Study Notes

John 10:22-42

10:22-23 The Feast Of The Dedication

Why have we not read of the Feast of Dedication in our studies of Leviticus? Because its origin is from Jewish history between the time of the Old and New Testaments.

A wicked man named Antiochus Epiphanes came to power over Syria. He first conquered Egypt, then turned against Israel. He entered Jerusalem with a might army. He entered the temple and carried off the golden furniture from the Holy Place - the altar of incense, the lampstand, the table, and stripped the place bare of every treasure that was there.

Antiochus commanded that everyone in his kingdom give up their customs and religion. He erected an altar on top of the Altar of Sacrifice, and the books of the Law of God were outlawed - many were torn to pieces and burned with fire. Circumcision was forbidden. Many Jews were put to death for practicing their faith.

A man named Judas Maccabeus lead the Jews in revolt against these pagan Gentiles. After many miraculous victories, Judas Maccabeus was able to cleanse the temple and dedicate it. They rebuilt and remade all of the things which had been stolen or defiled. The temple was dedicated on the 25th of Chislev, which is near the end of December.

Today, we know this holiday as Hanukah.

The Portico Of Solomon

The portico of Solomon was a part of the temple. It was near the front, in the outer court of the Gentiles. In the book of Acts, we read of the apostles doing mighty signs and wonders there frequently. So this tells us that Jesus was in Jerusalem for the Feast of the Dedication - while all of Israel celebrated the temple, something greater than the temple was right there in their midst!

10:24 Gathered Around Him

Like a gang of bullies on a school playground, a group of the Pharisees encircle Jesus. "How long will you keep us in suspense?" they ask Him. Remember, two months have elapsed since Jesus was in Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles. "If you are the Christ, tell us plainly."

Now, we've all been reading the gospel of John. It seems that Jesus has spoken these things as plainly as possible, hasn't He? Why didn't they get it? Jesus is about to tell us...

10:25-26 You Are Not Of My Sheep

"I have told you plainly," Jesus tells them. "But you do not believe." Why didn't they believe? Because they were not His sheep. Remember last week, we looked at the statements Jesus made about Himself as the good Shepherd. He had said,

John 10:4-5 "When (the shepherd) puts forth all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. And a stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers."

They did not believe because they refused to have Jesus Christ as their Shepherd. That is an amazing thing about the Word of God. Those who have the Word illuminated by the Holy Spirit recognize and receive it immediately. But when the very same passage that is so clear to you is read to an unbeliever, they say, "That's nonsense. I don't get it. I don't receive it." Paul the apostle told us,

1Cor. 2:14 ...A natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.

Have you ever gone into a store or a carnival ride that illuminated a room with black lights? What looked like your dingy white tennis shoes, shoelaces, or t-shirt suddenly glows with iridescence! That is a good representation of the way the Holy Spirit illuminates the Word of God to us. Unbelievers see shoelaces and say, "So what?" But we see the things glowing and shining incredibly, because of His light! These guys didn't believe, because they were not Jesus' sheep - they couldn't see the light.

10:27-30 Jesus' Hand, The Father's Hand

The people that truly belong to Jesus are safe. He gives them eternal life - they will never suffer the fate of the second death, which is eternal separation from God in outer darkness, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.

They are safe in His hand. They are safe in the Father's hand. Jude wrote to Christians, calling them,

Jude 1 ...beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ

Kept for Jesus Christ. If you are truly a Christian today, God has chosen you to be with His Son for eternity. There is no way He's going to lose you.

Jesus said,

John 18:9 ..."Of those whom Thou hast given Me I lost not one."

And He prayed,

John 17:11 ...Holy Father, keep them in Thy name, {the name} which Thou hast given Me...

If you are a Christian today, God hasn't lost you, you're being kept for Jesus Christ in the hand of God.

I And The Father Are One

Now, they wanted Him to say something clearly. Well, here it is!

John 10:30 "I and the Father are one."

How's that for clarity? Unfortunately, some have cluttered this up so bad with heretical theology that it is hard to read this with clarity anymore. The Bible asserts that Jesus is certainly God:

Isa. 9:6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

2Cor. 4:4 ...Christ, who is the image of God.

Hebr. 1:8 But of the Son He says, THY THRONE, O GOD, IS FOREVER AND EVER...

John 20:28-29 Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him, "Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed."

Titus 2:13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus

Peter also called Him this, writing to those who...

2Pet. 1:1 ...have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ

There can be no mistaking that Jesus is God. But some have been led to confusion or deception.

One Person?

