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Grace Bible Church - Gatesville, Tx
Grace Bible Church - Gatesville, Tx

Episode 103 · 4 months ago

The Sanctified Sanctifier

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

The Sanctified Sanctifier

John 10:22-42

Dax Bryant - Preaching

Before we uh get into God's word, I did just want to mention maybe some of you know this, and at least at least some of you do, but the first Sunday in July in two thousand two was when the First Church Service of Grace Bible Church was held. So it's the twenty year birthday. Its technically July seven, but first Sunday in July, so it's the twenty birthday of the church kind of falls right on our July four, you know, a big party event that we do, but I think we'll look to try to have a party of sorts to celebrate that, maybe later in the summer. But, Um, I was talking with David Westerfeld and he mentioned there were there were thirty nine people at that first service and they brought lawn chairs to sit in because all the pews have been taken out of the building. and Uh Jason Nulty preached on Acts Chapter Two and they had a fellowship meal afterwards and uh we just praised God for his faithfulness in his watching over uh this little church. And so I just thought I'd let you guys know that if that's a that's a big milestone in the in the life our church. So we'll so rate that Um later on in the summer. So if you would, before we get into John Tinn, please pray with me. I'm gonna pray a puritan prayer. This is written by Puritan named Robert Hawker. Let's pray this. Almighty father, it is your special mercy to give your son and with him, all things to the highly favored objects of your everlasting love. From all eternity. You planned, ordered, willed, appointed and prepared the Great Salvation of the Gospel. You chose Christ as the head and the church as the body of this amazing work of redemption. You have carried out all the great designs. You strengthen and complete everything in our final salvation, in grace here and glory thereafter. Blessed, holy and compassionate Lord God, for the sake of Jesus, fulfill this promise daily in my soul, bear me up, carry me through and strengthen me in Christ, that I may walk in his name until you bring me to see his face in your eternal home and I dwell under the light of his countenance forever. Amen. John Chapter Ten this morning second half of the chapter. I am I'm not a betting man per se. But I would be willing to bet most of you in this room, if if you probably haven't read J R R Tolkien's fantasy novel the Lord of the Rings, you've probably seen the movies or you at least have heard of it. It's a it's a beautiful story, it's masterfully written, it's, you know, delightfully told. But one of the amazing things about that story, the Lord of the Rings, is all of the background and the and the lore that surrounds it. Tolkien created uh these extensive genealogies and developed new languages and cultures and entire histories for the fictional people of Middle Earth. And so as you read the story, you get the sense that there's much more going on than the tale of two little hobbits that are marching off to mort or. You get the sense that this story has epic proportions. And if we can pick up on something like that from a work of fiction inspired by someone's imagination, how much more should we get the sense that when we read the Gospels, there is an epic proportion to the story that's being told. There is a bigger picture when we get to the New Testament, when we read about the the life and Ministry of Jesus. We realize this is the culmination of the plan that was conceived in the mind of God from eternity past, to set apart his son to be sent on mission into the world. Jesus refers to himself, if you notice there in John Ten, verse thirty six, as him of whom the father consecrated and sent into the world. Jesus was sent into the world on a mission, and that mission brings salvation to us, the people of God. But that mission is not primarily about us. That that mission is is greater. It is part of a bigger story that is consumed with bringing glory to the name of the Triune God who has determined to save people for himself. And so I I want us to keep the the epic nature of this overarching story of the Bible in mind as we enter into what is John's final presentation of Jesus Public Ministry here at the end of chapter ten. Do you remember, way back to the prologue of John's Gospel, we were introduced to this...

