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The Scriptorium

A Feast in Jerusalem

Jesus returns to Jerusalem, and more unsettling.

The Gospel of John: John 5.1-15

Read and meditate on John 5.1.
The Feast of Passover was the focal point of Jewish religion in Jesus’ day. People would be in Jerusalem from all over Judea and elsewhere. Jesus used this opportunity to begin turning the focus of true religion away from Moses and Jewish traditions to Himself and the healing for which He had come.

it was, a feast was held, and Jesus went
up to Jerusalem.

- John 5.1

1.  How much do you know about Passover? Meditate on Exodus 12.1-7. With what did the people of Israel associate Passover? Given their status at that time, as servants of Rome, what hope would Passover have kindled in them? To what do people today look to for hope? Complete this prayer: Help me, Lord, to understand what people today are hoping in, so that…

2.  In Jesus’ day, most of the religious practices instituted in the Old Testament had been compromised in one way or another, as we saw in John 2. How does this happen? What causes people to compromise the clear teaching of God’s Word? Do we see compromise like this in the Church today? Explain. Today, Lord, keep me from compromising Your way. Help me in every situation to…

3.  The Passover was compromised, but Jesus went anyway. The fact that others may have been leading or participating in this feast for wrong and perhaps selfish reasons did not prevent Him from attending. Is there wise counsel here for us, as we think about our own participation in church? Let me not contribute to any compromise of faith in my church, Lord. In all things, keep me…

4.  Jesus had come to earth to bring the salvation and glory of God to the world. This is our mission as well. But as we shall see, Jesus didn’t actually do much while He was in Jerusalem, except heal a man and get into a debate with the local religious authorities. Then He left to return to Galilee. Was this mission to Jerusalem a failure? If not, what do we learn about how the Kingdom comes on earth as it is in heaven? Give me grace and patience, Lord, to see…

5.  Jesus pursued His mission according to God’s agenda (v. 17), but within the cultural lives and times of the people of His day. He entered the culture and social conditions of His day, but with a view not to conforming to the times, but transforming the world. What can we learn from Jesus’ approach to His mission to guide our walk and work for the Lord in our Personal Mission Fields? Bring together into one the prayers you composed for questions 1-4.

“He chose the time when everybody gathered to offer his help to everyone. Therefore he went to Jerusalem at that time. He did not think it was necessary to travel around and go to every place where people were ill, so that it might not appear that he was looking for fame. Instead he healed one only and through him he revealed himself to many.” Theodore of Mopsuestia (350-428 AD)

Jesus’ earthly ministry is a study in making the most of every opportunity for the Kingdom and glory of God. How have we seen this so far in our study of John’s gospel?

Closing Prayer
I was glad when they said to me,
“Let us go into the house of the LORD.”
Our feet have been standing
Within your gates, O Jerusalem!
Jerusalem is built
As a city that is compact together,
Where the tribes go up,
The tribes of the Lord,
To the Testimony of Israel,
To give thanks to the name of the LORD.

Psalm 122.1-4

Psalm 122.1-4 (Nettleton: Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing)
I was glad when they said to me, “To the Lord’s house let us go!”
Holy City, let our feet be firmly planted in your soil.
Jesus builds His Church forever, where His people sing His praise!
As Your Word decrees forever, we will thank You all our days.

T. M. Moore

Visit The Ailbe Seminary, where our course, One in Twelve: Introduction to Christian Worldview, can show you how Jesus is central to all aspects of life in the world – and beyond! Our course is free, and you can study at your own pace, watching videos and using the free materials provided.

We are happy to offer each week’s Scriptorium studies in a free weekly PDF, suitable for personal or group use. You can download all the studies in our series on the Gospel of John by clicking here. Please prayerfully consider sharing with The Fellowship of Ailbe through your giving. You can contribute to The Fellowship by clicking the Contribute button at the website or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series IV a and b: John, edited by Joel C. Elowsky, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006. Verse translation of John by T. M. Moore.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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