Summary: Jesus keeps us safe and secure.


John 10:22-42

S: Jesus

Th: His power over man


?: Inductive

KW: Stages

TS: We will find in our study of John 10:22-42 four stages that demonstrate the power of Jesus.

The _____ stage is the…

I. ENCOUNTER (22-24)



IV. ESCAPE (39-42)

Version: ESV

RMBC 29 June 03 AM


ILL Notebook: Power (throw one passenger)

As the crowded airliner is about to take off, the peace is shattered by a five-year-old boy who picks that moment to throw a wild temper tantrum. No matter what his frustrated, embarrassed mother does to try to calm him down, the boy continues to scream furiously and kick the seats around him.

Suddenly, from the rear of the plane, an elderly man in a Marine uniform is seen slowly walking forward up the aisle. Stopping the flustered mother with an upraised hand, the white-haired, courtly, soft-spoken Marine leans down and, motioning toward his chest, whispers something into the boy’s ear.

Instantly, the boy calms down, gently takes his mother’s hand, and quietly fastens his seat belt. All the other passengers burst into spontaneous applause.

As the Marine slowly makes his way back to his seat, one of the cabin attendants touches his sleeve. "Excuse me, sir," she asks quietly, "but could I ask you what magic words you used on that little boy?"

The Marine smiles serenely and gently confides, "I showed him my pilot’s wings, service stars, and battle ribbons, and explained that they entitle me to throw one passenger out the plane door, on any flight I choose."

1. Have you ever wished you had the authority to straighten something (or someone) out?

There are times when many of us would like to have the power to fix something that needs to be corrected.

Whether it is a matter of justice or annoyance, we long for the situation to be handled, rather than let go.

And when nothing is done, it becomes a source of constant irritation to us.

“Why doesn’t somebody do something?” is our cry.

Many years ago, in the land of Israel, the same cry had gone out among the people.

The people had been humiliated by its conquerors, Rome.

They also suffered through the hypocrisy and betrayal of its own leaders who were more interested in keeping their power than in doing the right thing.

During this time, someone did come that had the authority and the power to straighten it all out.

His name was Y’shua.

In our day and age, we would call Him Joshua.

In the pages of Scripture, the Greek form of his name is used…Jesus.

2. Throughout the ministry of Jesus, He consistently proved His identity.

We have been studying the gospel of John from time to time since the end of the year 2000.

Today, we are coming to the end of chapter 10, almost the halfway point of the entire text.

It is at this point that we are coming to the conclusion of Jesus’ earthly ministry.

Throughout this gospel, John has been giving us the evidence about Jesus.

By examining what He does and what He says, we are finding out over and over again who Jesus really is.

And when one is truly ready to give this an honest investigation, with a desire to know the truth, the conclusions are startling.

For Jesus does not allow us any other conclusion…He is the Lord.

He is God made flesh.

The display of His power, both in action and in person, does not allow for any other conclusion.

Today, as we finish the tenth chapter of John, we will observe once again Jesus’ authority and strength.

3. We will find in our study of John 10:22-42 four stages that demonstrate the power of Jesus.


I. The first stage is the ENCOUNTER (22-24).

[22] At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, [23] and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon. [24] So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”

Between verses 21 and 22, two months have passed by.

We are now at the Feast of Dedication.

1. Setting: The Feast of Dedication is today’s Hanukkah.

This time of celebration was the newest of the feasts.

The time was 175 B.C.

There was a Syrian overlord by the name of Antiochus Epiphanes.

It was his desire to mix Hebrew and Greek culture, but this attempt had catastrophic consequences.

He desecrated the temple, forced the priests to eat pork, and used the chambers of the temple as a brothel.

The altar for the burnt offerings became an altar for Zeus.

Naturally, a man arose to face this desecration.

His name was Judas Maccabaeus.

He led a rebellion that fought and defeated Antiochus Ephphanes.

After this success, Judas Maccabaeus led the cleansing of the temple and its rededication.

It was a feast that lasted eight days with a candle to be lit each day, a tradition that continues until today.

The irony that is before us is that Jesus joins the company in its celebration of Israel’s great victory.

