Rejected by the Religious Leaders

In 1858 the Illinois legislature, using an obscure statute, sent Stephen A. Douglas to the U.S. Senate instead of Abraham Lincoln, although Lincoln had won the popular vote. When a sympathetic friend asked Lincoln how he felt, he said, “Like the boy who stubbed his toe: I am … More

Rejection

Bible scholars say that approximately two months had passed between the previous account and these events. The “feast of the dedication” (Hanukkah) (v. 22) takes place in December, which is near the time when we celebrate our Christmas. This feast celebrates the rededication of the temple by Judas Maccabeaus in 164 B.C., after it had been desecrated by the Romans. The leaders surrounded Jesus in the Temple so that He would have to stop and listen to them (vv. 21-23). They had decided that it was time for a “showdown.” They said; “If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly” (v.24). Jesus made a statement that He knew would only give these religious leaders more reason to oppose Him (vv. 25-29). It was the “plain answer” they had asked for. “I and my Father are one” (v. 30).

 The Jews were still confronting Jesus about what He said! Christ pointed out to them that they were not “of His sheep” and therefore could not believe. At this point He gives a beautiful description of true Christians who are His sheep. Sheep are a beautiful illustration of the characteristics of Christians: Sheep are clean animals, just as Christians have been cleansed from their sin. Sheep flock together, and so do true believers. Sheep are harmless, and Christians should be blameless and harmless. Sheep are prone to wander and so are we! Sheep need a shepherd for protection, guidance, and food; and we need Christ for spiritual protection, daily guidance, and spiritual food. Sheep are useful and productive; so are true Christians. Finally, sheep were used for sacrifices; and Christians are willing to yield themselves to Christ as “living sacrifices” (Rom. 12:1).

Application

Lord, help me to see things from your prospective and not mine.

John 10:22-30 (English Standard Version)

At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon. So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly." Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name bear witness about me, but you do not believe because you are not part of my flock. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one."

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