Summary: Discover the desperation of those that would like to kill Jesus and the marks of a true follower as Jesus tells His sheep "you're in good hands."
Jesus, the God Man: The Gospel of John
“You’re in Good Hands”
Introduction: The average person will see between 250-300 commercials each day in some form or another. To advertisers this means coming up with an ad that will stick with people. Allstate Insurance came up with the slogan “You’re in good hands with Allstate” in 1950 and it remains today as a catchy phrase that most people immediately associate with that insurance company. Most (if not all) of you probably thought of that company when you saw the sermon title.
Jesus revisits the concept of His being a good Shepherd in our text today even though it takes place a couple of months later. In it we discover the desperation of those that would like to see Jesus dead but also the marks of a true follower of Jesus and the hope that all of Jesus’ sheep have in Him. As we study I believe that you will discover that as a believer “you’re in good hands.”
1. Unbelievers blame others for their condition.
“Feast of Dedication” – This is a feast not mentioned in the OT but rather it was instituted by Judas Maccabeus in the year 165 B.C. in commemoration of the consecration of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, and especially of the altar of burnt offering, after they had been desecrated in the persecution under Antiochus Epiphanes.
It was celebrated in late December and most of you will recognize it by the name Hanukkah or Festival of Lights. This means it’s been almost 3 months since verse 21. Jesus has spent the interim period in the area around Galilee as Luke recounts in his gospel and has returned to Jerusalem.
“winter” – This is not included to give us the timing since all would know it is in December, but rather to let us know the weather conditions – it is rainy or bad weather.
It is also symbolic. This will be the last of Jesus’ public teachings. The rest of John’s gospel will tell of His private teaching with His disciples. It is also lets us know of the condition of the Jews as you will see in a moment.
“The harvest is past, the summer has ended, and we are not saved.” Jeremiah 8:20 (NIV)
I hope this is not symbolic of your own heart.
“walking in Solomon’s porch” – This would have been a large covered walkway on the east side of the temple which was untouched by Babylonian destruction where rabbis would walk and instruct their students and be sheltered from bad weather.
“surrounded” – act of intimidation and a way to trap Jesus and force a conversation.
“Jews” – religious leaders and Pharisees.
“Why do you keep us in doubt or suspense” – It’s your fault that we don’t believe.
“Tell us plainly” – Say it straight and flat out: “I am Messiah.”
Jesus has said it plainly but not to them. He told woman at the well and man born blind, but He has not told them.
There is a hidden meaning in the request. They were looking for a political hero – one that would overthrow Rome and in a charged environment like Hanukkah it would have had huge consequences.
In essence they were saying, “The reason we are not believers and followers is your fault, Jesus. If you would just come right out and say that you’re Messiah we would follow you.”
This is not new or true…
The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” Genesis 3:12 (NIV)
Today people say I would believe if my parents were better, I had not had a bad church experience, seen poor Christian examples, had a better job or boss, if God would reveal more of Himself or write in the sky.
Don’t blame God for your unbelief! Romans 1:20 says that you are without excuse. He is faithful and true. He has revealed as much as you need for salvation. The problem is with you, not Him. Ask God to tell you what is wrong, rather than blaming Him or someone else. But remember…
2. Show and tell will not change stubborn
rebellion. (vv. 25-26)
At the heart of their unbelief is stubborn rebellion. Unbelief gives birth to ignorance.
Jesus explains that He had show and tell for years and they still did not believe.
He said I told you about who I am and my relationship to the Father and you would not believe. I showed you by my works done in My Father’s name. These are my witness and my testimony.
He has already dealt with this in John 5:17-47 where Jesus gives 5 different points of testimony as to the truth of who He is.