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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

John 10

 

 

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Verses 22-42

Jesus Testifies of His Deity: His Works - John 10:22-42 gives us Jesus' testimony of His deity based upon His works, which refers to His miracles in the previous passages of John's Gospel. Jesus makes five references to His works ( John 10:25; John 10:32; John 10:37-38) in this passage by opening His testimony with a reference to these works ( John 10:25).

John 10:22 And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter.

John 10:22Comments- The Feast of Dedication and the Feast of Purim were the two Jewish feasts instituted after Israel's return from the Babylonian Captivity. The Feast of Dedication, also called Hanukkah, or the Feast of Lights, commemorates the restoration of the Temple services by Judas Maccabeus after it had been desecrated by Antiochus Epiphanes. 221] This feast was celebrated for eight days, commencing on the 25th day of the ninth Jewish month (December). 222] Josephus explains the origin of this feast, saying, "Now Judas celebrated the festival of the restoration of the sacrifices of the temple for eight days; and omitted no sort of pleasures thereon: but he feasted them upon very rich and splendid sacrifices; and he honored God, and delighted them, by hymns and psalms. Nay, they were so very glad at the revival of their customs, when after a long time of intermission, they unexpectedly had regained the freedom of their worship, that they made it a law for their posterity, that they should keep a festival, on account of the restoration of their temple worship, for eight days. And from that time to this we celebrate this festival, and call it Lights. I suppose the reason was, because this liberty beyond our hopes appeared to us; and that thence was the name given to that festival." (Antiquities 1277)

221] Andreas J. Ksterberger, John , in Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2004), 309.

222] Ella Davis Isaacs, "Feast of Dedication," in International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. James Orr (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, c 1915, 1939), in The Sword Project, v 1511 [CD-ROM] (Temple, AZ: CrossWire Bible Society, 1990-2008); R. F. Youngblood, F. F. Bruce, R. K. Harrison, and Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nelson"s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, rev. ed. (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1995), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), "Feasts and Festivals: Feast of Dedication."

John 10:22 is the only mention in the Holy Scriptures of the Feast of Dedication.

John 10:23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon"s porch.

John 10:23Comments - The six feast sections of John's Gospel ( John 2:1 to John 11:54) have distinct transitional statements regarding Jesus journeying to a Jewish feast and retreating after manifesting Himself as the Son of God ( John 2:2; John 2:12; John 5:1; John 6:1; John 7:1-9; John 10:23). The seventh miracle of the Resurrection also begins with a similar statement of Jesus arriving at a feast ( John 11:55 to John 12:1).

John 10:23Comments- Solomon's porch is mentioned three times in the Scriptures ( John 10:23, Acts 3:11; Acts 5:12). W. Shaw Caldecott describes this structure, saying, "In architecture a ‘porch' is strictly an exterior structure forming a covered approach to the entrance of a building; a ‘portico' is an ambulatory, consisting of a roof supported by columns placed at regular intervals--a roofed colonnade. The portico bearing Solomon"s name was that running along the eastern wall in the Court of the Gentiles of Herod"s temple." 223]

223] W. Shaw Caldecott, "Porch, Portico, Solomon's," in International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. James Orr (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, c 1915, 1939), in The Sword Project, v 1511 [CD-ROM] (Temple, AZ: CrossWire Bible Society, 1990-2008).

Acts 3:11, "And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John , all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon"s, greatly wondering."

Acts 5:12, "And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon"s porch."

John 10:24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.

John 10:24Comments- During the Feast of Dedication, emphasis is placed upon the perseverance of our faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God. For example, this section in John's Gospel opens with the Jews saying to Jesus, "How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly." ( John 10:24). Thus, the Jews were not willing to endure Jesus' season of ministry as He repeatedly worked miracles and used those opportunities to declare Himself as the Son of God. In contrast, Martha makes a statement that reflects true, persevering faith, saying to Jesus, "Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee." ( John 11:21-22)

John 10:25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father"s name, they bear witness of me.

John 10:25Comments - Within the context of the Gospel of John , the miracles that Jesus wrought were accompanied by the testimony of Jesus Christ declaring Himself as the Son of God, with each miracle reflecting a particular aspect of His deity. Thus, in John 10:25 Jesus refers to His miracles as the supporting testimony of His deity.

We also will do greater works ( John 14:12-13). Saving souls is indeed a greater work, but, in preaching the Gospel and in bringing souls to Jesus, God has chosen to confirm His Gospel with signs and wonders ( Mark 16:17-20 and Hebrews 2:4). Jesus tells the Jews in this verse that the miracles are a witness to the truth of His message, but they did not hear (understand or perceive) what He was saying (see verse 27). God"s sheep hear His voice.

John 14:12-13, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son."

Mark 16:17, "And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;"

Mark 16:20, "And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen."

Hebrews 2:4, "God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?"

John 10:26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.

John 10:26Comments- John 10:26 gives the reason for the unbelief of the Jews, explaining that these individuals were not of Jesus' flock.

John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

John 10:27 — "My sheep hear my voice" - Comments- The sheep that were of Jesus' flock have an open heart to hear and believe the Word of God. Jesus was addressing Jews whose hearts were hardened.

John 10:27 — "and they follow me" - That Isaiah , "they obey me."

John 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

John 10:28 — "and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand" - Comments- This phrase is an example of poetic Hebrew parallelism, found often throughout the Gospel of John.

John 10:29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father"s hand.

John 10:29Scripture Reference- A similar verse is found in 1 Corinthians 10:13, "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."

John 10:33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a Prayer of Manasseh , makest thyself God.

