58 Yeah, it's slightly better. Oh, yeah.
02:00 Yeah. Wonderful.
02:01 Yeah, I think it can be as high as 80 degrees Fahrenheit
02:06 in winter which is nice. Okay.
02:08 Well, again we thank you
02:10 for being with us in this Bible study.
02:11 We are in chapter 7.
02:14 Tell us the background of this chapter
02:16 and what are we studying?
02:18 Actually, we're packaging chapter 7 and 8
02:21 because all of this is a scene in the temple.
02:25 And the previous chapter we were in Galilee,
02:28 the chapter before that we were in the temple in Jerusalem
02:31 or actually the pool of Bethesda,
02:34 nearby the temple.
02:35 And now we are at the temple, it's the Feast of Tabernacles.
02:39 And it's important to understand
02:41 that the Jews had an annual setting of feast,
02:46 just as many Christian churches do just sort of annually,
02:49 you celebrate Easter and Christmas and so on.
02:52 Well, the Jews had passed over and they had Pentecost
02:57 and they had the Feast of Trumpets,
02:59 the Day of Atonement, the Feast of Tabernacles.
03:03 The Feast of Tabernacles
03:05 was the most popular feast of the year.
03:07 If you could only go to one,
03:09 this was the one that people usually went to.
03:13 And it was in the fall of the year,
03:15 it would usually be in September,
03:16 October, somewhere in there.
03:19 And it was very special,
03:21 because it focused on two special issues water and light.
03:28 Because actually it represented
03:31 their experience in the wilderness
03:32 when the Israelites came out of Egypt,
03:35 they spent 40 years in the wilderness.
03:36 And the Feast of Tabernacles was a reminder
03:39 that they lived in tents.
03:40 So everybody would live in tents.
03:42 They pitched tents all around Jerusalem.
03:45 And if you stand on the back steps of the Temple Mount today
03:49 and you look out there, you can see the hills
03:51 where all these tents would have been.
03:54 So they made tents out of tree branches
03:56 and they would sleep in them.
03:59 And the feast surrounded itself with water and light.
04:04 The light was--there were big torches all over the temples.
04:09 So even the night would be lit up like day
04:11 and that reminded them of the pillar of light,
04:16 pillar of fire in the wilderness that brought them light at night
04:20 and the pillar of cloud
04:22 that brought them shade and comfort by day.
04:25 So they were remembering
04:27 their experience in the wilderness.
04:29 And water, of course,
04:30 was very scarce in the wilderness.
04:32 The Sinai desert in many places was not a blade of weed,
04:36 I mean, it is really, really dry.
04:39 And so they celebrate there whenever they came across water.
04:43 Moses would strike the rock,
04:45 water would come, they'd find springs, you see.
04:49 So their experience
04:51 in the wilderness was surrounded with water
04:53 and light and these became the central themes of this.
04:58 And so as pilgrims,
05:00 they come from all over the Roman world
05:03 and they spend a week in the temple.
05:06 There was a main ceremony.
05:08 And this ceremony was basically--
05:11 they would take a pitcher
05:14 and the priests would march down from the temple.
05:17 Have you ever been to Jerusalem?
05:18 I have actually. Okay.
05:19 One thing you realize the old Temple Mount is still there.
05:23 So this is one of those things you can actually picture,
05:25 but it's extremely steep.
05:28 And they went down from the temple,
05:30 down to the Kidron Valley
05:33 and there which usually just a little stream,
05:35 it's only like a meter across at best.
05:37 And they would catch water in that
05:41 and they would march back up
05:42 and they would be singing songs as they did.
05:45 And then when they'd enter
05:46 the inner part of the temple there were 12 steps.
05:49 And they would stop on each of these steps
05:52 and it was 15 actually.
05:53 Stop on each of these steps
05:55 and sing one of the last 15 Psalms,
05:57 some 120 not the last but 120 to 134.
06:01 Those 15 Psalms and they'd sing one at every step.
06:06 And then they would go
06:07 into the inner part of the temple
06:09 and they would take this pitcher of water
06:12 and a pitcher of wine
06:14 and they would pour them together into a sink.
06:17 That was at the base of the altar.
06:20 Now that water would drain in pipes
06:22 and go all the way back to the Kidron River.
06:26 Now much of the summer
06:28 that river is actually pretty dry
06:31 and this would just peter out there.
06:33 But if it were raining, when they had the service,
06:38 the rain would cause that water
06:40 and wine to go all the way down to the Dead Sea.
06:43 And if it was raining during the Feast of Tabernacles,
06:46 they knew it was going to be a good year,
06:49 because Palestine is fairly dry. It is sort of a semi-desert.
06:53 And that means there's barely enough rainfall
06:56 even in good years.
06:58 Now why would water be so important then?
07:02 Yeah, you need to know something about the climate.
07:05 You see, the summer in Palestine
07:08 is kind of like Southern California,
07:09 it's the same kind of climate.
07:11 It doesn't rain from say,
07:13 the 1st of May until like the 1st of October.
07:17 It is dry, I mean, everyday is blue sky,
07:20 not a cloud in the sky, it can be quite hot at times.
07:24 You can't grow stuff in the summer,
07:28 because you plant a crop,
07:30 it doesn't rain, the crop will wither, it's gone.
07:34 So you do your annual crops.
07:36 You plant them in the fall, when it starts raining
07:40 and that's what they call the early rain,
07:42 would come in the fall.
07:43 And then over the winter
07:45 the crops would grow wheat and so on.
07:48 They would grow other grains.
07:50 And then in the spring you would harvest.
07:52 So its winter wheat is what we would call it.
07:56 Fruits on the other hand, they would grow over the summer.
