At the Feast of Dedication

The Feast of Dedication commemorated the rededication of the temple in 165 BC after the defeat of Antiochus Epiphanes (see ‘The New Testament World’). It was held about two months after the Feast of Tabernacles (cf. John 7:2) and was the Jews’ only winter festival (cf. John 10:22).

Many Jews felt it was time Jesus made a clear public statement that he was the Messiah. Jesus replied that his works were a clear enough statement, but most of the Jews refused to recognize them (John

10:22-26). Some, however, accepted him and followed him, and these were his true people. They had eternal life, and their eternal security was guaranteed by both Jesus and his heavenly Father, with whom he was inseparably united (John 10:27-30).

The Jews again burst into anger, claiming that Jesus was calling himself God. Jesus replied that in one Old Testament passage even Israel’s rulers were called ‘gods’, because of the God-given authority they exercised. How much more should the one who was united with the heavenly Father call himself God (John 10:31-36). But Jesus did not want the Jews to excuse their unbelief by arguing about words. The works that Jesus did were sufficient proof of his divine origin (John 10:37-38).

Once more the Jews tried to seize Jesus, but he escaped and left Jerusalem. This time he went across Jordan into Perea, where the people’s ready belief was in sharp contrast to the hardness of the people in Jerusalem (John 10:39-42).

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