...this high and lofty and mysterious holy relationship between the father and the son, and from the first moments when Jesus called his disciples there in chapter one. He has been steadily at work in this Gospel, making known the God whom no one has ever seen. And now, of course, we've not been given every detail, every word that was spoken or every event that happened during the course of Jesus's ministry. But but we know that the author of this Gospel, John, has carefully curated and selected these specific accounts for an express purpose that we find in chapter verse Thirty One. These things are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. And so it is with that purpose statement in mind as we bring this section of John's Gospel to a close, that that I want us to see that the works of Jesus demonstrate his messianic identity, they preserve his people for Eternity and they establish his divine unity. So that's where we're going, that the works of Jesus demonstrate his messianic identity, preserve his people for Eternity and establish his divine unity. But before we get there, we need to take a moment to kind of introduce the setting for this passage here. So, as you know, bigger picture, hopefully you know, if you've been listening John, Chapter Ten completes this section of John's Gospel that started back in Chapter Five. It's known as the festival cycle, right, because all of the major action happens around these different Jewish festivals or feasts that take place. And it's the same thing here in Chapter Ten, Verse Twenty Two, where it says at that time the Feast of dedication took place at Jerusalem. Now, if you go and search through your Old Testament to find out about the feast of dedication, you won't find anything in the Old Testament. That's because it commemorates an event that took place during that time period between the Old Testament and the New Testament. It was four years, and so in Jesus's Day this feast of dedication was a relative newcomer to the religious calendar. So if you don't know, here's the history behind the feast of dedication. After Alexander the great died and his empire was divided up, one of his generals founded what was known as the Seleucid Empire in three twelve BC. That territory of that seleucid empire included Israel. Its stretched from the Mediterranean Sea in the West all the way to essentially modern day Afghanistan in the east. And in one six the eight BC, the seleucid King, a man by the name of Antiochus Epiphanies, he entered Jerusalem to squash a minor rebellion that had occurred, and he did so without mercy. He massacred tens of thousands of Jews, including the high priest. He outlawed Jewish rights and traditions, he banned the possession of the Hebrew scriptures and, infamously, he erected an image of Zeus in his own likeness on the altar outside the temple and, according to some sources, he sacrificed a pig on that altar in an ultimate act of desecration. You can imagine the anger and the offense that this created. And it took it took three years of this brutal oppression, but eventually a group of Jews rose up in revolt. They were led by a man named Judas maccabeus. It's the revolt of the maccabee's. It took place when they when they did it, they took back the city, they cleansed the temple of idols and they rededicated the temple to the Lord. And so that is this feast of dedication that's mentioned in first we know it today as Hanakah. That that is what that is, celebrating this achievement of reddicating the temple in drew in Jerusalem. And so the feast being referred to here in this passage really serves to kind of move us ahead in the story. It moves the timeline along forest because notice first twenty three. It says it was winter and Hanakah, feast of Dedication, falls on the of the Jewish month Kiss Lev, which kind of roughly corresponds with our month of December. So all that to say a few have passed since...

...the events that begin back in Chapter Seven started. That took place during the feast of booths, which is a fall festival. Now it's winter time. But the mention of this feast here, it's it's not just a you know, a chronological marker for us, as as I hope we will see, as I trust we will see, just like with all the other feasts that have been mentioned in this Gospel, we are also to understand this feast being fulfilled ultimately in Jesus. So hang on, we'll get there. Let's let's continue the setting here now, because it was winter. Jesus was walking in the temple, it says, so, not out exposed in the open courtyards, but it says, in the colonnade of Solomon, which was just simply a long covered porch that ran along the eastern side of the temple complex where people could gather and just be protected from being out in the elements. So so that's the setting. It's wintertime, this feast of dedication is happening and they are Jesus is gathered with people under this Solomon's colonnade there at the temple. That sets up this dialogue. Now that takes place in the remainder of the chapter, and this dialogue happens in really four major parts that I want us to see, three questions and one invitation, and then that's followed by a brief concluding transition. So we'RE gonna use that framework of three questions one invitation to help us see how the works of Jesus demonstrate his messianic identity, preserve his people for Eternity and establish his divine unity. So let's look at the first question. Here it is a question of clarity. We see it in Verse Twenty Four. So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, how along will you keep us in suspense if you are the Christ? Tell US plainly. Now, so far, in John, chapter ten at least, Jesus has been speaking very much metaphorically and, if you remember, the Pharisees are having a difficult time understanding exactly what Jesus is talking about, and his words are even causing division among them. Now his opponents come to him and they are seeking clarity, not so much because they're interested in understanding him so that they might follow him. Rather, this is in hopes that he will publicly stumble and say something that will validate their desire to kill him for what they perceived to be blasphemy. So essentially, they're saying, you know enough with all these riddles about shepherds and Gates and and wolves and UH and doors. Just just come out with it, are you the Messiah? Tell US plainly, and his response, as we will see, ends up being much more than they bargained for. Here Verse Twenty Five, Jesus answered them I told you and you do not believe now. Granted, he had not come out and explicitly identified himself by saying I am the Messiah, at least not in a public Jewish context. Had he done so, had he spoken that plainly, there's no doubt that Jews would have misunderstood him. They misunderstood just the hints that were picked up by that. And he had been very careful all throughout his ministry not to encourage their worldly desires and political ambitions because they were still expecting a conquering general right. They didn't really have a messianic category for a suffering servants, one who would die on a cross, no less so. So, quite intentionally, Jesus has not directly said to these guys in this public setting I am the Messiah. Nevertheless he has told them, in fact, just earlier in chapter ten, he's just told them that he is the Good Shepherd who lays down his life for his sheep. That word picture he paints there is full of exclusive claims to be the Messiah for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear. But but even beyond what he's said, still in verse, he says the works that I do in my father's name bear witness about me. So again, essentially he's saying my entire ministry clearly points to the fact that I am the Messiah. Do you, if you need proof, look around the lame walk the blind.

