Summary: The Lord wants us to know about: 1. The greatest rift (vs. 19-21). 2. The greatest responsibility (vs. 22-25). 3. The greatest relationship (vs. 26-27). 4. The greatest reassurance (vs. 28-29).
We Must Learn from the Lord
The Gospel of John
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - March 22, 2017
(Revised November 11, 2019)
*Please open your Bibles to John 10:19, as we think about things we must learn from the Lord.
*Many of us know that the Scripture wasn't originally divided into chapters and verses. The first whole Bible with divided chapters and verses wasn't printed until the mid-1500s. Originally, the New Testament wasn't even divided into sentences. Everything just sort of ran together like a word puzzle.
*Well, I sure am glad that somebody decided to divide God's Word into chapters and verses. But if I was doing that, I would have put a chapter break between verses 21 and 22. That's because there is a time break here of about two months. We've gone from the Feast of Tabernacles to the Feast of Dedication.
*This is a good time to remember the interesting way the Holy Spirit highlighted certain periods in the Lord's life. Logically, we might take a week-by-week approach, but God skips over wide swaths of Christ's life to put the spotlight on special periods.
*This makes sense when it comes to things like the birth and death of our Lord. But all the way from John 7:1 to John 10:21, the Apostle focused on the events around this Feast of Tabernacles. That's why it took 20 sermons to cover this two or three-week period in the Lord's ministry. We may not understand why God did that, but His Word is perfect! And I say praise the Lord for the sovereign way He inspired His Word!
*Again, in vs. 21-22 we will finish looking at the Feast of Tabernacles, skip two months, and go to the Feast of Dedication. This Feast was not one of the Feasts commanded by God in the Old Testament, but it is still celebrated as Hanukkah today.
*The Feast of Dedication celebration marks the rededication of the temple in 164 B.C. after the blasphemy and butchery of Syrian king, Antiochus Epiphanes. We can get a sense of this prideful man in the name he took for himself. "Epiphanes" means "illustrious one" or "god manifest."
*What was his tyranny like? William Barclay explained: "This wicked king was a lover of all things Greek. Antiochus decided that he would eliminate the Jewish religion once and for all. He introduced Greek ways, thoughts, religion and gods into the nation.
*At first, Antiochus tried to do so by peaceful means, but in 170 B.C. he attacked Jerusalem. It was said that 80,000 Jews perished, and 80,000 more were sold into slavery. It became a death penalty offence to have a copy of the Word of God, or to circumcise a child. And mothers who did circumcise their children were crucified with their children hanging round their necks.
*The Temple courts were profaned. The Temple chambers were turned into brothels. Antiochus also took the dreadful step of turning God's great altar of the burnt offering into an altar for the Greek god Zeus. He commanded that swine flesh be offered to the pagan gods on the altar that belonged to the Lord.
*It was then that Judas Maccabaeus and his brother arose to fight their epic fight for freedom. In 164 B.C. the struggle was finally won, and in that year the Temple was cleansed and purified." THAT'S why they started the Feast of the Dedication. It's usually celebrated in December, so John noted that it was winter. (2)
*Here in John 10, we are now only about 4 months from the cross. With this background in mind, let's read vs. 19-30, thinking about things we must learn from the Lord.
*Over the last couple of days, I've been thinking about some of my best teachers. There was my 7th grade teacher, Lois Culver Jordan, who also taught my dad in the 7th grade, 30 years before. Then there was Betty Lewis who taught International Relations my Senior year in high school. She lovingly pushed us as hard as she could, and arranged for us to take part in the model United Nations that year in Washington, D.C. Dr. Jon Stubblefield was a great teacher at the seminary over in Shreveport. Every Monday morning for 9 months, Dr. Stubblefield was able to make scribbles like we saw in those pictures come alive for us to worship the Lord.
*Most all of us could say we've had some great teachers. But we know that the greatest teacher of all is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! And in tonight's Scripture the Lord points out some crucial things for us to know.