First bad interpretation: Jesus is claiming to be the Father. Several weeks ago, in our study of John 5, we talked about Saballianism. Sabellius was a Latin theologian in the third century that taught God was one Person who appeared in modes or forms - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This heresy has also been named "Modalistic Monarchianism" because of this supposed "modal" attribute of God. Basically, this heresy teaches that God is sometimes the Father, sometimes the Son, and sometimes the Holy Spirit. Today, you probably won't hear someone say that they are a Sabellianist, but they will say that they believe in "Oneness" or "Jesus only."

But the Bible teaches, and the church affirms, that God is one God in three Persons. It is impossible to read the Bible seriously and not find the different personages of God presented.

Rom. 8:31-32 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?

The Father delivered up the Son. Two Persons spoken of here. Jesus clearly spoke of He and the Father as separate and distinct Persons:

John 5:19 ... "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless {it is} something He sees the Father doing; for whatever {the Father} does, these things the Son also does in like manner.

In addition, this passage in John is more literally translated, "I and the Father, we are one." The Greek uses the verb "to be" in the first person plural, thus eliminating all possibility of Jesus being both the Father and the Son. The Father is not the Son, and the Son is not the Father.

One Purpose?

This leads us to the second bad interpretation: That Jesus is just claiming to be one in purpose with the Father. That Jesus was simply saying, "I and the Father have one agenda." The cults who deny the deity of Jesus Christ claim that Jesus simply meant that He and the Father were one in purpose." If that is so, then why on earth would the Jews stone Him? They will say clearly that their motivation for doing this is,

John 10:33 ..."You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God."

The Pharisees of the day were more able to interpret this accurately than the cults today. So Jesus is not the Father, but He is God.

10:31-33 Stoning

Stoning was the Jews' way of administering capital punishment. The convicted person would be surrounded by the crowd, as large rocks were hurled at them until they were dead.

Remember that the temple had been under construction for the last 46 years. There were huge pieces of marble lying around in the construction sites. The Pharisees and elders grabbed the largest ones they could throw and held them over their heads.

I love Jesus' demeanor. At the moment when most men would prepare to meet their Maker, or drop to their knees and plead for their life, Jesus says,

John 10:32 ..."I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?"

You've just got to love Jesus!

10:34-36 I Said You Are Gods

Here we have mention of another verse the cults love to quote. Mormons will come to your door and tell you that the Scriptures tell us that we are gods.

Ps. 82:6 I said, "You are gods, And all of you are sons of the Most High.

"That means when we die, we will go be God of our own planet and populate it with the children of our many wives!" Nonsense! When you read Psalm 82 in its entirety, it is painfully obvious that God did not say anything remotely resembling godship over our own planets.

Ps. 82:1-8 GOD takes His stand in His own congregation; He judges in the midst of the rulers. How long will you judge unjustly, And show partiality to the wicked? Selah. Vindicate the weak and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and destitute. Rescue the weak and needy; Deliver {them} out of the hand of the wicked. They do not know nor do they understand; They walk about in darkness; All the foundations of the earth are shaken. I said, "You are gods, And all of you are sons of the Most High. Nevertheless you will die like men, And fall like {any} one of the princes." Arise, O God, judge the earth! For it is Thou who dost possess all the nations.

It is clear that God is speaking to the rulers that God had appointed in Israel. He had made them as gods, having the power of life and death in their hands. But they were judging unjustly, they were showing partiality to the wicked. So God says, "Although I gave you the power of life and death - the very power of God, you will die like men."

Why does Jesus bring this up? He is challenging the Jewish leadership to two things. First, they have made an unjust judgment, and are about to put to death a righteous man. But more importantly, He is saying, "Wait a minute! The Scriptures elevated you to the point of being gods, and yet you are accusing me of blasphemy for calling myself the Son of God? Actually lowering myself to come to this earth as a man?"

Remember what Paul wrote of Jesus in Philippians chapter 2, that Jesus Christ,

Phil. 2:6-7 ...although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, being made in the likeness of men.

Amazing. God elevated these men to be called gods, and yet God lowered Himself to become a man. How's that for irony?

10:37-39 He Eluded Their Grasp

His words were falling on deaf ears - or, more accurately, hardened hearts. Nothing He said made a difference to them, they still tried to seize Him and stone Him. Jesus eluded their grasp.

10:40-42 Many Believed In Him

Many people believed on Jesus Christ there, because everything that John said about Him was true. What had John the Baptist said about Jesus?

Though John was several months older than Jesus, he said,

John 1:15 ..."He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me."

Jesus Christ is eternal. John also said of Him,

John 1:29 "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! "

Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God - the innocent sacrifice that took our death sentence upon Himself - that our sins would be forgiven.

Have you come to know yet that Jesus Christ is the eternal God who came to allow Himself to be killed in your place? All He asks is that you believe in Him, receive the free gift of salvation that He is offering to you.

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