Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passages of Scripture. Reread them. From memory, determine the central points.
- At the time of the Feast of Dedication, otherwise known as Hanukkah, commemorating the rebuilding of the temple in 164 BCE, which temple had been destroyed by Antiochus Epiphanes IV in 167 BCE, Jesus was at the Stoa of Solomon, a covered walkway, when His accusers once again found Him.
- They demand that He state whether He is the Messiah or not. They not so much want an answer as they want a reason to kill Him.
- Jesus replies that He had already answered them, and the trouble is they do not believe Him. His works, especially the healing of the man born blind, is proof enough. If they were part of His flock, Jesus being the Good Shepherd, they would hear His voice and follow Him.
- Once again Jesus refers to God as “My Father.” He even states that He and the Father are One, whereupon His enemies pick up stones again. Jesus then asks them for which of His works (signs-miracles) are they about to stone Him.
- The accusers say the reason for the stoning is that Jesus had committed blasphemy for making Himself out to be God.
- Jesus, in response, refers to Psalm 82:6 where we read, “I said, ‘You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you.’”
- These “gods”, as understood by the rabbis, meant that the judges of Israel, passing sentence, are akin to being gods.
- Jesus turns the tables, so to speak. He is not only the Son of God but His words and deeds actually bring judgment upon
His very accusers by their rejection of who He is, mainly His doing the works of the Father, who is in Him.
9. Jesus now retreats across the Jordan to where John the Baptist ministered, thus safely away from His enemies.