22 And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter.
[The feast of the dedication] This was a feast instituted by Judas Maccabaeus, in commemoration of his purifying the temple after it had been defiled by Antiochus Epiphanes. This feast began on the twenty-fifth of the month Cisleu, (Which answers to the eighteenth of our month December,) and continued for eight days. When Antiochus had heard that the Jews had made great rejoicing on account of a report that had been spread of his death, he hasted out of Egypt to Jerusalem, took the city by storm, and slew of the inhabitants in three days forty thousand persons, and sold another forty thousand as slaves to neighboring nations. Not content with this, he sacrificed a great sow on the altar of burnt offerings and, broth being made by his command of some of the flesh, he sprinkled it all over the temple, that he might defile it to the uttermost. After this the whole of the temple service seems to have been suspended for three years and the buildings fell into great dilapidation. As Judas Maccabaeus not only restored the temple service and cleansed it from pollution, but also repaired the ruins of it, the feast was also called the renovation.
[It was winter] John has here omitted all that Jesus did from the time when he left Jerusalem after the feast of tabernacles in September until the feast of dedication the following December, probably because he found that the other evangelists had given an account of what Our Lord did in the nterval.
23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch.
[Solomon's porch] By what we find in Josephus, a portico built by Solomon on the east side of the outer court of the temple and left standing by Herod, when he rebuilt the temple.
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.
[How long dost thou make us to doubt?] The jews who asked this question were not sincere. They hoped to hear him declare himself king of the Jews that they might accuse him to the Roman governor. They insolently insinuated that all of the proofs he had hitherto given them of his Divine mission were good for nothing.
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.
[I told you] That is, I told you before but you did not believe. Now examine the works which I do, they bear testimony of me. Notice some of what Jesus had previously told them. He is the light of the world John 8:12; the Son of God John 9:35-37; the good shepherd; come to save, to give life, to give liberty, to redeem us; and that in order to do this he must die and rise again; and that he was absolute master of life and death John 10:11-21.
26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.
[Ye are not of my sheep] You have not the disposition of those who come unto me to be instructed and saved.
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
[My sheep hear my voice] But you will not hear. My sheep follow me, but you will neither follow nor acknowledge me. The sheep of Christ are those who hear, believe, follow and obey the Savior of the world. "The Lord is...not willing that any should perish," 2 Peter 3:9.
28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
[Eternal life] "Eternal" and "everlasting" make great words for a concordance search. John chapter 3 and 1 John chapter 5 are important in the study of Eternal life. Eternal life is a gift from Jesus - Jesus will not take it away - neither is any other able to take it away. The Son of God is all powerful. (Note: the word man is not part of the original text, it was inserted for readability.)
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.
[Which gave them me] Jesus gift to mankind is salvation purchased by his substitutionary death on the cross. God's gift to his son are the souls of those who hear and believe.
[My Father...which is greater than all] More powerful than all the united energies of men and demons.
30 I and my Father are one.
The creator of all things, the judge of all things. One in nature, one in purpose, one in all the attributes of the Godhead.
31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.
32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?
[Many good works I have showed you from my Father] As we have discussed earlier, miracles were to be part of the badge identifying the Messiah. Jesus calls their attention to his miracles and other good works, "From my Father."
33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.
[Thou, being a man] They rejected the contention that the miracles and signs were of God. Jesus, in their opinion, was a man like themselves, attempting to -- without God's blessing -- make himself equal with God in the eyes of men, probably in hopes of gaining reputation or money. At least that is what their own sinful hearts were telling them.
[Makest thyself God] When Christ said, "I and the Father are one.".
34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?
The reference here is to Psalm 82.
37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.
Though you may not believe my words, evaluate my works. If I do such works as only God can perform, then believe me.
39 Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand,
They could not reply to his arguments but by stones. The evidence of truth was met by a determination to resist. But not all resisted.
40 And went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John at first
baptized; and there he abode.
Gifts from Father to Son.
Based upon excerpts from Adam Clarke's Commentary, 2nd edition published in New York by Lane and Scott, 1850. More recent editions may be purchased from Amazon.com
This page updated 12/30/2006Copyright (C) 1999,2003,2006 Robert C. Denig. All rights reserved