So here they celebrate a great time in history, but so many are missing history in the making.

An even greater victory is coming…

The text shows us that…

2. Jesus is surrounded by unbelief.

Jesus is encircled.

It is a confrontation.

The Jewish leaders say they want a clear reply.

They accuse Jesus of not making His position plain.

But as we have studied these last chapters, the position of the Jewish leaders catches us by surprise.

Had Jesus really been evading the issue?

Has it really been that unobvious to them that His claim to be the sent One of God, the Messiah?

This brings us to…

II. The second stage is the EXPLANATION (25-30).

[25] Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, [26] but you do not believe because you are not part of my flock. [27] My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. [28] I give them eternal life, 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.”

So, here we learn that…

1. People do not believe because they do not hear.

There was plenty of reason that they did not believe, for the works and the words of Jesus have been plain enough.

They lacked the right attitude.

They lacked faith.

It is as if Jesus said…

“You have never come to me.”

“You have never gotten close.”

“You have never cared to find out who I really am.”

“You have had no part in who I am or what I am doing.”

But Jesus does make it clear that what He has done, His works, they have borne witness to who He is.

These people have seen miracle after miracle.

He has turned water into wine, fed over 5,000 people with very little to start with and healed a man that was born blind.

These were not miracles that were empty of meaning.

They were vivid witnesses.

Yet, they won’t believe.

They refuse to hear, because they have developed a continuing habit of unbelief.

But Jesus’ sheep, they hear His voice.

They believe and they follow.

And it is here that we find that…

2. There are eternal and magnificent consequences to belief.

He knows us!

And He gives us eternal life.

This concept of eternal life is a fascinating one for eternal life is just as much about quality as it is about quantity.

It is a life of a certain kind, God’s kind of life, a life that no one wants to miss out on once you get a real taste of it.

And the quality of this life, along with its quantity, demands we understand its permanence.

Once this kind of life is in our possession, it cannot be taken away.

You see, it cannot be conditional and still be eternal.

It is a gift; therefore it is not something we earn (because one does not earn gifts).

This means we cannot lose it by doing something bad.

So here is the amazing thing…

We live in a world that is perishing, but for those who believe, those who hear His voice and follow, they are given life that keeps them from perishing.

But Jesus also notes that there is more that is going on here.

He describes it as an active evil.

There is a movement to snatch away sheep from the Good Shepherd.

The false shepherds look to destroy the sheep, but Jesus is so powerful, He will not let it happen.

And it is not because we can hold on.

It is not our feeble hold, but rather, His firm grip on us.

This does not mean, by the way, that life won’t be dangerous or difficult.

We are likely to have hard times, especially in accomplishing kingdom objectives.

But the good news is…

We are never outside of God’s care and power!

We are always permanently “safe” when His hand upon us.


Because His power is divine.


3. Jesus leaves no doubt about the essence of His Person.

The Jewish leaders wanted a plain statement.

They get plain…again.

He and the Father are one.

And as soon as He said that, once again His listeners understood.

It was time for an execution…

III. The third stage is the EXECUTION (31-38).

[31] The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. [32] Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?” [33] The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.” [34] Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’? [35] If he called them gods to whom the word of God came — and Scripture cannot be broken — [36] do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? [37] If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; [38] but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”

1. Finally, the time of judgment has come!

Again, they know what to charge Him with.

It is blasphemy.

So they proceed to take judgment into their own hands.

There is no allowing for the concept of due process.

They are in a fury, running around looking and searching for stones.

And while they do this, note the calm and courageous response of Jesus…

2. Jesus refutes their argument with the evidence and with Scripture (Psalm 82:1, 6-7).

Jesus does not run away.

He does not show any signs of fear.

Instead, He quietly resumes the discussion.

So He asks them…since He has done many great and good works, He wonders what the problem is?

After all, the evidence is compelling.

Their response…

“We are not stoning you for a good work.”

“It is for blasphemy.”

“You, as a man, make Yourself as God.”

Interestingly, what they never stopped to consider is whether it was true!

To make His point, Jesus goes to Psalm 82.

Note the psalm here…

[1] God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment.

[6] I said, “You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you; [7] nevertheless, like men you shall die, and fall like any prince.”

