This story tells us when and where:
Feast of Dedication
– not one of 7 official festivals
– was est. by Judas Macadius 165BC to commemorate the cleaning of the temple, after king of Syria defiled it by sacrificing pigs. 3 years of pollution. everything was cleaned.
– Hanuka – feast of lights
Where? Solomon’s Colonnade
– roofed porches with tall columns, facing inward with long walkways.
– believed to rest on part of original temple
– common place for meeting and teaching
very clear historical fact
(In God’s providence, we also cleaned “the temple” yesterday…)
It was winter, Jesus was there, Jews gathered.
“Tell us plainly – are you the Christ?”
“The miracles I do in His name speak for me.”
Jews challenged him for the wrong reasons.
Wanted clear, direct, plain, immediate explanation.
Jesus never plainly told Jews in Jerusalem.
– for religious leaders, “Christ” meant military/political leader/liberator – was thought to est. earthly kingdom
– also, they wanted to arrest him for blaspheming.
– if they arrested him, it would ruin them, not Jesus
– so Jesus wisely chose not to
But, though he didn’t show directly, he constantly showed himself indirectly, through miracles, lifestyle, prophecy fulfillment, teaching.
When man recognized him as Christ, he also said “True.” (Ex: Chp 4 – Samaritan woman)
Another time, Jesus asked, “who am I to you?” Peter: “You are the Christ.” Jesus: “Blessed are you! Father God revealed this to you. I will build MY church on you.”
Not YOUR church, but HIS church, JESUS’ church
This is the unity of Christ’s church.
v. 26-7 “You are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice.”
Are you listening to Jesus’ voice all the time?
v. 26 – one short sentence has MANY messages
#1 Children of God because we believe in Jesus?
#2 We believe in Jesus because we are children of God?
BOTH are right.
From God’s standpoint #2
From man’s standpoint #1
Grace is before faith.
We are saved BY grace (Jesus on the cross) THROUGH faith.
Grace = ground
Faith = root
Our faith is rootless without grace.
Christian life =
we go forward by faith
everytime we look backward, we stepped by grace
We woke up by faith, came to church by faith, worship by faith
But now, looking back, every step we took was by grace (looking back we see we were blessed by grace the whole way)
ALL we have done by faith
has been done by God’s grace.
We can show we are Jesus’ sheep by listening to his voice, his word.
This is like a math formula:
How can we believe in God = believe in Jesus = believe his word
Obey? obey Jesus? obey Word
Walk with God? Walk with Jesus? Walk in the Word.
How can I __(x)__ God?
by __(x)___ Jesus.
How can I __(x)___ Jesus?
by __(x)___ His Word.
This word was given to you, is near you, is IN you.
“Let the word of God dwell in you RICHLY…”
Joshua 1:8 “Do not let (the word of God) depart from your mouth. Meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”
Super soccer star interview:
Interviewer: “What’s your secret?”
Star: “My life is soccer.”
I: “What’s meaning?” S: “I play, exercise, think, speak, listen, watch, learn, teach, dream, ALL about soccer!”
…How’s our passion for God’s word?
God, let it be MORE than the Star’s passion for soccer.
Star’s passion is finite.
Our passion WILL BE eternal.
Blessing with Jesus’ promise.
“I and the Father are one.” = UNITY, not identity
…But ALWAYS remain in Jesus’ hand, in the Father’s hand.
We are VERY safe in Him,
because of HIS power, not ours
because of HIS faithfulness, not ours,
because of HIS holding, not ours,
because of HIS good works, not ours.
Jesus = “I GIVE you eternal life. NO ONE can snatch you out of my hand. NO ONE can snatch you out of my Father’s hand. We are in unity in keeping you, in holding you.”
This is the PROMISE.
Listen to His voice, believe His voice, trust His voice.
He will NEVER disappoint you.