Jesus at Hanukkah

22It was now winter, and Jesus was in Jerusalem at the time of Hanukkah, the Festival of Dedication.23He was in the Temple, walking through the section known as Solomon’s Colonnade.24The people surrounded him and asked, “How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”

25Jesus replied, “I have already told you, and you don’t believe me. The proof is the work I do in my Father’s name.26But you don’t believe me because you are not my sheep.27My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.28I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me,29for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand.30The Father and I are one.”

31Once again the people picked up stones to kill him.32Jesus said, “At my Father’s direction I have done many good works. For which one are you going to stone me?”

33They replied, “We’re stoning you not for any good work, but for jblasphemy! You, a mere man, claim to be God.”

34Jesus replied, “It is written in your own Scriptures that God said to certain leaders of the people, ‘I say, you are gods!’35And you know that the Scriptures cannot be altered. So if those people who received God’s message were called ‘gods,’36why do you call it blasphemy when I say, ‘I am the Son of God’? After all, the Father set me apart and sent me into the world.37Don’t believe me unless I carry out my Father’s work.38But if I do his work, believe in the evidence of the miraculous works I have done, even if you don’t believe me. Then you will know and understand that the Father is in me, and I am in the Father.”

39Once again they tried to arrest him, but he got away and left them.40He went beyond the Jordan River near the place where John was first baptizing and stayed there awhile.41And many followed him. “John didn’t perform miraculous signs,” they remarked to one another, “but everything he said about this man has come true.”42And many who were there believed in Jesus.

The people asked Jesus for a plain answer, and when he gave it to them, they tried to stone him.  How common that was in Jesus’ life and how common it will be in ours too.  Very few people truly want to know the truth, whatever it is.  Accepting Jesus as the Son of God requires such incredible personal change and commitment, that it is a truth very few can accept.

But we also have a high obligation to change our lives for the sake of those who do not yet believe.  Jesus calls people to believe because he carries out his Father’s work.  What is his work for others to see today?  It is you and I.  We need to change to show love, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control that can come only from the Holy Spirit through Jesus.  If Jesus is not obvious in our lives, what works do others have to see and why would the choose to believe?

Lord, change me so much.  My life is so far from a beacon of light guiding others to you.  It is a candle, but change me and make it grow.  Your will be done Lord.  Amen.  *obbs*