Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm19991208.htm
JOHN: TRIUMPHING IN LIFE'S MOST CRITICAL ISSUE
Part III: Presentation Of The Messenger Of Salvation
C. Christ's Credentials Revealed In Confrontations With Men
13. Christ's Credibility Via The CLARITY Of His Credentials' Presentation
Lesson: Jesus was NOT guilty for His hearer's unbelief due to a lack of clarity on HIS part: His claims were CLEAR by setting, deed and word, so the cause for unbelief came from His HEARERS.
- If Jesus is Messiah and God as He claimed, and Israel's leaders failed to receive Him as such, one might suggest Jesus failed to be clear enough in His presentation to these leaders to elicit their faith!
- Similarly, even today those who teach the truth can face blame or feel guilt for why their hearers do not respond to the truth! The implication is they are not clear and hence are guilty of letting the hearer down.
- John 10:22-42 tells us where the blame is to be placed for unbelief in such cases:
- Christ's Credibility Via The CLARITY Of His Credentials' Presentation, John 10:22-42:
- When Jesus attended the "feast of dedication" in John 10:22, the Jewish religious leaders surrounded Him and urged Him to state plainly if He was the Messiah, John 10:24. They implied Jesus was unclear!
- However, both the setting and Christ's response to them revealed the problem lay with His hearers:
- The setting signaled the great CLARITY of Christ, the Messiah's testimony to God's truth!
- The "feast of dedication" marking the occasion was Hanukkah, a celebration instituted to observe the restoration of the temple from Antiochus Epiphanes' desecration, Ryr. St. Bib., KJV ftn. to Jn. 10:22
- This celebration was closely linked with the fall festival of the Feast of Tabernacles: (a) originally, the eight days of Hanukkah were not begun (as the story goes) because a lamp allegedly burned miraculously for 8 days on 1 day's worth of oil, but it started after the pattern of the Feast of Tabernacles due to the close proximity of both feasts on the Jewish calendar, Bibliotheca Sacra, "Jesus' Celebration of Hanukkah in John 10," by Jerry R. Lancaster and R. Larry Overstreet, July-Sept., 1995, p. 330-331. (b) Accordingly, the emphasis on lighting in Hanukkah borrowed the Feast of Tabernacle's emphasis where Messiah was pictured as the divine Light to the nations, Ibid.
- Well, Jesus had appropriately presented Himself as the Light of the nations at the recent Feast of Tabernacles in John 7:37a with 8:12 in view of Isaiah 9:1-2. Accordingly, His giving the blind man sight along with spiritual INSIGHT followed by His discussion on His "sheep" (Jn. 10:1-18) at that feast is naturally followed by His continued discussion on "sheep" at Hanukkah in John 10:22, 26.
- Accordingly, the Hanukkah feast setting emphasized Christ's clarity ("Light") of His Father's truth!
- Further, the response of Christ to the question about his clarity shows the error lay with His hearers:
- Continuing as the "Light of the world" from the Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus used His former "sheep" theme of that Feast and revealed His questioners did not believe and so did not hear Him, 25a, 26.
- Besides, the works Jesus performed in fulfillment of Messianic prophecy (i.e., healing the blind man of John 9 in view of Isaiah 35:4-6) bore witness that His claims as Messiah and divinity were true.
- Were the hearers believers, Jesus would have secured their persuasions regarding Christ's claims: (a) Christ's true believers ("sheep") hear what He says (10:27a), (b) Christ knows them (10:27b), and (c) true believers follow Him (10:27c). (d) He gives these true "sheep" eternal life (10:28) so that (e) they cannot cease being His "sheep" and reject His identity as Messiah and God, Jn. 10:28b-30.
- When the hearers took up stones to execute Jesus with the charge of blasphemy in His claiming deity with the Father, Jesus again urged them repeatedly to "see" His identity in His miracles, Jn. 10:31-38.
- When these leaders stoutly refused to pay attention even to Christ's works, Jesus withdrew from them to cross the Jordan where people who did observe His miracles appropriately believed in Him, Jn. 10:39-42.
Application: If a teacher is upright, the RESULTS of his effort lies WHOLLY with the HEARER, cf. Mtt. 13:18-23! As such, (1) the HEARER must take heed how he hears, for the degree of his attention will show up in life for all to see to his shame or honor (Mk. 4:21-25). (2) Such TEACHERS must not be self-incriminating because the hearer sins: it is the HEARER who is culpable before God!