Harmony of the Gospels

(18) Feast of Dedication
(Psalm 82:6) John 10:22-39

(John 10:22)  And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter.

The Feast of Dedication of the Altar or the Feast of the Purification of the Temple (Hanukkah, as it is most commonly called today) occurs in December and lasts eight days.  A candle is lighted each day in observance of this celebration, which is also called the Feast of Lights.  The feast celebrates the victories of Judas Maccabaeus (165 B.C.). When Antiochus Epiphanes, the king of Syria (175–164 B.C.), tried to abolish the Jewish religion, he attacked Jerusalem.  He killed 80,000 Jews, profaned the temple courts and chambers, and sacrificed swine to the pagan god Zeus on the temple altar.  Judas Maccabaeus and his brothers fought Epiphanes and won.  They cleansed and restored the temple and rebuilt the altar.  This Feast of Hanukkah is still celebrated by the Jews.  John referred to the various Jewish feasts more than the other gospel writers.

“And it was winter.  Jesus is through with the nation.  From here on, in the Gospel of John, He talks to His own.  He will not make another public call.  It is now too late for the harvest.  The Lamb of God is being shut up in preparation to go to the Cross and die for the sins of the world.

(John 10:23-24)  And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch.  Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt?  If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.

There was a big porch out there which was for Gentiles, for those who were outside the nation Israel.  Our Lord was no longer coming into the temple.  It was winter, and He walked in Solomon’s porch.  Solomon’s porch was a structure with a roof supported by rows of 40-foot-high pillars. This structure would have protected Jesus from the wintry weather. People often walked there to meditate, pray, and teach. It is also called “the portico of Solomon” or “Solomon’s colonnade.” While Solomon had built the oldest of the porches on the east side, Herod had built the porch on which Jesus walked.

Jesus had made His identity very clear, and those who accepted him understood that He was the Messiah, the Christ.  Remember, that Andrew had told his brother, “We have found the Messiah” (John 1:41).  Nathaniel also recognized Him, “Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel” (John 1:49).  The Samaritan woman understood who He was; and the Samaritan men said, “Now we believe; not because of thy saying; for we have heard Him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world” (John 4:42).  Also the man healed of his blindness believed and worshipped Him.  Now these religious leaders with their subtle questions are actually casting the blame on Him!  They make it sound as if it is Jesus’ fault for not giving enough information, but it is their lack of willingness to believe what God had revealed to them.  Well, Jesus has revealed His Messiahship to those who will hear, and now He declares it to these religious leaders.

(John 10:25-26)  Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me.  But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.

Jesus tells them that He has proofs of His messiahship.  His works bear witness to it.  He was born in the line of David, according to prophesy.  He was introduced by John the Baptist.  No man taught as He taught.  No man could convict Him of sin.  When John the Baptist sent his disciples to find out whether He was the Messiah or whether they should look for another, Jesus told them to go back and tell John the Baptist the things that He was doing.  Then John the Baptist would know that He had the credentials of the Messiah.  You see, His teaching demonstrated that He was the Messiah, His life demonstrated it, and the miracles demonstrated it.  The problem was not in His lack of credentials.  The problem was in the unbelieving heart.  The fact that they did not believe demonstrated that they were not His sheep.  God’s people are His flock, and they must beware of strangers, thieves, and hirelings. Jesus is the Good Shepherd who knows His sheep and speaks to them, so He is not like the strangers.  He protects the sheep, so He is not like the thieves; and He gives His life for the sheep, so He is not like the hirelings who run away from danger.

When you trust the Good Shepherd, He leads you out of the wrong fold and into the right flock.  He goes before you and leads you by His Word.  There are many churches but only “one flock and one shepherd”.  

(John 10:27-30)  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.  My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.  I and my Father are one.

His sheep hear His voice.  And they follow him.  The brand of ownership on the sheep is obedience.  Do you want to know whether a person is saved or not?  Then see if he is obeying Christ.  Our ears must be open to his voice.  “The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the Lord has made even both of them” (Prov. 20:12).

