Is This the Christ
Reflection on the Gospel of the Friday
The background of this passage is the festival of Tabernacles. Jesus is in Galilee and is in hiding as the Jews were seeking to kill him. The Jewish feasts, as practiced by the Jews of Jesus time no longer hold meaning to the true reason of their institution. Hence Jesus is concerned in teaching the true meaning of the feasts. The feasts offer Jesus an occasion to proclaim their significance in the Messiah. In the case of the feast of Tabernacles, it was a celebration of the Israelites’ journey and stay in the Desert. It was a time God was teaching them to depend on Him of all their needs in the sense of roti, kappda aur makaan (food, clothing and shelter), and get into a relationship with Him.
The feasts with its symbols of booths (originally built to shelter harvesters), rain (water from Siloam poured on the temple altar), and lights (illumination of the four torches in the Court of the Women) continue the theme of the replacement of feasts, here accomplished by Jesus as the Living Water. The theme of LIFE is intertwined with the theme of LIGHT in this passage.
The opposition to Jesus is growing but Jesus becomes more forceful and emphatic in proclaiming himself as the only Son of God and as the only light – bearer and life – giver. The crowd is divided in their belief and conviction of Jesus being the Messiah. The opposition from the religious authorities and the unbelief of his own followers becomes more intense and the authorities now seek to arrest him for blasphemy, as Jesus claimed to be the Son of God.
Jesus through his death and resurrection gave us the living water of life and has also illuminated our paths, Let us immerse ourselves in this living water and enlighten our minds and hearts in his light.