John 10: 22-29 Then came the Festival of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter,23 and Jesus was in the temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade.24 The Jews who were there gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”
25 Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.
It’s thought Jesus went back to Galilee for a while and then returned to Jerusalem for the Festival of Dedication. Today Jews call this Festival Hanukkah, the Feast of Lights. It commemorates the victory of the heroic Maccabees over their enemies and the rededication of the temple after the desecration by Antiochus Epiphanes in the second century B.C.
Jesus was walking in Solomon’s Colonnade. Along the sides of the outer Court of the Gentiles were two beautiful porches called the Royal Colonnade and Solomon’s Colonnade. They had 40-foot-high pillars and people would gather here to pray or meditate. And rabbis gathered their disciples around them for teaching.
He was asked here, “Are you the Messiah?”
If only they had thoughtfully considered His tremendous claims. If only they had compared His words to the Scriptures. Then they would have understood the promised Messiah was infinitely greater than a political leader.
Jesus’ answer had two parts. He spoke first to those who rejected Him but continued to demand He tell them if He was the Messiah. “I did tell you.” He said. Over and over His miracles fulfilled the prophecies of the Messiah and proved He was God. Many religious leaders had wondered how He could act with such power and still be a mere human being.
Jesus explained their unbelief with the truth: “You do not believe because you are not my sheep.” They were Jews, they had studied the Scriptures, they had taught the Scriptures – but Jesus told them they were outsiders because they didn’t believe in Him.
Jesus says of His sheep, “I give them eternal life.” And in His prayer to His Father later in John, He explains eternal life. “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” This knowledge of God is closeness to Him now and forever.
Jesus assures us next that we are secure in our salvation. “NO ONE will snatch them from my hand.” And just to be MORE secure He goes on, “My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.”
John 10:30 – 42 "I and the Father are one.”
31 Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him, 32 but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”
33 “We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”
34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods”’? 35 If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside— 36 what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? 37 Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. 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 in the Father.” 39 Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.
40 Then Jesus went back across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing in the early days. There he stayed, 41 and many people came to him. They said, “Though John never performed a sign, all that John said about this man was true.” 42 And in that place many believed in Jesus.
So, after saying that He could keep His people secure and give eternal life to those who believed in Him. He says, “I and the Father are one.”
The Jews rightly ascertained that Jesus was saying He is divine. To them, this was blasphemy and Mosaic law said that the penalty for that was death by stoning. As they raised their stones, Jesus asked, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”
They answered that their problem was not His miracles, but that He claimed to be God.
Jesus answered with 2 arguments. The first, He used Scripture. And it’s from Psalm 82:6 “I said, ‘You are “gods”; you are all sons of the Most High.’ Here God was talking to unjust judges and challenged them to live up to their holy vocation. He used the words “gods” because He had appointed them to do the work that really only belongs to Himself. Judge. So, Jesus’ argument was: if Scripture spoke of mere men as gods (and you can’t set Scripture aside or challenge it) why do you say the unique One whom God set apart and sent into the world blasphemes when He says He is the Son of God?
His second argument was if they wouldn’t believe Him, then they should believe the works (miracles) he did. The miracles should have made them realize, as Jesus said, “The Father is in me and I am in the Father.”
They again tried to kill Him and again He escaped. Remember this when He DID go to the cross. He was always able to get away from them – when it was in His Father’s will. There is no question, He CHOSE to go to the cross.
Jesus left Jerusalem and went across the Jordan to the place John first baptized. The place His own public ministry began.
And as always people followed Him. Maybe some remembered that John had said, right in that spot, that Jesus was the Son of God. And they said that all John said about this man was true.