19 Therefore there was a division again among the Jews because of these sayings. 20 And many of them said, "He has a demon and is mad. Why do you listen to Him?" 21 Others said, "These are not the words of one who has a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?" 22 Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter. 23 And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon's porch. 24 Then the Jews surrounded Him and said to Him, "How long do You keep us in doubt? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly." 25 Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father's name, they bear witness of Me. 26 But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. 27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand. 30 I and My Father are one." 31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. 32 Jesus answered them, "Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?" 33 The Jews answered Him, saying, "For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God." 34 Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your law, 'I said, "You are gods" '? 35 If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), 36 do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, 'You are blaspheming,' because I said, 'I am the Son of God'? 37 If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; 38 but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him." 39 Therefore they sought again to seize Him, but He escaped out of their hand. 40 And He went away again beyond the Jordan to the place where John was baptizing at first, and there He stayed. 41 Then many came to Him and said, "John performed no sign, but all the things that John spoke about this Man were true." 42 And many believed in Him there.
Questions to Consider:
v.19 The Jews were continuing to debate among themselves concerning the identity of Jesus. v.20 Some accused Jesus of being deranged and possessed by a demon. v.21 Others defended Him with logic. "These are not the words of one who has a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?"
Jesus visited the temple and He was immediately surrounded by the Jews. They said to Him, "If You are the Christ, tell us plainly." The question that is often asked is this: "Why didn't Jesus just answer them by affirming that He was indeed the Christ?" I am sure that you have all heard of Miranda Rights. These are the rights of a criminal, and as they are being arrested these rights are read to them: "You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?"
Jesus knew what was in the heart of the Jews who were questioning them. He knew that they were rejecting Him in spite of the miracles. He also knew that any word from Him that affirmed that He was the Christ would be held against Him. His time had not yet arrived, so He could not afford to give His antagonists anything that could be held against Him in the Jewish courts.
Jesus answered them with great intellectual dexterity. v.25 "The works that I do in My Father's name, they bear witness of Me." Jesus then takes it a step further. v.26 "You do not believe, because you are not of My sheep." Unlike the sheep that belonged to Jesus, there were those among the Jews who could not hear Jesus' voice. Which means that they could not discern the truth that was staring them in the face. They were spiritually blind.
Jesus affirms a number of truths concerning His relationship to His sheep. 1) The sheep hear His voice. 2) The sheep follow Him. 3) The sheep are given eternal life. 4) No one can steal the sheep from His hand. 5) The Father gave the sheep to the Son and no one can snatch them from the Father's hand.
Jesus ends with this declaration: v.30 "I and My Father are one." The Jews took up stones to stone Him. Jesus caused them to stand down by asking them: v.32 "For which of the good works do you stone Me?"
The Jews were not stoning Jesus for His good works, but for Jesus' words which they translated to be blasphemy. Jesus' words indeed amounted to blasphemy in their eyes; and it would have been blasphemy if Jesus had not been telling the truth.
Jesus tried to help them see the error in their logic. v.37 "If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; v.38 but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him."
This chapter ends with no unified conclusion among the Jews. Some believed Jesus to be a blasphemer, others believed that the words of John the Baptist concerning Jesus were true. He was the Christ!
Lead Teaching Elder: