Text: John 10: 22-42
Text verse: John 10:25
The Syrian prince Antiochus Epiphanes dedicated the temple of God to the Greek god Zeus and desecrated it by sacrificing a pig (unclean animal) on the altar. Therefore, Judas Maccabeus liberated the temple from the hand of this heathen and instituted this feast (the feast of temple dedication) in 165 BC. The festival was not prescribed by law but had great significance. With that, they commemorated pure religious practice.
John shows us here that Jesus used this opportunity to give this festival a deeper meaning. Jesus points out that He is the “pure” representative of God.
Jesus’ deeds and His miracles prove that He is the Messiah. He comes to cleanse us so that we can dedicate our lives to God with new devotion.
Jesus’ works were done in the name of the Father. This is proof that Jesus was sent by the Father and therefore it is not necessary for Jesus to give them any other proof (also see v. 38).
The Jews did not like Jesus’ statement and therefore they picked up stones to stone Him. They did not like it because they lived in the certainty that their own good deeds were pure enough before God. They did not think they needed someone to pay for their sins.
However, Jesus points out to them that their good deeds are not good enough at all. They need Him.
We also see this denial in our time. Unbelievers who think it is absurd that a god should die for you.
However, we also see it in our own lives. For example, we become angry when we are reprimanded about something that is wrong in our lives. We do not want to accept that we are wrong. We do not like anyone pointing us to our own impurity.
The reason for this is simple. We are still trying to save ourselves. We think, like the Pharisees, that our own good deeds are enough.
That is why it is important to understand what Jesus is teaching us here. We cannot save ourselves, because even our best works are like filthy rags before the Lord. It is only through the pure and perfect work of Jesus that we can be saved.
This is what his works mean to us. It is perfect, holy and great. He comes to break down the power that sin has over us. He heals the sick and touches the eyes of the blind so that they can see. Above all, He rises from the dead!
We can only get this purification, this break with death, in Christ.
Believe in Jesus and experience how He also makes you new from within.