The Gospel of John, The Period of Conflict - The Clash of Belief and Unbelief, The argument on Solomon's porch, Part XXXVI, John 10:22-27 - Lesson 83
Read Verses John 10:22-30 for review: And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch. Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one.
Verse 22 begins a new section of this chapter, but it is closely related to that which has gone on before concerning the Good Shepherd.
We find him attending a festival of Israel; this time the feast of the dedication, a winter festival.
This is the feast or festival that is called Hanukkah.
It began on the twenty‑fifth day of Kislev (14 Dec.) and lasted eight days.
Because a candle was lighted each successive day until a total of eight candles were lit it is referred to as the Feast of Lights
The festival commemorates the time, when Temple worship was reinstituted after the victories of Judas Maccabeus in 167 B.C.
The temple had been polluted by the idolatries of Antiochus Epiphanes. and temple worship had been interrupted for three years.
Since this feast took place in winter in cannot be for the dedication of Solomon's temple which took place in harvest time, nor could it be the dedication of Nehemiah's temple which took place in the spring.
John 10:22,23, And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch.
The fact that John records the season and the festival is significant.
Jesus is about to conclude his public ministry and enter his private ministry.
From this point on the Lord Jesus discourses no more before the religious leaders.
This was their day of visitation and they knew him not.
Jeremiah 8:20 was being lived out in Israel.
The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.
Winter, cold stark, lonely winter.
It was time for Jesus Christ, the true temple, to dedicate himself to the mission before him.
He was heading to the cross as the only sacrifice satisfactory to the Father.
He had presented himself to Israel as their promised Messiah, and to offer himself as a sacrifice for sin.
What then remained?
He would now offer himself as a sacrifice to God.
It is the time of the true temple's dedication and his separation from the flock as the lamb of God.
Jesus, the true temple, walked in the temple made with hands in the part that was known as Solomon's porch.
It was a covered portico or colonnade which ran along the east side of the outer court of Herod's temple.
Everyone loves a porch and this was no different. It was a popular place. It was winter and a good sheltered place to walk.
John 10:24, Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.
This is the question of unbelief. How long dost thou make us to doubt?
Were they intimating that Jesus was the cause of their doubt?
With all the evidence that Jesus has presented to them, what more do they want?
They have seen his miracles, they have seen him heal the sick, open the eyes of the blind, and feed the hungry.
When a person is an unbeliever there is nothing to convince him to be a believer.
If he told them that he was the Christ would they have believed his word?
If you think you can do so look at the example presented here.
You cannot cause a goat to be a sheep!
And Jesus instructs them in this in the following verses.
John 10:25, Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me.
Jesus had told them that he was the Son of man and that the Father had given him authority to execute judgment.
He had told them that he was the one of whom Moses wrote.
He had told them that he was the living bread that had come down from heaven.
He had told them that Abraham had rejoiced to see his day.
And in addition to what he had told him his works bore witness to his messianic office.
They had seen the credentials of the Messiah displayed in his works.
They had seen the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers cleansed, the deaf hearing, the dead raised, and had heard his preaching to the poor.
Haven't they read Isaiah 35?
This man met all the qualifications of the Messiah yet they refused to believe him.
John 10:26, But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.
This is clear.
Believing is done only by his sheep.
And since these Jews were not of his sheep they did not believe.
They were reprobates and their characters were revealed to Jesus Christ.
They were not part of God's elect.
They were faithless and unbelieving because they were goats.
They were not sheep!
A man only believes if he is one of the sheep of the shepherd.
He that is of God hears God's words:
They heard not because they were not of God:
They believed not because they were not his sheep.
They were numbered among the reprobates.
John 10:27, My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
Why do the shepherd's sheep hear the shepherd's voice?
Because the hearing ear and the seeing eye, the Lord has made even both of them.
The Lord imparts to them the capacity to hear.
Each sheep hears the voice of the shepherd because the shepherd has made his sheep to hear.
When the Lord says to come up hither at the rapture only his sheep will hear his voice and only his sheep will respond, even those in the grave.
Even the grave does not keep the sheep from hearing.
and I know them, and they follow me:
Each of the sheep have been given to the shepherd by the Father and the shepherd values them highly.
He knows each one personally, he knows each affectionately and each one follows him.
They follow the example he left them, they obey his commandments.
They are attracted to his excellent person, they follow him to know him better