Summary: Jesus continues His shepherd sermon in this passage but He also advances another teaching. Jesus makes the declaration that He & the Father are one. It is clear that persons must recognize Jesus as being one with the Father or else reject Him entirely.
JOHN 10: 22-30
JESUS & THE FATHER ARE ONE
Jesus continues His shepherd sermon in this passage but He also advances another teaching. Jesus makes the declaration that He and the Father are one. It is clear that persons must recognize Jesus as being one with the Father or else reject Him entirely.
Jesus works bear witness of who He is, but the witness is received and appreciated only by His sheep. These sheep will be His for all eternity. This section also is the preparation for Jesus’ last offering of salvation to His Jewish detractors.
I. THE PLAIN TRUTH, 22-25.
II. THE TRUE SHEEP, 26-27.
III. THE TRUE SECURITY, 28-29.
IV. THE ONE TRUE GOD, 30.
John indicates that the Feast of Dedication (or Hanukkah) was then taking place in verse 22. At that time the Feast of the Dedication took place at Jerusalem;
This feast was and is even today the commemoration of the purification and rededication of the temple under Judas Maccabeus (in 165 BC). It had been desecrated by the wicked Greek ruler Antochus Epiphanes (1 Macc 1:59; 4:52, 59). It is an eight-day joyous festival in December where homes are illuminated and hence it is also called the feast of lights. It is a time when families get together. Though it is not one of the three great pilgrim-feast, it did draw many people to Jerusalem.
It was intended to be an opportunity to express gratitude to God. The great truth of the feast of Lights is for men to recall that against all human probability, the sovereign God delivered His people our of their darkness and enabled them to offer real worship.
For those not familiar with the feast John adds in verse 23, it was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple in the portico of Solomon.
The Feast of the Dedication or Hanukkah is celebrated in winter during the month of December [ Jewish Chislev, November to December]. It is the rainy season thus it is not surprising that Jesus was walking under the covered stone archways. The main courtyard of the temple was surrounded by massive covered colonnades on all four sides, which were open to the court itself, but walled facing the outside. Solomon’s Colonnade or portico was on the east and though built by Herod I, took its name from the temple’s first builder, King Solomon. In winter, teachers used these porches as a shelter from the cold weather.
As Jesus is walking there, suddenly people who had heard Him before gather around him. Verse 24 states, The Jews gathered around Him, and were saying to Him, “How long will You keep us in suspense? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.”
The wording “gather [kykloo] around him” lit., “circle in on Him,” indicates that they hemmed Him in. It is ominous. This Greek word is used elsewhere in the Gospels only at Luke 21:20 to describe how Rome would “surround” Jerusalem before its destruction.
The crowd is looking for an unambiguous statement about Jesus’ identity. “How long will you keep us in suspense?” can also be translated, “How long will you annoy us?” These people seem more likely to be antagonistic rather than seeking clarity. What they want is an open, clear statement from Jesus about His messiahship, and no doubt they are poised to judge Him if his answer is not to their liking.
His audience wants a “plain” statement (7:4, 13). But we have already learned that even if Jesus were to speak plainly, only His “sheep” would recognize His voice (10:26). Ironically, His shepherd sermon was just such a disclosure, but they have not “heard” it. They wanted His plain statement not so they could believe in Hin but so they could bring about His doom.
Jesus asserts that He had already told them in verse 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.
Jesus placed the burden of hearing and understanding His assertions with His questioners. The root problem is unbelief, not miscommunication. These people had no faith. Even the character of Jesus’ life and His works or miracles wrought by God’s power (or “name”) indicates His true identity. [As we learned in chapter 5, these works should be seen as evidence pointing to Jesus’ authority as God’s messenger and Son.] These works bear witness, meaning they point men to the truth of God concerning Jesus. The problem is that men do not heed the evidence or realize its significance.
II. THE TRUE SHEEP, 26-27.
Jesus gives the reason for man’s disbelief in verse 26. “But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep.
Jesus drew a line across eternity and said to His accusers, you are not My sheep. Instead of believing the witness that only the Messiah could bear, their habitual attitude was unbelief. His immediate hearers refused to believe and thus cut themselves off from further revelation. The true problem, [which is a deep theological issue], is that only those who are Jesus’ sheep can understand these things. Faith is not a natural process, it is a gift of God. Thank God that He has opened our eyes to the truth.