In John 10:22-42 Jesus is walking through the Temple during the Feast of Dedication when the Pharisees swarm him.
The Feast of Dedication is better known as Hanukkah or the Festival of Lights. In the Second Century BC, the Syrian empire had taken over Judea and Samaria, and they defiled the temple. Then a small group of Jews led by Judah the Maccabee defeated their conquerors and reclaimed and rededicated the Temple to God. After this miracle, God performed another. When they went to light the Temple’s Menorah, there was only a small amount of oil left that had not been contaminated by the Syrians. The oil was only enough to light the Menorah for one night, but it lasted eight days until they could make more.
It is fitting that John identifies the celebration taking place at this time because “like the supernatural presence of God expressed through the eternal flame burning for the Maccabees, Jesus became the incarnate, physical expression of God’s presence, the Light of the World, who came to dwell among us and give us the eternal light of God’s life” (What Is the Feast of Dedication?).
The Jewish leaders cornered Jesus in the Temple in an attempt to get him to say something they could use against him. It may seem like a simple enough question to ask Jesus if he was the Messiah. However, there were political and military implications attached to the word “Messiah” because the Jews believed that when the Messiah came, he would come as a warrior and free them from Roman oppression.
If they could get Jesus to outright say he was the Messiah then they could have him killed for treason against Rome. But Jesus was aware of their tricks. He knew the evil that flowed through them and their unbelieving hearts.
Rather than saying, “I am the Messiah,” Jesus said, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). When they heard this the Jews picked up stones to kill him, but it wasn’t his time yet. Jesus left Jerusalem and went across the Jordan where John the Baptist had worked. There, even more, came to believe in him because of the works he did.
God had a plan and it would unfold in his perfect timing. Man could not derail God’s plan. The Jews would kill Jesus, but not yet. His work was not yet complete.
Today, God has a plan for your life and it will unfold in his perfect timing. Take courage and be patient, dear sister.