December 16, 2012

Are You The Christ?

Passage: John 10:22-39
Service Type:

Bible Text: John 10:22-39 | Preacher: Mickey Chandler


Sometimes, we don’t like the answers that we’re given, so we “answer shop”

That can take multiple forms

Sometimes, it means that we go and ask other people

Like kids who will go ask dad

When they don’t like his answer, they go ask mom

Other times, that takes the form of asking the same person the same question over and over

The Jews couldn’t answer shop by asking multiple people, so they would ask Jesus the same questions over and over

Today, let’s look at one of the times in which they ask Him: “Are You the Christ?”

The setting


Feast of Dedication (Falls in 2012 from 12/8-12/16)

We now know this as Hanukkah

This feast is not known to the Old Testament

The Feast of Dedication, now known as Hanukkah, was established as a memorial to the purification and rededication of the temple by Judas Maccabeus on Kislev (December) 25, 165 b.c., after its profanation three years earlier by Antiochus IV Epiphanes. Antiochus, the king of Syria, had captured Jerusalem, plundered the temple treasury, and sacrificed a sow to Jupiter on the temple altar. His attempt to Hellenize Judea resulted in the Maccabean revolt, which, after three years, was successful in defeating the Syrian armies and liberating the Jewish people.

The temple

Solomon’s Colonnade (or Porch) was a long walkway covered by a roof supported on pillars on the east side of the temple, overlooking the Kidron Valley.

The Colonnade served as a shelter from the heat of the sun in summer and from the cold rain in winter. Jesus used it as a center for informal teaching and preaching since there would almost always be some people present for worship at the temple.1

The questions

“How long will you keep us in suspense?”

This was a question that had been asked before

Perhaps more quietly and not as directly (John 4:29; 7:26-31)

Jesus had surely known of the discussions (Matt. 16:13ff)

John had asked (Matt. 11:2-6)

Now, they are asking directly and pointedly

“Are you the Christ?”

They are not looking for a parable

They are not looking for a question in return

This is a simple “Yes” or “No” question

The answers

“I’ve told you, but you didn’t believe”

Jesus gives a straightforward answer here

He points back to previous answers given

Consider passages as

John 5:16ff

John 6:32ff

John 7:14ff

“Look at my works”

He next says that the works that He does bears witness of who He is

This likely has reference to the miracles that He is performing

They fail to believe because “you are not among my sheep”

This is not some form of pre-destination proof

Rather, He is referring back to his previous teaching from earlier in the chapter (v 1ff)

Since they were determined not to follow, they would find any excuse not to believe

“My Father and I are one”

This is likely the greatest statement in the response

In it, Jesus makes a claim of unity with God

The reaction is the same, as in John 5

They take up stones

The purpose of this was to put Jesus to death

They were not going to

hold a trial

apparently even remove Him from the temple

Jesus questions them

“I’ve shown you many good works from the Father, for which of these do you stone Me?”

He points to His proof and asks why the proof is not sufficient

They respond with a charge of blasphemy

Their response is that Jesus would not be killed for good works

Rather for blasphemy having made Himself the equal of God even though He was just a man

Jesus responds by

quoting Psalm 82:6

pointing to His works

Lessons for us

Words aren’t enough

Jesus did not just point to assertions made

In fact, we find that we can make the right assertions and still be wrong

“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’ and no not do the things which I command?” (Luke 6:46)

“Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter into the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father in heaven” (Matthew 7:21)

Continually just asking isn’t good

These Jews had been talking and asking for a good while now

For many of them, they continued to talk and ask because they didn’t like what they were hearing.

It seems as though they were going to continue to talk and ask until they got an answer that they wanted

We need to learn to do better than this

Rather than pushing out the same questions over and over looking for new answers, we need to learn to listen to the answers given and then act upon them

Consider the difference between the Athenians who politely said “we’ll talk about this later”

And all of those others in Scripture who heard and immediately obeyed


It’s good to ask the question “Are You the Christ?”

There is an answer given and evidence to be received

But, when the evidence comes in and the answer is heard, what will you do with it?

1Tenney, M. C. (1981). John. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Volume 9: John and Acts (F. E. Gaebelein, Ed.) (111). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

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