14 Mar. John 10:22-33

14 Mar. Jesus states clearly: "The Father and I are one."

"The time came for the Feast of Dedication [of the Temple] at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the Temple in Solomon's Porch."

"The Jews gathered round him and said, 'How long will you make us wonder about you? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.'"

"Jesus answered, 'I have already told you, but you did not believe [me]. The miracles I do in my Father's name show who I am.'"

"'But you don't believe, because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never die, and no one can ever steal them out of my hand.'"

"'My Father gave my sheep to me. He is greater than all, and no person can steal my sheep out of my Father's hand. The Father and I are one.'"

"Again the Jews picked up stones to kill Jesus. But he said to them, 'I have done many good works from the Father. Which of these good works are you killing me for?' The Jews answered, 'We are not killing you for any good work you have done, but because you speak against God. You are only a human, but you say you are the same as God!'"

          (John 10:22-33)

 

 

It was December 29AD, and Jesus was in Jerusalem for the mid-winter festival of Hanukkah (the 'Festival of Lights' or 'Feast of Dedication') – the festival commemorating the rededication of the Temple by Judas Maccabeus in 165 BC after it had been desecrated by the Seleucid (Greek) king Antiochus Epiphanes.

This re-dedication of the Second Temple (which is the background to today's reading) is recorded in the apocryphal First Book of the Maccabees (see 1 Maccabees 4:52-59). During the re-dedication, a single flask of olive oil miraculously kept the lamps in the Temple alight for the whole eight-day ceremony.

Jesus was walking in Solomon’s Porch, a colonnaded portico providing shade from the sun (see the map), when the people asked him to tell them if he really was the 'Christ' (meaning the 'anointed one' in Greek or the 'Messiah' in Hebrew). Jesus answered, “I have already told you, but you did not believe” (John 10:25).

Referring back to the story/parable of the 'Good Shepherd' that he had just told them, he continued, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27).

When Jesus declared “The Father and I are one” (John 10:30), the Jews attempted to stone him again for claiming to be God – blasphemy in their eyes.

Jesus told them to look at the evidence for his claim to be divine - he had performed deeds that only God can do. He had healed the sick (see Mark 1:40-42), brought sight to the blind (see John 9:1-7), forgiven sins (see Luke 5:17-21) and raised the dead back to life (see Matthew 9:18-26). Which of these 'deeds' were the Jewish leaders claiming was not the work of God?

The Jewish leaders replied, "We are not killing you for any good work you have done... [it's because] You are only a human, but you say you are the same as God!" (John 10:33)

Anyone who says that Jesus never claimed to be God (e.g. Atheists, Unitarians, Jehovah's Witnesses and Christadelphians) has not studied the Bible closely enough! They have missed the point of Jesus's words. But the Jewish leaders clearly recognised Jesus's claim to be God - and picked up stones to kill him for what they considered to be blasphemy.

The photo shows a map of the layout of the Temple in Jerusalem in Jesus's day.

You can read more about Jewish religious festivals, including the Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah), @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/major-jewish-religious-f…/


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