Wednesday, April 6, 2011

John 10:22-42

Jesus Teaches Unbelievers

In this passage the writer, John, informs the reader of the date and place of Christ’s teaching encounter with a group of interested Jews. The date was the Festival of Lights or Hanukkah, which occurred yearly in the month of December. The place of the gathering was the Jewish holy Temple in a section called Solomon's Porch. It was at this location that rabbis would stroll along with students as they expounded important teachings of faith and doctrine.
As Jesus strolled along through the magnificent 40 feet tall colonnades that decorated this fascinating Temple precinct, interested Jewish believers came to him and asked, "How long are you going to keep us in suspense? Tell us plainly are you God's Anointed One?" Undoubtedly, the question was motivated by at least two different attitudes. One was a genuine desire to know if Jesus was the Messiah. The other, without question, was motivated by a desire to entice Christ to claim divinity so they could trap him into making a statement that would later be used as a charge of blasphemy. Jesus responded that he had already informed them of his identity, but it is not clear that he explained his divinity publicly with vernacular that could be understood by casual listeners.
It is certain that Jesus did indicate his identity with his numerous divine exploits. In fact, in addition to his anointed teachings, every one of Jesus' miracles was a proclamation that he was truly the Messiah. When Jesus spoke, his words revealed an enormous authority that was unmistakably from a divine source. Thus, in words and deeds Jesus declared that he was the living Messiah who had come to the earth to dwell among humanity.
Jesus then declared to the group of Jews that he and the Father were one. Many of those listening interpreted this statement as a form of blasphemy, and they began collecting stones to assassinate him on the spot. Before they could begin slaying him Jesus interjected, "… If you do not believe me, believe my works that you may know and recognize that the Father is in me and I am in the Father." In other words, it is easy to argue about statements, but it is impossible to debate the fact that blind eyes were made to see, ears of the deaf were opened, and lame people were enabled to walk and dance.
Jesus did not base his claims only on what he said, but the truth of his divinity relied on his actions in the presence of the world’s inhabitants. The example of Jesus' life is significant for everyone throughout the ages. Every true Christian must go beyond expressions of Christian philosophy and be able to demonstrate their faith by caring for the sick, feeding the hungry, and comforting the sorrowful.

- Terry Minter