I am the light of the world
The following includes Bruce R. McConkie
s commentary as it relates to this chapter of the
Reading the entire selection accounts for 50 pages.
Jesus' Kinsmen Believe Not
A testimony of the divinity of Christ and of the saving power of his gospel is not
bestowed automatically because of family relationship. It comes only by personal obedience to
those eternal laws upon which its receipt is predicted. In nearly all ages there have been prophets
and righteous men whose sons and daughters have forsaken the faith of their fathers and have
chosen to walk after the manner of the world.
Frequent special reference is made to the sons of Joseph and Mary as the "brethren" of
Jesus, though in fact they were his half-brothers. (Matt. 12:46; 13:55; John 2:12; Acts 1:14; 1
Cor. 9:5.) Though they were reared in the same household and came under the benign influence
of Joseph and Mary, though they were aware of the teachings, ministry, and miracles of Jesus
himself, yet these his close relatives had not so far accepted him as the Messiah. However, all of
them, apparently, were converted later (Acts 1:14); one of them, identified by Paul as "James the
Lord's brother" (Gal. 1:19), was to minister in the holy apostleship; and yet another, Judas, who
calls himself, "Jude, the . . . brother of James" (Jude 1), wrote the epistle of Jude.
p.437 - p.438
2. Feast of tabernacles] Three great annual, week-long feasts or "holy convocations"
characterized the religious devotions of ancient Israel: (1) The Passover or Feast of Unleavened
Bread, which commemorated Israel's deliverance from Egyptian bondage; (2) Pentecost, also
known as the Feast of Weeks, or of Harvest, or of First Fruits, which commenced fifty days after
the beginning of the Passover and was an agricultural festival; and (3) The Feast of Tabernacles,
or of Booths, or of Ingathering, a feast marking the completion of the harvest of fruit, oil, and
wine. During this last named holy convocation the people lived in booths for eight days in
memory of their wanderings in the wilderness following their Egyptian deliverance. (Ex.
23:14-19; 34:21-26; Lev. 23; Num. 28:16-31; Deut. 16:1-17.)
These feasts -- comparable in purpose to conferences in latter-day Israel -- were
occasions of worship, of offering sacrifices, and of paying one's devotions to the God of Israel.
The entire male population was obligated to assemble at the temple or other appointed
sanctuaries to participate in the solemn and sacred services. Aside from their social and
recreational values, these holy convocations, as periods of rest from temporal pursuits, of
assembling together in a common purpose, and of worshiping in harmony with the revealed
pattern, had the effect of uniting Israel religiously and politically through the ages.