It was winter and Jesus was at the Festival of Dedication (or, in Hebrew, Hanukkah) in Jerusalem. He was walking in Solomon’s Colonnade in the temple courts.
Some religious leaders gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense. If you are Messiah, tell us plainly.”
Here’s how Jesus responded:
I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.
That totally freaked out the religious leaders. They picked up rocks to stone Jesus.
Here’s what happened next:
Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”
“We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”
Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods”’? If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside—what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.” Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.
Then Jesus went back across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing in the early days. There he stayed, and many people came to him. They said, “Though John never performed a sign, all that John said about this man was true.” And in that place many believed in Jesus.
Let’s look at our 2 BIG Questions:
1. Who exactly is Jesus?
He says it himself:
- He and the Father “are one.”
- He’s the “one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world.”
- He’s “God’s Son.”
- The Father is “in” him and he’s “in” the Father.
Those words were backed up by the “many good works from the Father” performed by Jesus.
2. What exactly should we do?
Believe in Jesus. Trust him. Listen to his voice. Follow him.
He’ll give you eternal life and no one will ever ever ever snatch you out of his hand.
(Image credit: Shutterstock.com / Dzm1try)