In my last post, we saw how Yeshua used the last and most important day of the biggest feast of the year, SUKKOT, to proclaim he was the source of Living Water.
Before this stunning public revelation, John 7:14 tells us that a couple of days before Yeshua was teaching in the temple.
When the Judeans heard him speaking, they said the following:
“How did this man get such learning
without having been taught?”
The Judeans were amazed that someone who they assumed to be so uneducated could teach the TORAH with such assurance and authority.
Why did the Judeans assume Yeshua was uneducated?
They assumed that because he was a Galilean.
In those days, the Holy City was considered the only place where one could acquire a solid education, which was ONLY a religious education by the way.
However, given that there was general distrust and dislike between Judean Jews and Galilean Jews, no properly patriotic Galilean would ever think about going to a school in Jerusalem.
This is how fractured Judaism had become in Yeshua’s time.
Rather than a uniting under the Torah, Judaism and its traditions had developed more according to territorial boundaries and family blood lines.
Since the Galileans were located a far distance from the Jewish capital of Jerusalem, they could care less about the religious politics and intellectual ruling elite whose power base was centered in Jerusalem.
This situation is kind of similar to the the Red States and Blue states in America today.
In terms of political persuasions, the blue states are generally liberal and the red states are generally conservative.
We’ll find that the closer a state is to Washington D.C., the more liberal and interested in intellectual political discussion its people are.
And the further away from Washington a state is, the more conservative its people are and the less concerned and impressed they are with the finer points of political discussion.
Red state folks prefer to live simple lives and practice their beliefs in basic ways.
This was kind of how things were like in Yeshua’s time.
The Galileans were more like laid back folks from Oklahoma or Kansas, while the Judeans were more like sophisticated fast-paced city folk, such as New Yorkers.
However, even though the Galileans held a degree of animosity towards the Judeans, they still recognized Jerusalem as God’s ordained religious capital.
It was the Samarians (or Samaritans) who threw a real monkey wrench into the whole political situation.
The Samarians were really way out there!
They had taken the extreme step of setting up their own different brand of Judaism.
To be blunt, they had completely broken away from the religious system that was centered in Jerusalem.
They had built their own temple with a separate priesthood and their own high priest on Mount Gerizim in Samaria where they performed their own sacrifices using their own Temple Altar!
The reason I’m taking the time to tell you all this is because it is a big mistake to lump all Jews together in Yeshua’s time.
It is overly simplistic and just plain wrong and inaccurate to say things like “the Jews did this” or “the Jews did that” blah, blah, blah.
There were many different Jews in existence in Yeshua’s time, and the same reality still exists today.
Remember it was during the festival of SUKKOT that Jews from all over Asia and the Roman Empire travelled to Jerusalem to obey God’s command.
Even a few Samarians showed up because they didn’t agree with the Samarian religious authority’s breakaway from Jerusalem.
Notice Yeshua said,
“You both KNOW me, and know where I’m FROM…”
Here Yeshua was calling attention to his Galilean background.
Even before Yeshua declared he was the source of Living Water during the festival of SUKKOT in John 7, he was already quite well known and already had his fair share of both admirers and detractors.
Some Jews had already come to believe he was the Messiah, and others thought there was no way he could be the Messiah because of his lowly Galilean background.
When Nicodemus attempted to defend Yeshua by asking “Does our law condemn a man without first hearing him to find out what he has been doing?”, look at the scornful response he received in reference to Yeshua’s background.
They replied, “
Are you from Galilee, too?
Look into it,
and you will find
that a prophet does not
come out of Galilee.”
Keep in mind, this was all happening within the context of Yeshua participating in SUKKOT (the Feast of Tabernacles).