The Scriptures covered in this post are from John 10:22-42. This post will also be a little on the long side but bear with me if you will, because there is a lot to cover within these few verses.
John 10:22-30 NASB
22 At that time the Feast of the Dedication took place in Jerusalem; 23 it was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple area, in the portico of Solomon. 24 The Jews then surrounded Him and began saying to Him, “How long will You keep us in suspense? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.” 25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father’s name, these testify of Me. 26 But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep. 27 My sheep listen to My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28 and I give them eternal life, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”
The Feast of Dedication: This festival was celebrated for eight days. In 167 BC Antiochus Epiphanes desecrated the temple in Jerusalem as prophesied in Daniel 11:31. The Maccabeans restored and purified the temple. In commemoration of the restoration, the Feast of Dedication was instituted. Today it is known as the Feast of Lights or Hanukkah.
Solomon’s Porch, Portico or Colonnade was a colonnade, or cloister, located on the eastern side of the Temple’s Outer Court (Women’s Court) in Jerusalem, named after Solomon, King of Israel.
There would have been a good number of people near the temple area because of the Feast of Dedication and Jesus was there. The Jews surround Jesus and ask Him a direct question as to whether He is the Messiah (the Christ) and He provides them with a direct answer. In verse 10:25 Jesus tells them “I told you, yet you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name testify of me. In other words Jesus is saying “the works that I do in my Father’s name validate or authenticate who I say that I am”. But even though the Jews know of the works that Jesus has done, they still do not believe that He is the Christ and Jesus explains why this is. 26 “But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep. 27 My sheep listen to My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28 and I give them eternal life, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”
Back in John 6:36-40 we have a similar exchange where Jesus provides a response to a similar question and it reads: “36 But I said to you that you have indeed seen Me, and yet you do not believe. 37 Everything that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I certainly will not cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that of everything that He has given Me I will lose nothing, but will raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”
Time and time again we see Jesus telling the Jews where He had come from, Who had sent Him, and why He had come. The consistency of His message is overwhelming. So here again, we can see that Jesus knew that His Father had given Him sheep or disciples who would indeed hear His voice and follow Him but there were others that would not hear and not follow and these accordingly where not His sheep.
Short Note: Now we could get into predestination and “the Elect” that are chosen by God, as those who subscribe to Calvinism would lean towards but I am deliberately not going to go into that. Suffice to say, that in this particular instance, at a minimum, Jesus knows there will be some who will hear and follow Him and Jesus will not lose any that follow Him and He is also aware that there will be some who do not. And then in verse 30 Jesus states “I and the Father are one”.
In Judaism, that is no small statement because to make this claim is in fact, claiming equality with God, an offence punishable by death (stoning), which I have identified previously in the Scriptures. And what happens next, the Jews pick up stones to stone Jesus.
John 10:31-39 NASB
31 The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him. 32 Jesus replied to them, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?” 33 The Jews answered Him, “We are not stoning You for a good work, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.” 34 Jesus answered them, “Has it not been written in your Law: ‘I said, you are gods’? 35 If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be nullified), 36 are you saying of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? 37 If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; 38 but if I do them, even though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.” 39 Therefore they were seeking again to arrest Him, and He eluded their grasp.”
This dialogue is where Jesus basically asks them for which good work that He has done, are they going to stone Him. God’s goodness being responded to by a wrong. They make it clear that it is not because of any good works that He has done but because of blasphemy, in that Jesus claimed to be equal with God. Then Jesus draws their attention to the fact that in the Scriptures, judges were called gods. The judges exercised godlike judicial sovereignty. The verse that Jesus quotes is from Psalm 82:6 which reads as follows:”I said, “You are gods, And all of you are sons of the Most High.” This verse quoted here, refers to judges who violate the law. The argument that Jesus makes is that, if the divine name has been applied by God to mere men, there could be neither blasphemy nor folly in its application, especially to the incarnate Son of God Himself. 35 If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be nullified), 36 are you saying of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?
I would also like you to note that quite often you hear people ask where it is in Scripture that Jesus says that He is God or the Son of God. Note than in these verses we are covering in this particular post (there are other verses in other portions of Scripture other than this one we are currently looking at) , Jesus states that He is one with the Father (equal to God) and here in verse 36 Jesus specifically states they say He is blaspheming because He has said that He is the Son of God. Good verses to remember.
And also note that Jesus says that the Father sanctified (as in set Him apart) and sent Him into the world. John 3:16 comes to mind. So to recap: Jesus points out that in Scripture, the judges, who were mere men, where called gods, and the Scripture cannot be undone or annulled or broken, and here Jesus is, the sanctified Son of God, sent by the Father, validated by the works that He does, and they say that He is blaspheming because Jesus calls Himself the Son of God. If mere men can be called gods then surely it is not blaspheming when Jesus calls Himself the Son of God. You will note that they did NOT have a response for Jesus, even after Jesus points out that they must at a minimum, acknowledge that only God could do the works that Jesus was doing and as such it clearly shows that the Father is in Jesus and Jesus is in the Father. And their response: they try again to seize Him but Jesus eludes them. And how could the Jews have argued with Jesus, considering the works that He had done, they couldn’t. They acknowledged the works but they would not acknowledge Jesus. You cannot acknowledge the works that Jesus did without acknowledging who Jesus is. This reminds me of when John the Baptist had been left in jail for weeks and sent word to ask Jesus if John and his followers should be looking for someone else. One would think that John the Baptist, of all people, would not have needed to ask that question but John the Baptist was human like the rest of us and don’t forget, there he was sitting in jail. And how did Jesus respond?
Luke 7:21-23 NASB
21 At that very time He cured many people of diseases and afflictions and evil spirits; and He gave sight to many who were blind. 22 And He answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you have seen and heard: people who were blind receive sight, people who limped walk, people with leprosy are cleansed and people who were deaf hear, dead people are raised up, and people who are poor have the gospel preached to them. 23 And blessed is anyone who does not take offense at Me.”
John 10:40-42 NASB
40 And He went away again beyond the Jordan to the place where John was first baptizing, and He stayed there. 41 Many came to Him and were saying, “While John performed no sign, yet everything John said about this man was true.” 42 And many believed in Him there.
Jesus leaves the temple area and goes to beyond the Jordon. That would be at Bethany beyond the Jordan (John 1:28). And those who came to Jesus noted that although John the Baptist had himself performed no signs, everything that John had said about the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, proved to be true. And many believed in Him there.
I can’t help but be mindful that Jesus faced opposition to who He was, who had sent Him, why He had come and what He and He alone would accomplish, for the vast majority of His ministry. Couple that with what Jesus knew He had to face, to pay the price for our sins, and we enter into the mind of our Lord. But Jesus had come to us from heaven to fulfill the will of our Father and He was not a mere man.
More to follow.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!