The Character of Jesus 51

The Feast of Dedication

John 10:22 – 42

  • Characteristic: Refusing to be manipulated by the opposition
    • (22)  The Feast of Dedication is Hanukkah, celebrating the rededication of the Temple after Jerusalem was captured by the Maccabees in 164 BC (1 Maccabees 4:36 – 61, 2 Maccabees 10:1 – 8).  The Syrians had turned it into a pagan temple.  Not recorded there is the “miracle of the oil.”  When the city was captured and the Temple services were restarted, oil for only one night could be found (it was in the middle of a war).  The oil lasted eight days, until they were able to resupply.
    • (24)  Jesus had claimed to be the Messiah in John 5:19 – 47 and 8:21 – 59.  In the latter case, the hearers certainly understood because they tried to stone Him.
    • (25)  First proof – His miracles.
    • (26 – 29)  Second proof – many had believed, just not these questioners.  The unbelievers will not be able to overcome the believers.
    • (30 – 32)  Third proof – many good works.  By implication, no bad works, violence, or politics.  Jesus claimed to work in concert with the Father.
    • (33 – 38)  Fourth proof – It’s not blasphemy but Scripture (Psalm 82:6).  Jesus’ point was that they were nit-picking the wording, but to be consistent, their argument invalidated Scripture they claimed to support.
    • (40 – 42)  Jesus often exercised prudent withdrawal, but not before making His point.  He understood that He had to die in a certain way (His time had not yet come, John 2:4, 7:6, 7:8, 7:30, 8:20, 13:1, 17:1), so He stayed away from lynch mobs.  The people on the other side of the Jordan evaluated the evidence a little better.
  • Application: Refusing to be manipulated by the opposition
    • Don’t be afraid to say, “We already discussed this.”
    • Can we invoke the proof of miracles?
    • Does it matter that others agree with us?
      • Our leadership model works.
      • Our “casual dress” works.
      • Our weekly meal works.
      • Our financial model works.
    • Can we say the we work in concert with the Father?
      • Connectedness (loyalty, acceptance, and such like)
      • Grace and peace (stress release)
    • Can we show simple contradictions in the arguments of others?
      • Once-saved-always-saved cancels free will.
      • Without free will, there is neither faith nor love.
      • If the Spirit causes belief, faith no longer exists.
      • Which church leader can prove that God endorses his authority?
      • If our objective is to get to heaven, we are focused on self.  Where’s the love?
      • If God turned away from Jesus on the cross, for how long?