Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter.
And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon's porch.
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.”
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.
But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you.
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.
[John 10:22-27 NKJV]
The Feast of Dedication is what we know as Hanukkah, celebrated annually by Jews for eight days to commemorate the cleansing of the Temple in Jerusalem after it had been desecrated by the Syrians about 170BC. Solomon’s Porch was a colonnade for walking protected from the sun and used for gathering together and debating important questions.
Jesus may well have been there to talk to those who wished to discuss what He had to say, so the significance of the mention of the Feast of Dedication here is that Jesus was placing Himself dedicated to the restoration of the worship of God, at the time when this was being celebrated by every Jew.
This feast was also known as ‘The Feast of Lights’, or ‘The Feast of Illumination’ and was a time for joy and celebration.
‘If You are the Christ, tell us plainly’. If I have any thing to say to Jesus I will find him in the temple. Jesus wants me to believe, while I doubt instead. He has told me plainly and now He reminds me of the benefits of being in His flock. He always gives us that choice when we meet Him in the Holy place where He is.
Jesus responsed to the questioners that He had already told them who He is. The unbelievers’ response is to throw stones at Him and condemn Him, ‘Therefore they sought again to seize Him, but He escaped out of their hand’ [verse 39].
We are based on the platform of reality in prayer by the Atonement of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is not our earnestness that brings us into touch with God, not our devoted ness, nor our times of prayer, but our Lord Jesus Christ’s vitalising death; and our times of prayer are evidences of reaction on the reality of redemption, so we have the right of approach to God in confidence, that the place of the Ark is our place, ‘therefore, brethren, having boldness.’ What an awe and what a wonder of privilege, ‘to enter the Holiest,’ in the perfectness of the atonement ‘by the blood of Jesus.’
[from ‘Christian Discipline Vol 2’]
GEORGE and GILL STEWART