Jesus demonstrates here that this psalm applies the word “Elohim” (which literally is the plural word for God) to men.

It is here that God refers to the judges of Israel as gods.

They are like gods when they exercise their high and God-given office.

So, Jesus makes the point, if the word can be used of men, can He be wrong when He is the Son of God.

For Jesus, He is not making Himself anything.

He was what He was.

Jesus says that even if they do not believe what He says, they can check out the works.

He is fully ready to stand or fall by them.

And if they are willing, if they will allow it, they will receive the very insight that they need.

So now we come to…

IV. The fourth stage is the ESCAPE (39-42).

[39] Again they sought to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands. [40] He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing at first, and there he remained. [41] And many came to him. And they said, “John did no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true.” [42] And many believed in him there.

1. Again, Jesus is the untouchable.

Now, instead of stoning, they attempt to arrest Him.

But is another unsuccessful attempt.

He again eludes their grasp.

We can’t escape the irony here.

It is the hand of the enemy that was impotent to arrest.

It stands in contrast to the hand of the Father who is mighty to protect.

Our final verses show that…

2. It was time to retreat before the advance.

This was not a diminution of activity, but rather a safe retreat.

These will be his final weeks of ministry before He returns to Jerusalem at His Triumphal Entry.

And those that had heard John the Baptist were ready to receive the Messiah when He came.

And as there is so often in this gospel, there was belief!


Did you notice throughout this passage that…

1. Jesus never loses control!

It is a lesson that we cannot miss.

For no one overrules His will.

No one overpowers Him.

No one nullifies what He has achieved.

No one takes away those He has bought.

And even though life is not always easy, we can be assured that…


We can have confidence that whatever is set before us, no matter what God calls on us to accomplish, our safety does not depend on our immature, weak and ultimately futile grip on Him.

Our safety depends on His grip on us.

And He has us.

It’s permanent!

His hold is tight!


3. Have you acknowledged, understood and experienced the power of Jesus?

ILL Notebook: Eternal Security (alligator)

Some years ago on a hot summer day in south Florida a little boy decided to go for a swim in the old swimming hole behind his house. In a hurry to dive into the cool water, he ran out the back door, leaving behind shoes, socks, and shirt as he went. He flew into the water, not realizing that as he swam toward the middle of the lake, an alligator was swimming toward the shore.

His mother--in the house was looking out the window--saw the two as they got closer and closer together. In utter fear, she ran toward the water, yelling to her son as loudly as she could. Hearing her voice, the little boy became alarmed and made a U-turn to swim to his mother.

It was too late.

Just as he reached her, the alligator reached him. From the dock, the mother grabbed her little boy by the arms just as the alligator snatched his legs. That began an incredible tug-of-war between the two. The alligator was much stronger than the mother, but the mother was much too passionate to let go. A farmer happened to drive by, heard her screams, raced from his truck, took aim and shot the alligator. Remarkably, after weeks and weeks in the hospital, the little boy survived.

His legs were extremely scarred by the vicious attack of the animal. And, on his arms, were deep scratches where his mother’s fingernails dug into his flesh in her effort to hang on to the son she loved.

The newspaper reporter who interviewed the boy after the trauma, asked if he would show him his scars. The boy lifted his pant legs. And then, with obvious pride, he said to the reporter, "But look at my arms. I have great scars on my arms, too. I have them because my mom wouldn’t let go."

You and I can identify with that little boy. We have scars, too. No, not from an alligator, or anything quite so dramatic. But, the scars of a painful past. Some of those scars are unsightly and have caused us deep regret. But, some wounds, my friend, are because God has refused to let go. In the midst of your struggle, He’s been there holding on to you.

The Scripture teaches that God loves you. If you have Christ in your life, you have become a child of God. He wants to protect you and provide for you in every way. But sometimes we foolishly wade into dangerous situations.

The swimming hole of life is filled with peril and we forget that the enemy is waiting to attack. That’s when the tug-o-war begins - and if you have the scars of His love on your arms, be very, very grateful.

He did not - and will not - let you go.

BENEDICTION: [Counselors are ]

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.