Summary: Jesus is confronting the Pharisees while telling His followers who He is.
Jesus, the good shepherd John 10: 22-42
A woman brought her pet duck named Cuddles to the veterinarian. Apparently the duck had been languishing around the house for a few days and she thought there might be something wrong with it. She had him in a basket and when she went into the office she said, “Doctor my duck is very sick, could you take a look at him and see what the problem is.” The doctor took out his stethoscope and listened intently to the duck’s heart for about a minute then he turned to the woman and said, “I’m sorry but your duck is dead.”
Well, the woman was not only shocked by this report but she really didn’t believe him and so she said, “Do you think you examined him enough? Maybe he’s just in a deep sleep like a coma or something like that.” And then she said, “I’d like a second opinion.” The doctor said, “Very well, if you insist.” And then he left the room and walked into the next one. He was there for a few minutes and when he came back he was followed by a big black Labrador retriever.
The vet walked behind the table on which the duck lay while the dog went to the other side. The dog stepped up the table, put his paws on the duck and sniffed it all over. He turned it over and looked at it some more and then he turned to the doctor rolled his eyes and shook his head and then both he and the vet left the room.
A minute later the vet came back and this time he was followed by a big, fluffy Persian cat. And again the vet went to one side of the table while the cat walked around to the other. The cat sniffed the duck and then turned it over, looked at the vet, rolled its eyes and shook its head and then turned and left the room.
Then the vet walked over to his computer and typed for a minute. Then he handed the woman a bill and it was for $250 and he said, “I’m sorry, there was nothing else we could do.”
The woman was furious. She said, “Are you going to give me a bill for $250 just for telling me my duck is dead?” He said, “If you accepted my original diagnosis the bill would have only been $25 but when I added the Lab fee and the Cat scan it came to 250. (You’ve always got to be careful about the quality of your medical advice.)
Now, it’s not always obvious but there is a gap in time that takes place between verses 21 and 22. As a matter of fact, there are at least three months that pass between these two verses. And of course the obvious question is; what took place during this time? I mean, what were Jesus and His disciples doing? And some have suggested that this was when He had sent the seventy away to minister in the various towns and villages while He stayed in Galilee where we assume He did the same.
As I said when we began this series on the book of John, John only uses about six per cent of the same material that the other gospel writers use. And many people feel that the reason he does this is two-fold. First, he has very aware of the other gospels that were in existence and so he saw no need of repeating what they had to say. And second, he had a specific purpose for writing which was to introduce Jesus as the Son of God and he used specific claims, certain miracles and various situations to prove His point.
Now, we have the setting for this message and according to verse 22 it was winter time and since they rarely get snow in the Middle East winter is often referred to as the rainy season and that was probably why Jesus was walking in the temple area under Solomon’s porch. You see, Solomon’s porch was a large roofed-in enclosure that was supported by beautiful columns and it sat to one side of the temple.
It struck me the other day as I was studying this passage that Jesus actually had rainy days just like we do in the rest of the world. Which is kind of a strange thing to say but in all the pictures we ever see that have painted of Jesus walking, talking, teaching or performing miracles I don’t think I’ve ever seen one where it was raining? Anyways, this area was a common gathering place in any kind of weather simply because both Jews and Gentiles were allowed to congregate there.
And John tells us the specific time of year not only when he says it’s winter but he also says it was the feast of Dedication. And just to give you a bit of historical background, the feast of Dedication was also called the feast of Hanukuh or the Festival of Lights and it was an annual festival that was meant to mark the victory of Judas Maccabaeus over the enemies of Israel around 165 BC.