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Gospel Doctrine Lesson Fifteen

I am the light of
the world

Purpose: To strengthen
class members
testimonies that Jesus
Christ is our Savior and
that by following him
we can gain true
freedom:

The Feast of the Tabernacles


Jewish Culture

The Feast of the Tabernacles occurred in early October. Originally it was seven days in length, but
later one more day was added. During these eight days the inhabitants of Jerusalem built hut-like
structures out palm and myrtle branches, which they thatched over, and families moved out of
their houses and lived in them. This was to remind them that for forty years their ancestors had
wandered in the wilderness and lived in tents. More sacrifices were offered at the temple during
this week than during any other religious holiday in Israel. Each day during the seven days of the
Feast of Tabernacles, one of the chief priests would lead a procession down through the Kidron
Valley to the pool of Siloam (which translated from Hebrew means, "the one who was sent").
Announced by trumpets, the priest filled a golden pitcher, carried it back to the temple, and then
poured it over the altar to remind the people of the days in the wilderness when God gave them
water out of a rock. Upon seeing the reenactment of this great miracle, the people would shout
and wave palm branches, rejoicing and praising God. On the seventh day of the feast, Jesus stood
and cried out saying, If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as
the Scriptures hath said, out of his heart will flow living water (John 7:37-38).
How would you describe living, spiritual water to someone who didnt know about it?

Describe a time you were spiritually dehydrated. What happened? (Snarling temper? Waves of
worry? Black clouds raining down guilt and fear?)

In order for Jesus to do what water does, you must let him go where water goes. Deep, deep
inside. We must internalize him. We must drink deeply from his well of inspired teachings. How can
you let more fully let Jesus into the inner workings of your life?

The Woman Taken In Adultery


John 7:53-8:11

What did Jesus write in the sand?

Thought Questions
Why do you think that the elderly
men departed first, followed by the
younger men?

When you realize that this is the only time

in recorded scriptures that Jesus ever


wrote anything, you cannot help but wish
that someone had preserved what he
wrote.
Many scholars assume that he wrote four
words. Four words written once before by
the finger of God, in the history of Israel.
In the book of Daniel there is the story of
King Belshazzar who put on a great feast
and drunken revels and debauchery of
every type was going on. Finally, the king
resorted to the ultimate blasphemy of
using in the revelry the sacred vessels
that had been taken from the temple in
Jerusalem. Suddenly a great hand
appeared and wrote four words on the
wall. The king turned ashen, and all the
lords and courtiers were stunned and
silent. They did not know the meaning of
the Persian words, "MENE, MENE, TEKEL,
UPHARSIN," which appeared, so they called
in the prophet Daniel to interpret them. His
interpretation was, "You are weighed in the
balance and found wanting," (Daniel
5:25-29). If that is what Jesus wrote, we
can understand the actions of these men.
Verse 9 says, "But when they heard it..."
They could see what he wrote and the
words rang in their heads as though they
had been spoken. "When they heard it,
they went away, one by one, beginning with
the eldest."

Why didnt Jesus condemn her since she had


sinned? Is Jesus being lenient on sin?
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Jesus knows you. I mean really knows you. And he has


chosen to love you anyway. Jesus loves with an
informed passion. Jesus didnt look at that woman as a
stranger for whom he could practice mercy. He saw her
for exactly who she was and what she had done. And
yet, despite his awareness, Jesus did not treat her as an
object to make a point or a pawn to manipulate. He spoke
the truth., but he did so kindly. And then he set her free
to go and sin no more. No matter how often we come to
Christ, burdened and fallen, he will always say to us,
as he did to the woman taken in adultery, Go, and sin
no more.

Light at the Feast of the


Tabernacles
As part of the ritual of the
seven-day feast, every evening
four giant lamps in the temple
court were lit, and the people
celebrated under their light.
Remember this was a time
when cities were usually dark
at night. This was a very special
occasion, and it was reported
that the light from the temple
area at the top of Mount Zion
brought a glow to the entire
city of Jerusalem. It was in
this context that Jesus got up
and claimed to be the Light of
the World

Read these other verses that use the


image of light. How do they help you as
you think about making Jesus the light
of your life.
John 12:36
D&C 50:24
D&C 88:11

Luke 11:36
Alma 19:6
1 John 1:7

I am the light of the world