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John23 – the “Pitching of Tents” festival

So some among the Jerusalemites were stating, “Is not this one the one they are seeking to kill? And look and see, he is speaking openly and they are stating nothing to him. Perhaps the rulers truly know that this man is the Christ? But we discern from where this man is, in fact the Christ, when he comes, no one knows from where he is.” 
 
In this 23rd extract from John’s first century eye-witness account of the life of Jesus, he is in Jerusalem at the “Pitching of Tents festival”. Things are fraught. The religious authorities want him dead. Some know this but can’t understand why they say and do nothing when he teaches openly.

Rumours fly around that maybe the authorities now think that he is their Messiah after all. But for some he can’t be their Messiah – because they know where he’s come from. Do they? Or do they want to believe that he hasn’t come from God – because then they don’t have to listen to him?

So Jesus cried out in the temple, teaching and stating, “You discern me also; and you discern from where I am. And I have not come from myself, but the one who appointed me is true, whom you do not discern. I myself discern him, in that I am from him and he sent me out.” 

 
Jesus cries out in the temple that they do in fact, really, deep down, (maybe although they will not admit it) discern who he really is! He therefore teaches more: - he, not being self-motivated, is in fact appointed and sent out by one whom they in reality “do not discern.” That’s where his tent is pitched.

‘There are none so blind as those that will not see.’ (John Heywood, English writer, 1497-1580)
So they were seeking to take him, and no one laid a hand upon him, in that his hour had not yet come. In fact many from the crowd believed into him and were stating, “When the Christ comes, he will not do more signs than this man has done.” The Pharisees heard the crowd arguing these things concerning him, and the chief priests and the Pharisees sent out officials in order to take him

Because he has made this plain the “they”, the authorities, self-motivated as they are, are seeking to take him(repeated). But, in all this opposition, “many from the crowd believed into him” seeing the multiple signs he did.

So Jesus said, “Still a little I am with you, and I am going towards the one who appointed me. You will seek me and you will not find. And where I myself am, you are not able to come.” 

His response to the whole of this mixed crowd is to teach that (1) he is on his way to “the one who appointed” him, (2) he will not be able then to be found, and (3) they are not in any event able to come to where he is. On the matter of “Pitching of Tents”, he knows where he is. It’s where they are not.

So the Jews said to themselves, “To where is this one about to depart, that we ourselves will not find him? He is not about to depart into the diaspora among the Greeks and teach the Greeks. What is this word that he said, ‘You will seek me and you will not find, and where I myself am, you are not able to come’?”

This group within the crowds only think about where he will “pitch his tent” on earth. Their earth-centered viewpoint precludes their understanding. Jesus is “departing" to his appointor. They “are not able to come” to where he is.

In fact in the last day of the festival—the great day—Jesus had stood and he cried out, stating, “If someone may thirst, come to me and drink! The one believing into me, just as the scripture said, ‘Out of his interior will flow rivers of living water.’” In fact he said this concerning the spirit, whom those who believed into him were about to receive. Because spirit was not yet, in that Jesus was not as yet glorified.

 
It’s the last day of the “Pitching of Tents” festival. He had just stated that none are able to come “where he is” or where he is going. Now he cries out “come to me and drink” if you are thirsty.  Is this a contradiction? Not really. Anyone (irrespective of whether they want to take him, kill him, or believe into him) who thirsts is called by him to “come to” him “and drink” because those who do will “Pitch their Tent” in him and will be in him forever and actually be where he is.

‘Stay in me - I also in you.’ (Jesus to his disciples the night before his cross)
More, they will then have the same “spirit” in them which he has in him. “Out of his interior will flow rivers of living water.” “Believing into” Jesus is the “Pitching of Tents” in him and immediate new life within.
 
Sinner Syvret

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