See in the very next chapter the dead will rise. Am I the Messiah, Jesus says, not only have I told you, I've shown you. So the question is, why don't the Jews believe? If the combination of the witness of Jesus's words and works are so clear and so compelling, what explains their failure to understand who he is? The answer Jesus provides us in verse. But you do not believe because you were not among my sheep. And then he quotes what he said to them several months earlier. My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me. We saw that last week in verses three and four, or two weeks ago, I guess now. But Jesus mentions it again here by way of contrast. So I want you to get this. It's not just that his own sheep hear his voice, that he knows them, that they follow him, but also what's true here is that those who are not his sheep do not hear his voice, that he does not know them in a saving way and that they do not follow him. Why not? Well, according to Jesus, it's not because there's insufficient evidence. It's not even because the claims he's making are difficult to understand. He says you do not believe because here's why you are not among my sheep. God is sovereign in salvation and God his sovereign in judgment. We've we've seen that truth developing throughout John's Gospel. In the conversation with Nicodemus back in chapter three, Jesus says unless one is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God. In the bread of life discourse in John Chapter six, Jesus says no one can come to me unless the father who sent me draws him. You do not believe because you are not among my sheep. This massive unbelief that Jesus encountered back then and still today. It's sad, but it's not surprising. Right, it's expected and and it all fits under the umbrella of God's sovereignty and and we can say that and in no way minimize the moral responsibility that centers have before a holy God, because God calls all men everywhere to repent and believe, and they will be held accountable for their failure to repent and believe. Scripture teaches both of those twin truths. But for the sheep who belonged to Jesus, look at the assurance that is theirs verse for these sheep, his sheep. I give them eternal life and they will never perish and no one will snatch them out of my hand. So we've seen that Jesus's works, they not only demonstrate his messianic identity, but but also here now, they preserve his people for eternity. Earlier in this chapter, Jesus said that he gives his sheep abundant life. But but now he plainly states what he meant by that. It's the same idea that he's expressed before, earlier in this Gospel, in in word pictures like bread from heaven, living water, light of the world. I leave them into good pasture. All of that imagery points to this reality that he gives eternal life, which is an amazing statement, because who but God can say they have the ability to give eternal life? And not only will those who receive eternal life, never perish. Can we really call it eternal if it doesn't last forever? Right, they will never perish. But also notice no one will snatch them out of my hand. Again, to go back to the word pictures from a couple of weeks ago, not the wolf, not the thief, not the robber, no one. To think otherwise would be to foolishly imagine that that somehow Jesus could fail to obey the father's will or fail to complete the father's mission. And, brothers and sisters, this is incredibly good news for you, that that no one can snatch you out of Jesus's hand, because it means that the eternal security of the sheep is not dependent a on your ability to hang on to Jesus. Your eternal...

...security is comp completely dependent upon the Good Shepherd's power to hold on to you, and I trust his grip much more than I trust my own. And if that promise isn't enough, it's backed up by the power and the promise of the father. Look at Verse Twenty Nine. He says, my father, who has given them to me, these sheep, is greater than all and no one is able to snatch them out of the father's hand. This is something we we have to understand. What the father has given the son to accomplish must necessarily come to pass, or else God isn't God. He will do what he says. And who is there who can overpower or outwits or steal from our sovereign heavenly father? No one, certainly not Satan, certainly not you. He is greater than all. Nothing in all of creation will be able to separate you, believer, from the love of God, in Christ Jesus, Our Lord. That means you are forever secure in his hand. In fact, even if the arms of the Good Shepherd himself are stretched out in his hands are nailed to a cross beam, the sheep are still preserved in the father's hand, because eternal life is eternal, it is unbreakable, and the reason that that you can have eternal life is because your salvation rests in God's eternal decree. In that, in that story of epic proportions, the sheep whom God chooses and gives to the sun, the sheep for whom the Good Shepherd lays down his life, those sheep are eternally secure. Both father and son are perfectly and harmoniously preserving every single one of them, so much so that Jesus can say, in verse thirty, I and the father are one. So the Jews had asked a question of clarity. Right. How long will you keep us in suspense if you are the Messiah, if you are the Christ? Tell US plainly. And in the end Jesus's answer goes way beyond their question. Not only do his works demonstrate his messianic identity, not only does his work of laying down his life preserve his people for eternity, but also his works serve to establish his divine unity. I and the father are one. He says his his true identity, is bound up in his oneness with God the father, not that they are one person, of course right. We believe there are three distinct persons in the trinity. There's no confusion for us there. And most deeply, when he says I and the father are one, it means they are one in essence, meaning they are both truly God. That that's a fact that's been well established in this Gospel from the very first verse. In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God. There is an essential unity a unity of essence. But in this context, when he says I and the father are one, he means that the father and the son are one in purpose, one in mission, and the application of that divine unity here is because they are one in purpose, one in mission. God's people are eternally safe and secure in God's hand. This, this work of preserving his people, is a divine task backed up by a divine will. And so the picture for a believer is the son's hand is wrapped around you so that no one can ever snatch you away, and then the father's hand is wrapped around that hand so that you are doubly safe. That is a picture of ultimate power and comfort and unity. But Jesus's response to this question of clarity is more than they asked for and their reaction to it is sadly familiar. Verse Thirty One. The Jews picked up stones again to stone him stoning, as you know, that's the prescribed penalty for blasphemy. They may not have understood everything that Jesus said, but his claim to be equal with God was plainist day and it and it stirs up murder in their...