08:00 Now why would fruits be able
08:01 to grow over the summer and grains cannot,
08:04 because the trees have deep roots,
08:07 they go down and get water.
08:09 Even when it's not raining,
08:10 they can still get water further down.
08:12 If the fruits grew over the winter,
08:16 they would be killed by frost,
08:18 it's just cold enough in winter sometimes
08:20 that it would kill off the fruit.
08:22 So the fruits grow over the summer
08:24 and they're harvested at the Feast of Tabernacles.
08:27 The grains are planted
08:29 at the time of the Feast of Tabernacles
08:32 and they're harvested in connection with the Passover.
08:36 So the early and latter rain concepts
08:39 are actually from fall to spring.
08:43 The early rain is in the fall
08:45 and the latter rain is in the spring,
08:48 so that aspect of Palestinian climate helps us understand
08:53 why the Passover focuses on bread, unleavened bread.
08:57 The Feast of Tabernacles they're rejoicing in the fruits
09:01 that are now available, you know, fresh grapes
09:04 and apples and peaches and whatever else you would grow.
09:09 So the Feast of Tabernacle is a very special time,
09:11 a very popular time, people loved to go there.
09:16 And I remember the first time I was in Israel.
09:19 We visited a Biblical Landscape Preserve
09:22 where they were trying to restore the biblical landscape.
09:25 And we were given a tour by a woman
09:29 who was a Jewish New Testament scholar.
09:32 I thought that was very interesting combination
09:34 and she was a lot of fun.
09:36 And she took us around,
09:37 explained some of these things from the biblical context.
09:40 But the one thing she said I will never forget.
09:44 She said in Egypt,
09:48 "Everything is watered by the Nile."
09:51 In Turkey, "Everything is watered by the rain,
09:55 there's plenty of rain."
09:56 If God had placed his people in Egypt,
10:00 there would be in danger of trusting the Nile.
10:02 If God had placed his people in Turkey,
10:06 they'd be in danger of trusting Mother Nature.
10:09 So He placed His people in a place
10:11 where you always have to look for heaven for rain.
10:14 If heaven doesn't provide you're not going to have enough,
10:17 so the very landscape there taught them to trust in God,
10:21 not to trust in their efforts.
10:23 I thought that was a good point and I appreciated it.
10:25 God uses our circumstances to lead us to Him
10:30 and I think that was the message that she was giving.
10:33 So why don't we get into the text. Sure.
10:36 In chapter 7 and I would point out to our viewers,
10:41 there's way too much to cover
10:44 in a half hour program in chapter 7 and 8.
10:47 And that' true of most of our programs here
10:49 in the Gospel of John, it's a really big book.
10:51 But we're going to touch on a few things,
10:53 talk about them generally
10:54 and I hope that you can read these passages for yourself
10:57 and fill in the details that we can't cover here.
11:02 But in the very beginning of chapter 7,
11:04 there's an issue between Jesus and His brothers.
11:08 And the brothers want to go to the feast
11:11 and they want Jesus to go to the feast
11:13 and He says, "No, I'm not going."
11:17 And look at verse 6 in particular.
11:23 Then Jesus said to them,
11:25 "My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready."
11:30 Okay. They're ready to go.
11:32 You know, they can do whatever they want,
11:34 but Jesus-- His time has not yet come.
11:37 Because His time is governed by the Father, you see.
11:42 The brothers then are tempting Him
11:45 to look away from the Father's timing in His life
11:49 and to follow human reasoning in when He's going to go
11:52 and what He's going to do when He gets there.
11:55 And His time referring to what?
11:57 Well, it's actually the Greek word is hour.
11:59 My hour has not yet come.
12:02 Different translations believe
12:03 the translator's hour or its time.
12:06 And that's the time of the cross.
12:09 The word hour always just pointing to the cross
12:12 and Jesus says, "My time, my hour has not yet come."
12:15 You can do whatever you want any time,
12:17 but I'm on a timetable. Right.
12:19 I'm following God's timetable.
12:21 Now here's an interesting piece of the Gospel of John.
12:24 The Gospel of John doesn't describe
12:26 the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness.
12:29 In Matthew, Mark, and Luke, early in His ministry,
12:32 Jesus goes into the desert
12:34 and the devil was tempting Him there.
12:37 And he tempts Him on appetite.
12:40 And he tempts Him on power.
12:43 You know, you want to rule the kingdoms of the world.
12:45 He tempts Him on show.
12:47 Why don't you jump off the temple?
12:48 And when the angels save you, everybody will say, wow,
12:51 you know, he's the guy who flies in from heaven, you see.
12:55 So in chapter 6, they try to make Jesus king.
13:02 And in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, there's a temptation,
13:04 if you want to rule the nations of the world, bow down to me.
13:08 In chapter 6, "He is the bread of life."
13:11 In contrast to the earthly bread that we might have.
13:15 Here He's tempted by his brothers
13:17 to go show off in Jerusalem,
13:19 so that everyone will believe that you are the Messiah.
13:22 So the three temptations that Jesus had in the wilderness.
13:26 In the Gospel of John
13:28 those are built right into everyday life.
13:31 Once again John is asking us to look for the presence of God
13:36 or look for the presence of opposition
13:38 in the everyday aspects of life.
13:41 The things that Jesus experienced
13:44 at specific times in other places
13:46 here are built into the ordinary features of life.
13:50 So the Gospel of John
13:52 is a spiritual gospel as we've said before. Yes.
13:55 And you can't just read the story
13:58 but have to try to see it in the light of deeper things.
14:02 Okay. Well, Dr. Paulien,
14:03 we're going to continue studying this particular chapter
14:07 of the Gospel of John, after this short break.


Revised 2014-12-17