Jesus, the God Man: The Gospel of John
“You’re in Good Hands”
Introduction: The average person will see between 250-300 commercials each day in some form or another. To advertisers this means coming up with an ad that will stick with people. Allstate Insurance came up with the slogan “You’re in good hands with Allstate” in 1950 and it remains today as a catchy phrase that most people immediately associate with that insurance company. Most (if not all) of you probably thought of that company when you saw the sermon title.
Jesus revisits the concept of His being a good Shepherd in our text today even though it takes place a couple of months later. In it we discover the desperation of those that would like to see Jesus dead but also the marks of a true follower of Jesus and the hope that all of Jesus’ sheep have in Him. As we study I believe that you will discover that as a believer “you’re in good hands.”
1. Unbelievers blame others for their condition.
“Feast of Dedication” – This is a feast not mentioned in the OT but rather it was instituted by Judas Maccabeus in the year 165 B.C. in commemoration of the consecration of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, and especially of the altar of burnt offering, after they had been desecrated in the persecution under Antiochus Epiphanes.
It was celebrated in late December and most of you will recognize it by the name Hanukkah or Festival of Lights. This means it’s been almost 3 months since verse 21. Jesus has spent the interim period in the area around Galilee as Luke recounts in his gospel and has returned to Jerusalem.
“winter” – This is not included to give us the timing since all would know it is in December, but rather to let us know the weather conditions – it is rainy or bad weather.
It is also symbolic. This will be the last of Jesus’ public teachings. The rest of John’s gospel will tell of His private teaching with His disciples. It is also lets us know of the condition of the Jews as you will see in a moment.
“The harvest is past, the summer has ended, and we are not saved.” Jeremiah 8:20 (NIV)
I hope this is not symbolic of your own heart.
“walking in Solomon’s porch” – This would have been a large covered walkway on the east side of the temple which was untouched by Babylonian destruction where rabbis would walk and instruct their students and be sheltered from bad weather.
“surrounded” – act of intimidation and a way to trap Jesus and force a conversation.
“Jews” – religious leaders and Pharisees.
“Why do you keep us in doubt or suspense” – It’s your fault that we don’t believe.
“Tell us plainly” – Say it straight and flat out: “I am Messiah.”
Jesus has said it plainly but not to them. He told woman at the well and man born blind, but He has not told them.
There is a hidden meaning in the request. They were looking for a political hero – one that would overthrow Rome and in a charged environment like Hanukkah it would have had huge consequences.
In essence they were saying, “The reason we are not believers and followers is your fault, Jesus. If you would just come right out and say that you’re Messiah we would follow you.”
This is not new or true…
The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” Genesis 3:12 (NIV)
Today people say I would believe if my parents were better, I had not had a bad church experience, seen poor Christian examples, had a better job or boss, if God would reveal more of Himself or write in the sky.
Don’t blame God for your unbelief! Romans 1:20 says that you are without excuse. He is faithful and true. He has revealed as much as you need for salvation. The problem is with you, not Him. Ask God to tell you what is wrong, rather than blaming Him or someone else. But remember…
2. Show and tell will not change stubborn
rebellion. (vv. 25-26)
At the heart of their unbelief is stubborn rebellion. Unbelief gives birth to ignorance.
Jesus explains that He had show and tell for years and they still did not believe.
He said I told you about who I am and my relationship to the Father and you would not believe. I showed you by my works done in My Father’s name. These are my witness and my testimony.
He has already dealt with this in John 5:17-47 where Jesus gives 5 different points of testimony as to the truth of who He is.
John the Baptist even had questions and doubts when he was in prison.
When the men came to Jesus, they said, “John the Baptist sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?’” So he replied to the messengers, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Luke 7:20, 22 (NIV)
Jesus offered John the Baptist the same proof and it was enough, but to these leaders it was not.
Jesus boils it all down: “You don’t believe because you are not mine. You are not one of my sheep like I said before at this very location 3 months ago.”
The truth of who they actually were is in Matthew 7:15.
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.
Matthew 7:15 (NIV)
They were wolves pretending to be sheep. If that is true then who are Jesus’ sheep? Jesus answers that and then tells of the promises the sheep have…
3. Jesus gives His sheep eternal life and
security. (v. 27-30)
Here are the marks of a true believer (a sheep) repeated from vv. 4 and 14:
They hear. They are not in doubt or suspense. They want to hear the shepherd. They pay attention.
He knows (ginosko). He has a relationship with us. He did not know the wolves or goats.
The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Romans 8:16 (NIV)
They follow. They obey. They don’t make excuses or blame others. They simply do what the Shepherd says.
v. 28 – Based on that relationship He GIVES them eternal life. The word gives is in the present tense which means He keeps on giving eternal life – this life begins at conversion not death. It is zoe life. It is your life’s essence. Your reason to live!
It is given and not earned. You did not earn it so it cannot be unearned!
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 (NIV)
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— Ephesians 2:8 (NIV)
“Never perish” – It is an emphatic double negative used meaning you can never never perish! What a promise! You are never separated from Him nor destroyed.
This is why we can rejoice and celebrate at the funerals of believers.
Gets better…“No one can snatch them…” Take by force or grab eagerly away for themselves.
Jesus will lose none that are His. The y will not be cast out or be lost once they are saved. You did not earn it so it cannot be lost nor is it yours so it cannot be taken by another!
v. 29 – “My Father gave them to Me and He is the greatest. He is sovereign. There is none above Him. They are in His hands too.”
You are in the hands of Jesus with the hands of God wrapped around His. You are absolutely secure in Him!
For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:3 (NIV)
You are sealed by the Holy Spirit, held in the hands of Jesus with the Father’s hands wrapped around them. What power on this earth or beyond can possibly defeat the Trinity’s security? That is impenetrable!
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 (NIV)
Salvation does not depend on you, but on God! If you can be lost after you are saved then God is not powerful enough to save you in the first place and you are eternally lost! BUT He IS and so you are and you continue to be!
v. 30 – “The Father and I are one.” Not as in one person, but rather one nature or one essence. You are secure because Jesus is God and the Father is God. For you to be lost, Satan or another force must first defeat God the Father and then defeat Jesus to get to you. HOW?
Your salvation belongs to God and thus you and I are eternally secure in that salvation IF you are truly His child (or sheep). That is the doctrine of eternal security.
Conclusion: A pastor called on a lady from his church and found her very despondent and feeling that God had forsaken her. Looking, at the baby in the woman’s arms, the pastor said to her, "Drop that baby on the floor." Startled by the suggestion, she looked at him in disbelief. "Well," he said, "for what price would you drop it?’" Indignantly she replied, "Not for as many dollars as there are stars!" He then said kindly, ’Tell me, do you really think that you love your child more than the Lord does His?" That truth broke through the woman’s despair.
Perhaps you feel, like that woman, that God has forgotten you or no longer cares. You need look no further than the cross of Calvary to see that God loves and cares and sent His Son to die for your sins.
If you are here today and do not have that relationship with the Savior then you must hear and respond to His offer of salvation. Admit you are a sinner. Believe that he died for you sins. Confess Him as Lord and Savior.
Maybe you are a believer and yet you feel like you have lost your salvation or sinned one sin too many. You are His child if you can point to a time in your life where you repented of your sins and invited Him to your Lord and Savior. Simply return to Him in repentance and ask for forgiveness.
Remember “you’re in good hands.” No, change that. “You’re in God hands!”