...hearts. And now I want you to watch and see what Jesus does to diffuse this explosive moment? He doesn't immediately withdraw, like we've seen him do before. This time he counters their hostility with a question of his own. They asked him a question. Now he asks a question, and it's the second question that drives this dialogue, and this time it is a question of rationality, a question of rationality. Verse Thirty Two. Jesus answered them. I have shown you many good works from the father. for which of them are you going to stone me? Was it healing the officials son? Was it causing the paralyzed man to walk again? Was it giving sight to the man bore and blind? which exactly of these works do you have an issue with? What are you objecting to? And when Jesus asks this question, he's he's accomplishing at least three things. Number one, he's claiming again that everything that he has done has really been the work of God himself. Right, I've shown you many good works from the father. That affirms what he just said in verse thirty again. Secondly, that he and the father are one and thirdly, maybe most importantly to the dialogue, he's setting them up. He's setting the stage for their forthcoming response, to to challenge and call into question their judgment, there their rationale for their actions. We'll see that happen here in a minute. Verse Thirty Three, 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. This is rather incredible, right because, as scripture says, these things that Jesus did, they weren't done in a corner, they were undeniable. And yet here that the Jewish religious leaders. They won't even pause to process the implication of the undeniably good works that Jesus has done. They won't consider it. Instead, they're fixated on his words. I and the father are one. That is a blasphemous claim in their eyes. And of course, the one of the great ironies here is is that Jesus has not made himself God, like they say, but rather that God has made himself man. But with the stones probably still in their hands, Jesus now asks another question. It's the third question that that drives this dialogue forward, and this time it's a question of authority. Verse Thirty Four, Jesus answered them. Is it not written in your law. I said you are God's if he called them gods to whom the word of God came, and scripture cannot be broken. Do you say of him whom the father consecrated and sent into the world, you are blaspheming because I said I am the son of God. Now, admittedly, that's a little bit murky at first, isn't it? It's a little complex, a little confusing. So so I want to try to help us unpack this and and understand this in the flow of this dialogue. Okay, because this is not just out of thin air. This is what Jesus says here is relevant to the argument in some way. In the midst of this heated debate, they're about out to kill him. Jesus points out this rather obscure scripture to make a point, and it's the point that's designed to stop his opponents in their tracks. But but what is the point? What is he saying? What is he proving with this? While he's quoting from Psalm eight two, as your footnotes in your Bible probably say it, and it's worth sticking your finger in John Ton and turning to Psalm eight two, or jumping over there on your device or whatever, because Salm ad two is is pretty brief. I think it's worthwhile to read the entire Psalm so you can see the whole context of what Jesus is quoting from. So salm ad two says this God has taken his place in the Divine Council, in the midst of the Gods. He holds judgment. And then God speaks out of his judgment. How long will you unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? Give...

