The truth always divides people (10:19 cf. l7:43; 9:16) into two categories: those who believe it and those who don’t. God’s people get discouraged about this, but the Lord not only expected it, it’s why He came (Luke 12:51-53).
People sometimes reject the truth you share with them be-cause of where you are from (Jo.7:41-43), specially if you aren’t from an institution of higher learning. They rejected the truth the Lord taught when they thought He had sinned (9:14-16), and they will reject the truth you try to share with them if you sin, so adorn the doctrine of God with good behavior (Titus 2:10). People reject the truth when their minds are “evil affected” by others, but sometimes this backfires. Some folks recently found the truth when their pastor warned them against Berean Bible Society!
If you are wondering how to feel about the different divisions in the grace movement, Paul put aside his major differences with the Pharisees to stand with them against the Sadducees over the issue of the resurrection (Acts 23:6-8). We may have minor differences with those in other grace camps, but we stand with them against those who oppose Paul’s gospel.
Ever have someone say you’d have to be crazy or demon possessed to believe what you believe? The Lord did (John 10:20, since He talked about laying down His life and taking it again (v.18). This is an apologetic proof of His deity. He could have been a demon who knew he wasn’t God, but lied. He could have been a lunatic who thought he was God, but wasn’t. Or He could have been the Lord! Those are the only possibilities! Some say He was a good man but not God, but a good man wouldn’t claim to be God if he wasn’t! Some say He was a good teacher but not God, but a lunatic doesn’t make for a very good teacher!
Their words “why hear ye Him” (9:20) show their motive in saying he was crazy or possessed—to get people to stop listening to Him. That’s also why people say that about what you believe and teach.
The Lord’s “words” proved He wasn’t a devil (10:21). A possessed man might claim he was God, but wouldn’t speak about dying for people (10:18). The Lord’s works al-so proved He wasn’t a devil. A devil can open the eyes of the blind (IIThes.2:9 cf.Rev.13:1-3) but they didn’t know it. Up until that time, devils had only tormented people, they hadn’t healed them. As far as they knew, only God could heal the blind (Ps.146:8) and Messiah (Isa.35:4-6). Most people determine if a man is of God only by his works, but these people knew Deuteronomy 13:1-3. So while “many” didn’t believe on Him (John 9:20), these “others” did (v.21)
The feast of the dedication (v.22) was held in “winter,” so it probably wasn’t an observance of the dedication of Solo-mon’s temple, that took place in fall (I Ki.8:2,63), or of Ezra’s temple, a spring event (Ez.6:15,16). This could have been an observance of the rededication of the temple, said to have taken place after Antiochus sacrificed a pig on the altar, a winter holiday called Hanukah Jews still observe.
The Bible never mentions the season an event takes place, so there is a symbolic reason it does here. By “winter” all the crops are gathered into the barn, but the Jewish leaders were refusing to be gathered into the barn of the kingdom (Mt.13:30; 37-43 cf. Jer.8:20). The Lord is at a turning point in His ministry. So He makes a change, symbolized by that word “dedication” (John 10:22). Once He knew they would reject Him, He started saying He would die (Mt.16:21). And He didn’t just resign Himself to dying, He dedicated Himself to it, symbolized by this feast of dedication. He set His face to go and die for us (Luke 9:51) like a flint, as Isaiah predicted (50:6,7). A flint is a stone, and “stone-faced” means emotionless. We’d be terrified—the Lord was dedicated. This feast of dedication spoke of the dedication of the temple of His body (Jo.2:19-21), which like the first tabernacle had to be dedicated with blood (Heb.9:18). All symbolized by this feast of dedica-tion, the Lord’s response to the “winter” of their rejection.
Are you as dedicated to the Lord as He was to you? Are you as dedicated to live for Him as He was to die for you (IICor.5:15; Rom.12:1)?