At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon. 24 So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” 25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name bear witness about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”31 The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. 32 Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?” 33 The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.
Jesus consistently shows and demonstrates that he was God, or at least that he believed he was. That is not a characteristic of a good teacher or great leader, unless it is true. Martin Luther King Junior did not end his "I have a dream speech" with a section about himself being the ultimate answer to mankind's problems. Wilberforce didn’t say that slavery was important but secondary to people's view of him. Churchill, known for being arrogant, didn’t say that we would be alright if we lost the war as long as we still had him with us. If they had said those sort of things they would be remembered as lunatics, not great leaders.
Jesus did say those sorts of things:
- He said he was the source of living water and those who came to him would never thirst again.
- He said he was the Bread of life - what the people needed more than bread was HimLight of the world - not just coming to shed light on God but he was the light himself
- He didn't just come to shed light on who God is but described himself as the light of the world.
- He called himself the good shepherd - fulfilling God’s promise to come and shepherd his people personally
- He didn't just give information about heaven, He said He had come from there
- He didn't say he was as great as Abraham but that he pre-existed him!
We might want a good teacher, but Jesus is way more than that.
Piper - “Jesus is answering their question by actually saying he is more than the messiah they are expecting”