December 16, 2012

Are You The Christ?

Passage: John 10:22-39
Service Type:


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

    1. That can take multiple forms

    2. Sometimes, it means that we go and ask other people

      1. Like kids who will go ask dad

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

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

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

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

  1. The setting

    1. Winter

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

      1. We now know this as Hanukkah

      2. This feast is not known to the Old Testament

      3. 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.

    3. The temple

      1. 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.

      2. 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

  1. The questions

    1. “How long will you keep us in suspense?”

      1. This was a question that had been asked before

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

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

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

      2. Now, they are asking directly and pointedly

    2. “Are you the Christ?”

      1. They are not looking for a parable

      2. They are not looking for a question in return

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

  1. The answers

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

      1. Jesus gives a straightforward answer here

      2. He points back to previous answers given

      3. Consider passages as

        1. John 5:16ff

        2. John 6:32ff

        3. John 7:14ff

    2. “Look at my works”

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

      2. This likely has reference to the miracles that He is performing

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

        1. This is not some form of pre-destination proof

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

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

    3. “My Father and I are one”

      1. This is likely the greatest statement in the response

      2. In it, Jesus makes a claim of unity with God

  1. The reaction is the same, as in John 5

    1. They take up stones

      1. The purpose of this was to put Jesus to death

      2. They were not going to

        1. hold a trial

        2. apparently even remove Him from the temple

    2. Jesus questions them

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

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

    3. They respond with a charge of blasphemy

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

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

    4. Jesus responds by

      1. quoting Psalm 82:6

      2. pointing to His works

  1. Lessons for us

    1. Words aren’t enough

      1. Jesus did not just point to assertions made

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

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

        2. “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)

    1. Continually just asking isn’t good

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

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

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

      2. We need to learn to do better than this

      3. 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

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

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


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

  2. There is an answer given and evidence to be received

  3. 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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