Bible verses to build you life on

Jesus said: “… whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock…” ~ Matthew 7:24


John 10 - Part 6


The Opposition at the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem
(vs.  22-29)
22Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter. 23And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon’s porch. 24Then the Jews surrounded Him and said to Him, “How long do You keep us in doubt? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.”  25Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. 26But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. 27My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. 30I and My Father are one.

*                  If you don’t know much about the Jewish holiday called Hanukkah, also written Chanukkah, which literally means ‘Festival of lights’ – it is a fascinating little study! (In 2007, Hanukkah started on December 4th and went on until the 11th.) This holiday was started because of some amazing, miraculous events around165 BC, during the 400 ‘silent years’ - after the prophets (God’s spokesmen), but before when Jesus put on flesh and dwelt among us. In that time, one of the Grecian [Greek] empire rulers tried to force the pagan Greek culture on the Jewish people, The final straw was caused by this Greek pagan ruler, named Antiochus IV (a.k.a. ‘Antiochus Epiphanes’, which literally means that he is a god – or at least he liked to think of himself as one.) Antiochus decided that he would force the Jewish people to worship him as god, and he even went so far as to defile the temple. But, God in His amazing timing, raised up a humble little family – the Maccabees, to stand up and overthrow this tyrant’s rule over them. So, God helped this small group of Jews to fight off and drive off huge armies of Greek warriors, and then the land of Israel became peaceful for a time. Amazing events! But the most amazing part was what happened when the Jewish people were trying to get the Temple usable again. (The Greek tyrant had defiled the temple in a number of ways, one of them being that he sacrificed a pig on the altar. For more info on this, check out John MacArthur’s notes or Pastor Chuck Missler’s notes on the Jewish background here.) So, the Jews had the huge task ahead of them – cleansing the temple, and following God’s process (laid out in the Torah) of cleansing the temple and sanctifying it, but they also had one other problem: they only had 1 day’s worth of olive oil for the lamps in the temple (a necessary part in the process of cleansing the temple) and they needed a total of 8 days worth of oil. So, they prayed, asked for God’s help, and got busy cleansing the temple and removing the junk that the Greek tyrant had left in there. The amazing thing is that the 1-day’s oil supply lasted 8 days! God in His kindness performed this miracle for them! It reminds me of other miracles in the Bible similar to this: like the oil that didn’t run out for the widow with whom Elijah was staying with (1st Kings 17:1-16), and the oil jar that miraculously continued to run, providing a widow with enough money to pay off her debts (2nd Kings 4:1-8). One other highlight on this story and Jewish holiday celebration - we know that Jesus is the “Light of the world” (John 8:12) and what a wonderful opportunity to share about the Light of the World in a dark, selfish world, and to the Jewish people whom the world treats with such hatred… So, may God help us and teach us how to reach out to them!

*                  So, Jesus allowed them to think a while, but some time later, He went back into Jerusalem for one of their feasts. It was probably cold, but there was obviously one thing on the minds of the Jewish people, because when they saw Jesus, they surrounded Him and asked Him to tell them for sure if He was their promised Messiah. This poor, enslaved people had been waiting centuries for their promised Messiah. And now they were enslaved by the cruel and abusive Romans. So, if Jesus was their Messiah, they thought He would gather an army, defeat the Romans and restore the kingdom of Israel and restore peace on the earth. Little did they know that He came for something much more important than their temporary pleasure, comfort or peace – He came to be their sacrifice and ours – Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” I hope that explains why He didn’t explain it so clearly, He wanted them to believe on Him and so He could rule in their hearts – not make Him their earthly Leader.

*                  Pastor John MacArthur also notes that this particular group of Jews was not asking a friendly question, but rather looking for an opportunity to falsely accuse Jesus and get rid of Him. He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” (Isaiah 53:3)


*                  Words to note: “But you do not believe in Me because you are not of My sheep.” That is the universal problem – people refuse to believe in Him. We ought to notice the constant theme of God’s Word - there are only two groups: those who accept Jesus and those who reject Him.

*                  And a little side-note: people aren’t sent to Hell and everlasting punishment because they have not accepted Jesus. People are sent to Hell because they have broken God’s Law and as Romans 6:23 says, “The wages of sin is death [separation from God forever]; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” That is a very important point that has confused some people we have talked with.