“Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon’s porch. Then the Jews surrounded Him and said to Him, ‘How long do You keep us in doubt? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.’” John 10:22-24.
The Feast of Dedication is not one of the feasts commanded by God but rather was one created by men.
There is some discussion as to how it started, with H. A. Ironside stating that it was incepted upon Israel’s release from Babylonian captivity. Israel returned under the leadership of Zerubbabel, Joshua the high priest, Ezra the scribe, and the governor Nehemiah.
This would have been about 538 B.C.; the building of the temple was started upon their return, though it was not completed until 515 B.C.
Another thought is that it was begun by Judas Maccabeus in 165 B.C. commemorating the cleansing of the temple after its desecration by Antiochus Epiphanes (a type of the Antichrist) in 168 B.C. who sacrificed a swine on the altar, among other things.
This desecration was prophesied in Daniel 11:31 but it is not the “abomination of desolation” spoken of by Jesus in Matthew 24:15-21, that is still future, see Revelation 13:11-15.
If the book of Daniel interests you, J. Vernon McGee’s book on Daniel is available in his “Thru the Bible Commentary Series”, Thomas Nelson Publishers.
For an in depth study see, “A Commentary on Daniel” by Leon Wood, Zondervan Publishing House.
This feast is more commonly known as Hanukkah today and is celebrated around the winter solstice, near Christmas time.
According to Sir Robert Anderson in his book, “The Coming Prince” the Lord was crucified on April 11, 32 A.D. meaning that this incident during the Feast of Dedication took place about four months before Jesus’ crucifixion.
Consider that as you read these verses, noting the peace, humility, and patience He exhibits with these men, even knowing the agony that He is about to endure. He handles it with far more grace than we are capable of.
Solomon’s porch (portico) is enclosed on three sides, a place of warmth compared to the winter cold outside. It is also a good place for an ambush.
Having surrounded Him they ask the same question everyone seems to ask, “If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.” His answer is the same one everyone should accept.
“Jesus answered them, ‘I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me.’” John 10:25.
“But Jesus answered them, ‘My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.’ Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.” John 5:17-18.
“Jesus answered, ‘If I honor Myself, My honor is nothing. It is My Father who honors Me, of whom you say that He is your God.’” John 8:54.
“Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was I AM.’ Then they took up stones to throw at Him…” John 8:58-59a.
The Pharisees who were with Him at the time surely must have heard these words.
“Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said to him. ‘Do you believe in the Son of God?’ He answered and said, ‘Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?’ And Jesus said to him, ‘You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you.’ Then he said, ‘Lord, I believe!’ And he worshiped Him.” John 9:35-38.
The attitude of these men is reflected in another verse in the above chapter 9.
“His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had agreed already that if anyone confessed that He was Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue.” John 9:22.
Indeed, two more times in John chapter 10 they attempted to kill or capture Jesus; showing that He made Himself plain enough. “I told you, and you do not believe.”
Up to John 9:38 we have seen six of the seven signs of this book. The changing of water into wine, cure of the nobleman’s son, cure of the paralytic, feeding of the five thousand, walking on water, giving of sight to the man born blind; we will see the seventh in chapter 11 to follow.
Many other miracles are not seen here; the feeding of four thousand, blind healed, lame walk, deaf hear, demons cast out, dead raised. Plus literally thousands of miracles like these which are not recorded in any of the gospels.
“… [Nicodemus] came to Jesus by night and said to Him, ‘Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.’” John 3:2.
“But I have a greater witness than John’s; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish – the very works that I do – bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me.” John 5:36.
“Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.” John 14:11.
“If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father.” John 15:24.
“But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.” John 10:26-29.
There is a poster which refers to the 23rd Psalm and on it was written, “I am not a sheep, therefore, I do not need a shepherd.”
God would not agree with the person who wrote that; we are all sheep, we just follow different shepherds.
Satan, the god of this world, is one of the shepherds, and he assures his sheep that they are free to do any sin they want, but they are still his slaves who follow him like sheep.
Two shepherds and only one brings peace, Christ Jesus. Those who are in the world do not have to remain under the shepherd of death; they can change at any time.
However, many because of their religious pride, self-righteousness, addiction to their sin, or because they are just fools; will not listen to the call of the true shepherd of their souls.
It is not that God does not speak to them; they will not listen to hear. As a result, the Lord’s sheep hear Him when He calls them because they were willing to be taught by God.
“It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.” John 6:45.
