Thursday 20 March 2014

John 10:22-42 - Hanukkah

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The Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah) commemorates the re-dedication of the Jerusalem Temple after the Maccabean revolt against Greek rule. It's also known as the Festival of Lights and takes place in winter time. Re-dedication marks the Temple as holy (set apart for Yahweh's purposes).

Jesus, the Son, is also holy and set apart for his Father's purposes. So at this time when he is in the Temple, the Jewish leaders quiz him about these purposes. Surely if he is the Messiah he will remove the pagans from the city and from the nation and restore Israel. Isn't that what the Messiah was supposed to do?

But Jesus just says that he has already told them he is the Messiah and they disbelieved him. The miracles he performs show clearly that he is the Messiah. He disowns them saying, 'You are not my sheep'; and he makes it abundantly clear again that his sheep hear his voice and are obedient and he gives them eternal life.

These religious leaders don't understand any of the things he says, but they are angered by his claim to be one with the Father. He slips from their grasp and returns to the far side of the Jordan where they are not able to pursue him. And many people who remembered John the baptist came to him and believed the very evidence the religious elite had failed to understand.

Once again we see how important it is to hear Jesus and to follow him. And we are reminded that people with strong religious thinking are unable to understand, let alone follow him [Tweet it!]. Jesus says who he is and provides evidence; our place is to believe him, follow him, obey him and become more and more like him.

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