Thursday 03 August 2017

Bible Book:

“If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me.” (v. 37)

John 10:22-42 Thursday 3 August 2017

Psalm: Psalm 48


The writer of John's Gospel here returns to the ongoinginterrogation of Jesus by the Jews, repeating some of theaccusations, questions and answers that featured in previouschapters. Arguably, this passage sums up the basic conflict betweenJesus and those who oppose him, and well as his response to theircharges. The Jews want a direct answer to the pressing question ofwho Jesus is, but Jesus' reply indicates that he has been tellingthem all along. The only ones who can hear the answer to thequestion, Jesus repeats, are the sheep who recognise his voice. Itis up to those asking the question to make up their minds abouthim.

The setting for this conversation is significant. Jesus iswalking in the temple during the festival of the Dedication, afeast that commemorated the cleansing and rededication of thetemple. These celebrations were associated with hopes ofdeliverance from those who oppressed Israel and with hopes of theblessings of the long-promised messianic age. Jesus is portrayed asappropriating this symbolism with reference to himself. There aremany associations in the Gospel between Jesus and the temple and weare aware that, like the temple, Jesus now faces destruction anddesecration. The passage explores the idea that Jesus and thesalvation he brings are the fulfilment of these hopes and that heis the new place of God's presence. The point is underlined andexpanded by Jesus' central claim that "the Father and I are one"(v. 30).

Readers are left with the sense that Jesus has said all he canin response to the questions consistently fired at him by the Jews.He refers them to his actions to testify to his words, andindicates that it is now for them to decide. Is this God's work?Are these actions only possible because they are carried out in thename (with the power and authority) of the Father? Is the glory ofGod revealed? Readers, too, are invited to make up their minds.

To Ponder

  • Who is Jesus? It is a question that occurs again and againduring our lives, not just in the Bible? How do you respond to thequestion at the moment?
  • Are there particular points in your life where you have had to'make up your mind' about Jesus? What has helped you decide?
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