“And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish…” John 10:28a.
Think of that, never perish, eternal life right now.
Once again, the emphasis is on give, right now, no self-flagellation, no beads, no praying to Allah five times a day, no mandatory treks to Mecca, no last minute, “Whoops! Hello, you just sinned before you died, you did not make it!”
If anyone has truly accepted Christ as savior they have eternal life immediately.
Too many folks think that they need to do stuff like the above to keep their salvation, it is not so, God wants you to walk with Christ in righteousness, but He does not require all the other junk.
Do you know who wants you to do these things, Satan; he wants you to stay under the bondage of religious things. Jesus said the following.
“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10b.
All of this religious debris is nothing more that a burden from the devil to grind us down and rob us of the abundant life promised in Christ.
The sin that the unsaved cling to has the same effect of burdening them and keeping them from Jesus and an abundant life; which is not necessarily riches, fame, or power.
It is peace, security, being loved, having purpose or meaning in life, and in the hard times having a Father to turn to and knowing when you leave you will be in the presence of a peaceful and loving God for eternity.
You will always know that there is a God who sits on His throne, and no matter how chaotic the world is He is in control.
Visualize this, put a penny in the palm of your hand, Jesus said. “…neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.”
Now take your other hand and cup it over your palm covering the penny and interlocking your fingers, Jesus said. “…and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.” That is eternal security.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: ‘For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.’ Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:35-39.
Jesus also said, “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all…” John 10:29a. Not greater than Jesus, but greater than all things in all of creation.
Although in a sense the Father was greater than Jesus because of the position He had taken as a Man.
“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.” Hebrews 2:9.
Jesus put aside certain of His prerogatives as God, but never at any time was He less than God Almighty; He just did not use those powers, preferring instead to rely on His Father for all things, just as the rest of us are expected to do.
“I and My Father are one.” Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him.” John 10:30-31.
Well, Jesus finally answered their question, “How long do you keep us in doubt? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.” I guess that was not the answer they were looking for.
The marginal notation in the New American Standard Version renders the words, “I and My Father are one.” as “I and My Father are one essence or unity.” a much stronger wording showing Christ as being part of the Godhead.
“Jesus answered them, ‘Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?’ The Jews answered Him, saying, ‘For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.’” John 10:32-33.
“And whoever blasphemes the name of the Lord shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him, the stranger as well as him who is born in the land. When he blasphemes the name of the Lord, he shall be put to death.” Leviticus 24:16.
Well enough said, but what is the evidence against Jesus? No evidence of sin, for He had challenged them.
“Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me?” John 8:46.
The many good works that He had done were not contested here, and an ungodly person could never have done any of them, so God must have been with Him.
The only charge they had against Him was their own unbelief which was the real blasphemy.
“Jesus answered them, ‘Is it not written in your law, “I said, ‘You are gods”’? If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, “You are blaspheming,” because I said, “I am the Son of God”? If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.’” John 10:34-38.
The indication here is that if these Christ haters were to honestly examine the evidence of the works alone, they would validate the Lord’s claims, perhaps even bringing them to faith.
The statement you are gods refers to Psalm 82.
“God stands in the congregation of the mighty; He judges among the gods. How long will you judge unjustly, and show partiality to the wicked? Selah” Psalm 82:1-2.
“I said, ‘You are gods, and all of you are children of the Most High. But you shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.’” Psalm 82:6-7.
The gods alluded to here are the judges, and rulers in Israel and being supposedly representatives of God they are as gods among the people. Consider the irony of the Lord’s statement to these men who want to stone Him; they are the gods.
Again the Lord returns to the works of His Father as the most glaring evidence of His claim to being God the Son.
“Therefore they sought again to seize Him, but He escaped out of their hand. And He went away again beyond the Jordan to the place where John was baptizing at first, and there He stayed. Then many came to Him and said, ‘John performed no sign, but all the things that John spoke about this Man were true.’ And many believed in Him there.” John 10:39-42.
Undeterred by evidence and rational thought, the Jews again sought to seize Jesus but He escaped in a supernatural manner as He had done on other occasions.
Having left Israel’s religious center, Jerusalem, the Lord meets folks who are less closed minded; people willing to admit their sins and see that John the Baptist’s testimony and the many works of Christ confirm His claims to being the Son of God.
I and My Father are One, John 10:22-42 taken from godisrevealed.com posted on 1-14-13, updated on 12-1-17.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version, copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission, all rights reserved.