Summary: The Jews had their final confrontation with Jesus, and their final chance.
"At that time the Feast of the Dedication took place at Jerusalem; 23 it was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple in the portico of Solomon. 24 The Jews then gathered around Him, and were 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 hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28 and I give eternal life to them, 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." 31 The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him. 32 Jesus answered them, "I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?" 33 The Jews answered Him, "For a good work we do not stone You, 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 broken), 36 do you say 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, 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 seize Him, and He eluded their grasp."
A couple of main themes have been recurring throughout the book of John; one by the Author’s design because of his stated purpose in writing, and one in the history that he records.
The establishing and defense of the fact of the Deity of Jesus Christ is John’s main theme. Another is the growing division and enmity between Jesus and the Jewish ruling elite in Israel, headquartered in Jerusalem.
We will see both of these themes build finally to their climax, or nearly to their climax, here in these closing verses of chapter 10. I say ’nearly’ because the actual and historical culmination of both of these recurring themes will be reached at Calvary and the cross of Christ and His resurrection.
Their hatred of Him will reach its zenith as they nail Jesus to the cross, and His Deity will finally and unquestionably be established in His resurrection -- as Paul said in his opening words to the Romans, "...who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ out Lord".
But it is here, in Jerusalem, at the Feast of Dedication, also called the Feast of Lights, where Jesus, the Light of the world (Jn 9:5) will say His final words to the Jews concerning His Deity, and here where they will stop their ears and close their eyes to the truth.
They will still see Jesus in the context of His entry into Jerusalem on the donkey’s foal, and His final public appearances in and around the Temple during that final week leading up to Passover; but this is the last opportunity they will have for face to face verbal exchange with Him prior to His arrest and trials.
As I mentioned, and as John says in verse 22, it is the time of the Feast of Dedication. Without repeating a teaching on the occupation of Antiochus Epiphanes during the intertestamental period and his removal in 165 BC by the Maccabees and the reclamation of the Temple in 164, just let me point out that the Feast of Dedication, or the Feast of Lights as it was also called, was to commemorate that rededication of the Temple to God and God’s demonstration of approval in that the lampstand in the Holy place, which would normally need to have it’s oil replenished on a daily basis, stayed lit and the oil miraculously undiminished for seven days following the rededication.
So here in our account we see the Light of the world coming to His Temple, and in sharp contrast, the darkness of the world seeking to put that Light out. I don’t want to build further on that theme here, but it is something to meditate upon later, that these final events -- this determinative confrontation between Light and darkness should take place during an occasion known as Feast of Lights..