12/26/08

... being a man, make Yourself out to be God.

Jesus during the Feast of Dedication (John 10:22-42)


It was winter in Jerusalem and Jesus was walking in the Temple during Chanukah. The Jewish Leaders had gathered around Him to ply Him with questions. One Rabbi said, If You are the Moshiach, tell us plainly? Of course this question was dishonest. They had already made up their minds concerning Jesus. Those convinced against their will are of the same opinion still. Jesus than tell them about the nature of His sheep. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish (John 10:27,28). The same nation the Prophet Ezekiel once declared: As for you, My sheep, the sheep of My pasture, you are men, and I am your God, declares the Lord God (Ez. 34:31). From Jesus point of view these religious leaders were not truly following Torah (see Romans 9:6). Jesus than makes one of the most incredible statements of his entire ministry on earth: I and the Father are one. Sort of a Christological Shema. The leaders clearly understood the import of this proclamation. They claimed that Jesus is claiming to be God. That was precisely His point. The charge of blasphemy was most heinous. If Jesus was not God than He would have immediately rebuked the religious leaders for such an appellation. God is not a man, that He should lie (Num. 23:19a) so wrote Moses. The Temple leaders than pick up stones in a vain attempt to destroy Jesus before his hour has come.




I was thinking about Chanukah (Feast of Dedication) and how Jesus revealed his deity during this feast. It was about two hundred years earlier that Antiochus IV had erected a statue of the Greek God, Zeus inside the sacred precincts of the Temple. This abominable act prompted the Jews to rise up and overthrow their Greek oppressors. I can not help but think that the religious leaders of the day must of had this story in their minds when dealing the Jesus. Here was another 'god' in the Temple setting Himself up as divine in our most sacred place. Stoning was a fitting punishment. Nevertheless, the stone do not leave the hands and Jesus once again confounds them with is answers. Therefore, they were seeking again to seize Him, and He eluded their grasp (John 10:39). He eluded their grasp physically, and more importantly, spiritually.



Zeus is as dead at the stone used to represent him. Jesus continues to live in Heaven and in the hearts and minds of millions. Shalom



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