THE GOOD WORKS OF CHRIST SUBSTANTIATE HIS CLAIM TO DEITY
(:22-23) INTRODUCTION: OCCASION / SETTING
A. (:22) Feast of Dedication
“At that time the Feast of the Dedication took place at Jerusalem.”
The Jews were celebrating a political victory and looking for another political savior to come along and bail them out. They were not in the proper mindset to receive the type of Messiah promised in the OT.
B. (:23) Jesus in the Temple
“It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple in the portico of Solomon.”
Stedman: That Feast, which we call by the much more familiar term “Hanukkah,” is celebrated when we Christians celebrate Christmas, in late December, so there is a gap in time between Verse 21 and Verse 22 of approximately three months duration. . .
Winter in Israel is the rainy season. The “portico of Solomon” was a large roofed-in enclosure supported by beautiful columns that filled one side of the temple arena. There, sheltered from the rain, our Lord resumed his teaching ministry during the Feast of Hanukkah. Hanukkah celebrates the purification and rededication of the temple after its defilement under the Syrian king, Antiochus Epiphanes, in the year 165 BC. The feast looks back on that dramatic, exciting period in Israel’s history when the Maccabee family revolted against Israel’s Syrian overlords. After a terrible time of murder and slaughter, and defilement of the temple courts by the offering of pigs on the altars of Judah, Judas Maccabeus and his sons drove out the Syrians, reclaimed the temple for the Lord and dedicated it anew. That event is celebrated down to this day in the Feast of Hanukkah.
I. (:24-30) THE SAVING WORKS OF SOVEREIGN GRACE BEAR TESTIMONY TO THE DEITY OF CHRIST
A. (:24-26) No Type of Witness Can Sway the Minds and Hearts of the NonElect
1. (:24) The Witness of Christ Fell on Deaf Ears
“The Jews therefore gathered around Him, and were saying to Him, ‘How long will You keep us in suspense? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.’”
2. (:25) The Works of Christ Backed Up His Testimony (But Without Effect)
“Jesus answered them, ‘I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father’s name, these bear witness of Me.’”
Problem was not lack of revelation
3. (:26) Failure to Believe Can Only be Attributed to Exclusion from the Family of the Elect
“But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep.”
B. (:27-28) Five Aspects of the Saving Works of Sovereign Grace
The miracles (works) which Jesus did to point to Himself as the legitimate Messiah were all sign miracles of His greater works of Sovereign Grace.
1. Revelation and Illumination
“My sheep hear my voice”
Hear with recognition and understanding and commitment to obey.
What type of hunger do we have for the Word of God?
2. Intimate Loving Knowledge
“and I know them”
Are we truly abiding in Christ and seeking to draw closer to Him?
3. Effectual Leadership
“and they follow Me”
Where are we on the path of discipleship?
“and I give eternal life to them”
Why Present tense here … keeps on giving …
5. Eternal Preservation
“and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand.”
C. (:29-30) The Deity of Christ Demonstrated in His Union with the Father
1. (:29) Family Solidarity
a. Family Relationship
b. Family Gift Giving
“who has given them to Me”
c. Family Majesty
“is greater than all”
d. Family Sovereignty
“and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.”
2. (:30) Supreme Claim to Deity
“I and the Father are one.”
II. (:31-39) IRONY: UNDERSTANDING CHRIST’S CLAIM TO DEITY GENERATES HOSTILITY INSTEAD OF FAITH IN THE SELF RIGHTEOUS TRADITIONALISTS
A. (:31-33) Irony: Sinful Men Trying to Stone the God of Good Works
“The Jews took up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, ‘I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?’ The Jews answered Him, ‘For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.’”
B. (:34-36) Irony: The Experts in the OT Have the Law Thrown in Their Face
“Jesus answered them, Has it not been written in your Law, I said, You are gods? If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), do you say of Him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, You are blaspheming, because I said, ‘I am the Son of God?”
Deffinbaugh: Can they not see what both our Lord and this psalm are saying? This psalm is not just a text Jesus has chosen to stump His adversaries. It is not a cute trick, which shames those who would pose trick questions to Messiah. He is the fulfillment of this psalm, as they are. They are the “gods” whom God is coming to judge. They are the “gods” who will die like men; He is the God who will die to save His sheep, only to rise again from the dead. This text says it all, but they cannot see it, for they are blind, while He is the light of the world. They cannot hear, for He is not their shepherd.
C. (:37-38) Irony: Good Works Alone Should be Sufficient Validation
“If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.”
D. (:39) Irony: The Angry Jewish Leaders Unable to Seize One Solitary Man
“Therefore they were seeking again to seize Him, and He eluded their grasp.”
A. (:40) Seclusion in the Company of John the Baptist
“And He went away again beyond the Jordan to the place where John was first baptizing, and he was staying there.”
B. (:41) Testimony of John the Baptist
“And many came to Him and were saying, ‘While John performed no sign, yet everything John said about this man was true.”
C. (:42) Response of Faith
“And many believed in Him there.”
Importance of repentance as a theme of teaching of Jesus which would be consistent with message of John the Baptist and would have been rejected by the self righteous legalistic Jewish leaders.