Jesus said, “I know them.”  I’m glad someone knows me, aren’t you?  I’m sometimes misunderstood, and I have to explain myself to people.  However, I never need to explain anything to him.  He knows when I’m putting up an excuse; He knows when I’m evading an issue; He understands me.  He knows!

He also said, “And they follow Me.”  I believe in the eternal security of the believer and in the insecurity of the unbeliever.  “They follow Me” is just that simple.  If the shepherd called his sheep one morning and started up a hill, and out of 500 sheep in the sheepfold, 100 came out and followed him, then I would conclude that those 100 were his sheep.  And I would also conclude that the other 400 were not his sheep.

Next Jesus said, “And they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never parish.”  When He gives to them eternal life, that means they don’t earn it and they don’t work for it.  He gives it to them.  Note that it is eternal life.  It is forever. 

Can they backslide?  Yes.  Will they perish? No.  The sheep may get into a pigpen, but there has never been a sheep in a pigpen that stayed in a pigpen.  Sheep and pigs do not live together.  The sheep is always a sheep.  No man can pluck the sheep out of the Saviors hand.  This is wonderful!  He is the shepherd.  He is God.  If you think you can jump out; well you can't, because the Father puts His hand right down on you and you can’t do any jumping.  Friends, He has got you and you can’t get lose.  I have a wonderful Shepherd.  He won’t lose any of His sheep.  If He starts out with 100 He will not end up with 99.  If one gets lost, He will go out and find it.  

Jesus referred to Himself as one with God, separate in Person but identical in nature. The godhead includes Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—three separate persons united in essence as one. The Jews regarded Jesus’ claim to be one with God as blasphemy.  God the Father and God the Son are in agreement in the matter of the believer’s eternal security. On the basis of this passage, no one should ever doubt the eternal security of his salvation. Once a person is genuinely saved, he is saved forever.

(John 10:31-33)  Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.   Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?  The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.

There is one thing that is for sure: in that day, those who heard Him understood that He made Himself God.  He produced His credentials.  There was no way they could deny His miracles.  He healed people by the thousands, and there was no denying the evidence.  They accuse Him of blasphemy.  They accused him of calling Himself God.  And do you know, that is exactly what He was doing.  The Jews are angry that Christ would claim equality with the Father, and they took stones to stone him.  But Jesus again makes the Jews face His works, and asks them to define which good work deserves such cruel treatment. These good works reflected His supernatural origin, and should be the basis for accepting Him as Christ and not the basis for stoning Him.

(John 10:34-38)  Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?  If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?  If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.  But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.

Their accusation was that He as a man makes Himself God.  He quotes to them Psalm 82:6, “I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.”  Men are called to be children of God, but Jesus is unique because He is the man “whom the father hath sanctified.”  He is the One who has been set apart.  He is different than any other man in the world.  He has been sent on a mission to the world.  He is in the Father, and the father is in Him.

Jesus states here that if the Jews were willing to call these judges gods, because the word of God had come to them, why did they accuse Him of blasphemy when the Father, who had sent the word to the judges, sent Him and set Him apart for a divine mission?  If His works do not substantiate His claim, then do not believe Him.  Christ appeals to their unbelief.  If His works agree with His message, and if they still do not believe, Christ exhorts them to consider again His works, so that they may know, and believe.

39 Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand,

We are not told how He did it. It could be that he blinded them just long enough to escape, or He could have paralyzed their arms so they could not throw the stones they threatened Him with. How ever He did it, it was miraculous and another example of his power over mankind; and it shows that his time had not yet come.

Do you have any questions or comments?

There are 5 websites by this author:

http://harmonyofthegospels.yolasite.com (Life of Christ)

http://teachingsermonsforpastorsandlaymen.yolasite.com (sermons)

http://theepistlesofpaul.yolasite.com (Titus and Jude)

http://paulsepistletotheromans.yolasite.com (Romans)

http://theperiodofthejudges.yolasite.com (Judges)


Please review them and use them as the Lord leads you.

May God bless His precious word!!

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