Jesus, the Son of God
Reading: John 10:22-39
Additional reading: John 20: 19-31
Blanks: Messiah, believe, one, works, God’s Son, understand
(1) Have you heard the word, Hanukkah?
It is one of the Jewish holidays.
Usually, during the Christmas time, they celebrate this Hanukah.
In English, it is called the Festival of Lights.
Then they light this menorah.
They light one candle per day for 8 days.
Hanukah is also called the Feast of Dedication, because they rededicated the temple in Jerusalem in the year 165 BC.
Their story goes like this.
So now it was about two hundred years before the time of Jesus.
(2) The Jewish people then were living under the rule of the Greek kings of Damascus.
But one of the kings control of the Temple in Jerusalem and forced the Jewish people to abandon their God, their customs and reading of the Torah, the bible.
(3) He also forced them to bow down to other idols at the very Temple in Jerusalem.
The Jewish people were really upset by this.
So, four Jewish brothers raised up an army to regain the temple.
(1) After three years of fighting, they were able to regain the Temple and rededicate it to God.
That is what they wanted to remember every year during this Hanukkah.
So, when Jesus came along, after about 200 years later.
They wanted to know whether Jesus would also raise up an army and establish the Jewish Kingdom in the land.
They wanted to know whether Jesus would be their new king chosen by God.
(1-2) So, during this Hanukah, when Jesus was at Solomon's Porch in the temple area in Jerusalem, the Jewish people gathered around him and asked:
“How long are you going to keep us guessing?
If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly."
Then, Jesus said something like this:
“Think about my miracles that I am doing in my Father's name.
That should explain you about me.
Think about my teachings.
Don’t you think I am a little different?
Those who follow me and listen to me understand this.
My Father has given them to me.
So, I know them.
And they will be with me and with my Father forever.
I will give them eternal life so that they may live forever.
I can do that because my father is in me and I am in the father.
I can do that because I and the Father God are one."
When Jesus explained it like that, they tried to kill him, thinking Jesus was violating their cultural way of using words.
They hated when Jesus said that he was the Son of God.
Because they understood that Jesus was saying that he was God.
So, they were like:
“If you keep on talking like that, we are going to kill you.”
But as for Jesus, they need to understand this.
This was the very reason why Jesus was performing miracles.
Jesus was trying to help them understand that Jesus is the Son of God.
But they didn’t even want to hear it.
They only wanted to know whether Jesus would do what they wanted.
Otherwise, Jesus was out.
But, Jesus insisted on it and talked about it, even though they hated it when Jesus talked about his identity.
Jesus decided to talk about it, until they understood, because then Jesus could really help them.
Jesus could really start his ministry in them.
Then, Jesus could give them the better thing: the eternal life.
Jesus could teach them to live forever.
So, they needed to accept his authority, and believe who he was.
Then Jesus could help them live forever, because he had the authority of God.
Now let’s talk about you.
(1) God may give you a calling.
You may receive a very valuable mission from God.
Then God may ask you to follow your calling.
But some people may not understand it.
They may say otherwise, because they don’t know God’s plan for you.
Now then, what would you do?
Would you follow God, even though people don’t understand you?
If you follow God, God will celebrate because of you.
God may say:
“That is why I created you.
That is why I’m peacefully guiding you.
Follow me. Then you will become truly you in my way.
Then not only you but also your people will be benefited because of you.
Because of you, people will learn the mind of God.
Because of you, they will learn to live in faith.
Then you may say later:
“Ah! That is why Jesus wanted me to work for this.
That is why Jesus was guiding me and leading me in this way.”
(1) That’s what happened with Jesus.
People didn’t understand him.
But Jesus knew what God wanted him to do.
Jesus understood his calling.
So, today, Jesus wanted people to understand that he was the Son of God.
It is good for them that they understand.
Because then, Jesus could give them eternal life.
That was why Jesus wanted then to understand him.
Jesus, thank you for dieing for us to give us eternal life.
Help us to understand.
And help us to work on what you want us to work on.
In your name, we pray.