Israel’s True King
Then came the Feast of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was in the temple area walking in Solomon’s Colonnade. The Jews gathered around him, saying “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” John 10:23,24
The Feast of Dedication celebrated the liberation of the Jerusalem Temple by Judas Maccabeus exactly 200 years earlier in 167BC.
The Greek ruler of the land at that time, Antiochus Epiphanes, had refused Jews the right to practice their religion. He had not only barred the temple to them but had desecrated it by sacrificing pigs on the altar. The Jews revolted and were led in the final successful assault on the Temple by Judas Maccabeus.
The Jews had honoured Judas Maccabeus by making him their king and establishing his family as the royal family with the right to choose future kings. The family dynasty continued through to the Roman occupation. It is against this background that the events of John 10 occur.
So while the nation is celebrating the overthrow of oppressors and the raising up of a king, Jesus is presenting Himself in the Temple as Israel’s true King and Messiah.
In this chapter Jesus will carefully call the witnesses to His Kingship – the Father (John 10:30,38), miracles (John 10:37,38) and John the Baptist (John 10:40,41). Interestingly, these John 10 events occurred in December around the time of the month we now celebrate the birth of God’s ultimate King for mankind – Jesus Christ!
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