Summary: This is the 31st sermon from a series on the Gospel of John. In this sermon we look at how the unbelieving world is unable to understand and comprehend the things of God, as well as how the believer has come to faith in Christ.
His Sheep Hear His Voice (John Part 31)
Text: John 10:22-30
Before we read our text this morning, I want give you some background into the scene. Our text is going to be John 10:22-30, and this portion of the chapter begins by saying it was the time of the Feast of Dedication, and that it was winter. For those of you who don’t know… the Feast of Dedication is Hanukkah. Instead of one day of Christmas, the Jews have “8 Crazy Nights”. Seriously though… Hanukkah began in 165 B.C. Let me give you some background on it. In 323 Alexander the Great died, and his empire was divided into 4 parts, each part going to one of his generals. One of those parts of the empire became known as the Seleucid Empire. It controlled what is today modern day Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, part of Saudi Arabia… and it controlled the land of Israel. And the Seleucid Empire had one bad ruler after another. And they were constantly at war with someone… Whether it was the Ptolemic Empire, the Parthians, the Mauryan Empire, or the wild, Arabian nomadic tribes. Eventually Antiochus Epiphanes
gained control of the Seleucid Empire and he tried to clamp down and solidify his power. And he continually had problems in Israel with rebellions and uprisings. He blamed the religion of the Jews, so he tried to abolish the Jewish religion… he marched on Jerusalem, slaughtered tens of thousands of Jews, set up a statue of Zeus in the temple and slaughtered a pig on the alter. You can actually read about how Daniel prophesied this event. He called it the “abomination that causes desolation” (See Daniel 11:31). This caused the people of Israel to revolt, and they fought a short war against the Seleucids, and actually won their freedom in 165 B.C. … for a little while at least, until the Romans came and conquered them. But that’s what Hanukkah is celebrating. This victory over the Seleucids. So it’s not a holy day, or a feast day, set up by God… it’s not a Levitical holiday. It’s a holiday created by man, to commemorate a victory. So that’s the holiday that’s going on, as Jesus was walking in the Temple on a porch that was called The Colonnade of Solomon. Which was basically a covered porch outside the temple. And John makes sure to let us know, it was winter. And in a way, that has a symbolic meaning. Because this will be the last time that Jesus teaches publicly. The rest of John’s Gospel, we’ll see that Jesus is only teaching His disciples, not the public at large. “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” (Jeremiah 8:20). Jesus has spoken to the Jews over and over again, but their hearts were hardened, their ears, and eyes, and minds were closed… and this was it.
So there’s your background information… now, let’s read our text John 10:22-30 (READ).
Now let me ask you… did you read verse 26 correctly? Most people read verse 26 like this: “You are not My sheep, because you do not believe.” But is that what the verse says? Nope! It says, “You do not believe BECAUSE you are not My sheep.” There’s a big difference there. Then look what Jesus says in verse 27, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”
He’s been saying the same thing all through the Gospel of John. And the Bible teaches this over and over and over again.
Christians hear and understand the Bible… non-Christians do not hear and understand the Bible. Christian’s hear the voice of Christ and follow Him, non-Christians don’t. It’s not rocket science. It’s what the Bible teaches.
Listen to how the Apostle Paul says it in 1 Corinthians 2:14, “The natural person DOES NOT accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he IS NOT ABLE TO UNDERSTAND THEM, because they are spiritually discerned.”
So what is it that prompts Jesus to tell these Jews that they’re not part of His sheepfold?
Well they come to Him, while He’s out on the Colonnade of Solomon, and they say, “Tell us if you’re the Christ… tell it to us plainly… no more parables... just give it to us straight.” But that’s what He’s been doing all along. And that’s what He says to them… He says, “I told you, but you don’t believe.” Every sign, every wonder, every miracle, every healing… all the things that Jesus has been doing and saying up to this point have been pointing to the fact that He is THE CHRIST. All of those signs pointed to the fact that Jesus is The Anointed One. The Savior, the Lord, and the Messiah. But these people are hardened to the truth. We talked a little bit about this over the last couple of weeks… how the Old Testament shows that one of the clear signs of the Messiah was that He would give sight to the blind. In-fact; no one else in the Bible ever does this. Giving sight to the blind is the clearest sign that Jesus is Christ the Lord.