John 10:33 — "makest thyself God" - Scripture Reference- Note John 5:18, "Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God."

John 10:34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?

John 10:34Comments- In John 10:34 Jesus quotes from Psalm 82:6, "I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High." This is the only time Psalm 82:6 is quoted in the New Testament.

Why was the book of Psalm called the law in this passage; perhaps because all of the books written in the Old Testament were written under the dispensation of the Mosaic Law. The book of Psalm points to the Mosaic Law often as representing God"s ways of righteous. The books of the Old Testament describe the living out of the Law in the nation of Israel. Thus, the Law is used in its broadest means in John 10:34 to refer to all of the Old Testament.

John 10:39Comments- John tells us that on at least four occasions Jesus withdrew Himself in order to avoid a conflict with the Jews.

John 5:13, "And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place."

John 8:59, "Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by."

John 10:39, "Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand,"

John 12:36, "While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them."

Jesus faced similar wrath from the people of Nazareth in the beginning of His public ministry.

Luke 4:28-29, "And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong."

Jesus knew that His time was not yet, and so He deliberately escaped.

John 7:30, "Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come."

John 8:20, "These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come."

However, when His time had come, He willingly gave Himself over into the hands of man.

John 10:40 And went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John at first baptized; and there he abode.

John 10:40Comments - John the Baptist was first baptizing people in Bethany (Bethabara) beyond Jordan) ( John 1:28).

John 1:28, "These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing."

John 10:41 And many resorted unto him, and said, John did no miracle: but all things that John spake of this man were true.

John 10:42 And many believed on him there.


Verses 22-57

The Sixth Miracle (Perseverance) (Jesus Testifies that He is the Source of Man's Future Hope of the Resurrection) - John 10:22 to John 11-57 records the sixth miracle of Jesus Christ that was used to bear witness of His deity, which was the raising of Lazarus from the dead. This miracle is unique to John's Gospel, not being recorded in the Synoptics. During the Feast of Dedication, emphasis is placed upon the perseverance of our faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God. For example, this section in John's Gospel opens with the Jews saying to Jesus, "How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly." ( John 10:24). Thus, the Jews were not willing to endure Jesus' season of ministry as He repeatedly worked miracles and used those opportunities to declare Himself as the Son of God. In contrast, Martha makes a statement that reflects true, persevering faith, saying to Jesus, "Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee." ( John 11:21-22) Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead and declares Himself as the "Resurrection and the Life" for all mankind ( John 11:25), revealing man's need to persevere until his how glorification at his resurrection in his redemptive journey ( John 10:22 to John 11:54). This section in John's Gospel begins with Jesus' testimony of His deity based upon His works and miracles ( John 10:22-38). After the transition passage typical of each section in which Jesus withdraws Himself ( John 10:39-42), He performs the sixth miracle of the raising of Lazarus from the dead ( John 11:1-27). John usually records Jesus' testimony of His deity in relation to a miracle after performing this work. However, in this passage Jesus testifies of His deity as the Resurrection and the Life immediately before raising Lazarus from the dead ( John 11:1-27). He then performs this miracle ( John 11:28-44).

This miracle testifies of the part of our spiritual journey called perseverance. In this story of the raising of Lazarus we see Mary and Martha anxiously awaiting the return of Jesus Christ to their home so that their brother would not die. Jesus deliberately delayed His coming after hearing the news of this sickness so that He could perform this particular miracle of the resurrection of the dead so that they might believe in Him. Jesus waited until Lazarus had died so that He could testify that He Himself is the Resurrection and the Life. We, too, anxiously await the return of our Lord and Saviour, who will resurrect those who are dead in Christ and change our mortal bodies into immortality. It is through Christ we, too, will partake of our resurrection and eternal glorification. This miracle of the resurrection reflects the believer's future hope of glorification with the Father in Heaven. Our response to this sixth miracle is to place our hope in a future resurrection and eternal life as a result of our faith in Jesus Christ. If we believe in Jesus as the Son of God, we will put our hope in Him for our future resurrection and eternal glorification with Him in Heaven.

Outline- Here is a suggested outline:

1. Jesus Testifies of His Deity (His Works) — John 10:22-42

2. The Sixth Miracle (Testimony of Lazarus) — John 11:1-54

a. Jesus Testifies of His Deity (Resurrection & Life) — John 11:1-27

b. The Raising of Lazarus — John 11:28-44

c. The Plot to Kill Jesus — John 11:45-54

This Miracle Led to Jesus' Arrest and Crucifixion- Because the raising of Lazarus was performed in Bethany, which was close to Jerusalem, and because the news of this miracle spread rapidly among the people, the city of Jerusalem was stirred. They would soon receive Him in His Triumphant Entry as a "king," but the Jewish leaders decide that this miracle is too much for them to bear because of the large amount of people who believed in Him as a result. They then intensified their efforts to put Him to death and found justification for themselves for fear of the Romans ( John 11:45-54). At this point, they began to organize his arrest. Thus, this miracle precipitated the death of Jesus.

Comparison of Martha and Mary - The story of Lazarus being raised from the dead contrasts the reactions of Martha and Mary as they met Jesus. While Martha went out and met Him ( John 11:20), Mary saw Him and fell down at his feet ( John 11:32). It was Mary who first came to Jesus as a sinner and anointed His feet with oil and wiped them with her hair ( Luke 7:36-50). Therefore, she seems to respond to Jesus with deeper emotion because she was forgiven of much sin. Also, both said the same thing to Jesus, "Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died." ( John 11:21; John 11:32)

 


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on John 10:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/john-10.html. 2013.

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