Richard Agee

Finding ‘The Prophet’ Yeshua the Messiah during Sukkot

Richard AgeeYeshua (Jesus) kept the festival of Sukkot (Tabernacles), but the only record of that is His keeping the latter part of it (John 6:26-7:41). During the Feast of Tabernacles, the people were looking for the Prophet like Moshe (Moses), but did they recognize the Prophet? Do we recognize the Prophet when we memorialize the past, present and future of God “tabernacling” with mankind (Lev. 26:11–12; Num. 35:34; Zech. 2:11; 8:3; Jn. 1:14; Zech. 14:16; Rev. 21:2–4)?

The account starts in כְּפַר נַחוּם Kafar Nakhum (Capernaum, “Nahum’s village”), before Yeshua’s trip to Jerusalem for Sukkot starts.

“Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.” (John 6:27)

“Yeshua said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.'” (John 6:35)

Are you hungry? We may say we are hungry for truth, righteousness, etc. but Yeshua said He is those things. Do you see Him and yet not believe He has already given you what you need? 

“‘It is written in the prophets, “and they shall all be taught of God” [Isa. 54:13]. Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.'” (John 6:45)

All of those who have come into your life over the years to teach you about Yeshua, as imperfect as they are, have come into your path by the will of the Creator of the heavens and Earth. 

We have been granted a lot of hindsight thanks to all the Scriptures that have been written down for us but the disciples of Yeshua only had the TaNaKh (Hebrew acronym for Torah, Prophets and Writings) and Yeshua said some very difficult things that they did not understand such as: 

“Then the Jews began to argue with one another, saying, ‘How can this man give us His flesh to eat?’ So Yeshua said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever.'” (John 6:52–58)

None of his disciples, even the 12, fully understood what He said here. Our life exists because God is life which He first gave to Adam and Eve and they transmitted it down to us. Although Yeshua’s initial comments could be construed as cannibalism, he quickly lifts the discourse to the spiritual when he says: 

“But Yeshua, conscious that His disciples grumbled at this, said to them, ‘Does this cause you to stumble? What then if you see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. But there are some of you who do not believe.'” (John 6:61–64)

Yet many of the disciples still did not understand or accept Yeshua’s teaching. They no longer followed Yeshua after this day. You have not been drawn to God because of some evangelist, preacher, wise man or wise woman. It is the Father who brought you to His son. 

Although many left Yeshua, the 12 stayed because even though they didn’t understand everything, they understood Yeshua enough that He was the only one who could give them the spiritual food they desired.

“As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore. So Yeshua said to the twelve, ‘You do not want to go away also, do you?’ Simon Peter answered Him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.'” (John 6:66–69)

After this, in John 7:1 it says that Yeshua did not want to go down to Judea but remained in the Galilee, which was a mostly gentile area, because the Jewish leadership were already conspiring to kill Him. The book of John was the last Gospel to be written. He wrote it as an old man and by this time, the Temple in Jerusalem was gone. 

His brothers tried to encourage Him to go to the Feast of Tabernacles but Yehsua declined their invitation. So He wasn’t there for the first few days of the feast. He showed up in the middle of the feast of Tabernacles and began teaching in the Temple. Until He showed up, the people didn’t want to speak publicly about Him because the people knew the Sanhedrin and Jewish leadership were after Him and violently opposed to Him, yet He shows up in the Temple and begins teaching. 

“But when it was now the midst of the feast Yeshua went up into the temple, and began to teach. The Jews then were astonished, saying, ‘How has this man become learned, having never been educated?'” (John 7:14–15)

Yeshua never studied in the yeshivas of the day. He was an “uneducated Galilean” who didn’t know their letters. They demanded to know who Yeshua’s teacher was but Yeshua replies to them and said: 

“So Yeshua answered them and said, ‘My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me. If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself. He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.'” (John 7:16–18)

God is closer to us than we think. When God calls you to His son, He is ready to give you what you need to succeed in your walk as you progress closer to Him. 

In John 7:19, the people publicly said they weren’t out to kill him and even slandered him as a demoniac to try to deflect from their conspiracy but the deception is revealed a few verses later. 

“So some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, ‘Is this not the man whom they are seeking to kill? Look, He is speaking publicly, and they are saying nothing to Him. The rulers do not really know that this is the Christ, do they? However, we know where this man is from; but whenever the Christ may come, no one knows where He is from.’ Then Yeshua cried out in the temple, teaching and saying, ‘You both know Me and know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know. I know Him, because I am from Him, and He sent Me.'” (John 7:25–29)

Not all the people followed Yeshua because they were looking for a dictator to throw out Rome. Many of them understood that the Messiah was also a miracle worker bring blessings to the people. 

“So they were seeking to seize Him; and no man laid his hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come. But many of the crowd believed in Him; and they were saying, ‘When the Christ comes, He will not perform more signs than those which this man has, will He?'” (John 7:30–31)

They were looking for a savior, a healer and a compassionate leader. Not even the 12 Apostles understood that Yeshua came to bring salvation and to lift the curse of Adam until after His death and resurrection. 

During the Feast of Tabernacles, the people were looking for the Prophet like Moshe (Moses), as he wrote in Deut. 18:15. Moses did not have a massive army. Moses was a deliverer and many saw Yeshua as that special prophet. The Sanhedrin could no silence Yeshua during Sukkot. 

“Some of the people therefore, when they heard these words, were saying, ‘This certainly is the Prophet.’ Others were saying, ‘This is the Christ.'” (John 7:40–41a)

The Sanhedrin had forbidden their members from seeking Yeshua’s teaching and healing so Yeshua did His ministry among the people and all the reports came back to them. They knew in their heart of hearts that Yeshua was someone special but they could never admit it publicly. He was the Prophet. Even the officers of the court could not lay a hand on Him. 

Sometimes, when we take part in Sukkot, we work really hard to make sure the sukkot are built just right. We can forget the focus should be on the Prophet, the Messiah.

Why is שמני עצרת Shmini Atseret (the convocation of the Eight Day; Lev. 23:33–36) attached to the end of Sukkot? How is it a symbol of a world that will perish and a world that will be created? The Eighth Day foreshadows the restoration of mankind into what God created us to be — like Him. This old Earth will vanish, a new Earth will be built. The old will pass away, and it will be gone.

Speaker: Richard Agee. Summary: Tammy. 

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