...justice to the weak and the fatherless, maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute, rescue the weak and the needy, deliver them from the hand of the wicked? And then, speaking of these, whoever is not doing this, this almost says they have neither knowledge or understanding. They walk about in darkness. All the foundations of the earth are shaken. I said, God said, you are God's sons of the most high, all of you. Nevertheless, like men, you shall die and fall like any prince. And then the psalmist concludes, Arise, Oh God, judge the earth, for you shall inherit all the nations. So from that Psalm Jesus quotes verse six. I said you are gods. Now this is not some pantheon of mythological gods on Mount Olympus or something like that. Right, one of the guiding principles of the Protestant reformation is that scripture interprets scripture. So we let the plain text of scripture inform our understanding of the more difficult aspects of scripture. And the plain teaching of all of scripture is that there is only one true God. So the term Gods here is not referring to a multiplicity of Gods. And as you look closely at Salmydi two, I think as you consider the rebuke that God is giving, as you consider the responsibilities that God is rebuking for not being carried out, this can only be a reference to human beings. This use of the word Gods more specifically, quite likely human beings who have the power to rule. Again, looking at the responsibilities that are they're being rebuked for, and these leaders appear to be ignorant and corrupt and not fulfilling their duties. And Really, in my opinion, I think the best understanding of Salmadi two is that this is a description of the nation of Israel itself, specifically the leaders, perhaps, but but sons of the most high that language. That reflects the fact that God calls Israel his firstborn son in Exodus Chapter Four. Back in in John Ten, verse Thirty Five, Jesus says he called them sons to whom the word of God came, as indeed the word of God came to the Israelites at Mount Sinai, beginning in extus nineteen. But when we look at the Israelites after that, they're they're rebellion, their corruption that led to the death of an entire generation. It's them as a nation, especially the rulers. They had this privileged status as those who had heard directly from God, but because of that rebellion, God pronounces judgment against them for their failure to exercise justice in his name, and so even though they have this exalted position, they will die, just like all men die. I believe that's what Salmydi two is describing. But now we want to go back to John Tin and try to understand how is Jesus using Psalmn a d two here, and remember he's responding to the charge that he is committing blasphemy by claiming to be the son of God. And and in this moment tensions are running high that they've already picked up stones to kill him. And so when he quotes Salmyd two, verse six, he is not right there attempting to prove that he is the son of God, because he's already said his works prove that already. What he's doing in quoting that verse specifically is he is refuting their charge of blasphemy. So so here's his argument. Okay, here's the question of authority that he's raising. So back to verse Thirty Four. John Ten, verse Thirty Four, is it not written in your law? I said you are God's. So so he's saying there, guys this that the very scriptures that you hold to, those scriptures themselves use the term Gods to legitimately refer to other beings besides God himself. Right, he's just exegeting Psalm eight two for them that they can't dispute that. Yes, scripture is using that term God's in some other way than...

...referring to the one true God. So at that point established, he presses it in verse thirty five. If he god, that is called them gods to whom the word of God came and scripture cannot be broken. Do you say of him whom the father consecrated and sent into the world. That's Jesus description of himself. Do you say of me? You are blaspheming because I said I am the son of God. Okay, so to try to again put this in some language maybe we can get a hold of. If God himself addresses even their rebellious forefathers as Gods and sons of the most high in scripture, then on what biblical basis can they object when Jesus says I am God's son? Are you following the argument here? He's kind of moving from the lesser to the greater, right. He's saying in your own scripture men are called Gods and sons of the most high by God himself. So how can you accuse me of blasphemy when I'm just simply using those same terms to refer to myself? And in fact, how much more appropriate is the term son of God for the one whom the father has consecrated and sent into the world? So that is that clear? Does that help you understand the argument? Okay, and I don't want you to miss that little phrase there at the end of verse thirty five either. And scripture cannot be broken it's almost said in passing right like it's kind of assumed, and it is assumed with Jesus audience here of these religious leaders. But, but this statement is tremendously important for us. Scripture cannot be broken, it cannot be changed, it cannot be annulled, cannot be amended, it cannot be set aside, it cannot be proven false. Scripture is a coherent whole and not a single word can be removed or altered in any way. That is the view of scripture that Jesus has, that it is an errant, that it is inspired, that it is sufficient, that it is authoritative. And the point is, if, if you accept the authority of scripture, just like Jesus opponents do here, then you cannot simply set aside your submission to the authority of scripture just because it seems inconvenient to you in the moment or it is working against the point you want to make. Right. That is one of the things Jesus is making clear to his opponents here and to us now. The effect of Jesus's Question of authority accomplishes a couple of things. Number One, it keeps the stones from flying for the moment and, importantly, it provides him with a final opportunity to offer an invitation to believe. So we've seen three questions. Now we get one invitation. Verse Thirty Seven. If I am not doing the works of my father, then do not believe me. But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works that you may know and understand that the father is in me and I am in the father. Look, and he's saying, look, I know you don't believe my claims about who I am, but think about this. If the works that I've done, which you can't deny, if those works reflect the nature of who God is, shouldn't that at least give you pause? In Verse Thirty Two, he said, I've shown you many good works from the father. And and think about the good works, the signs that John has highlighted for us through this Gospel so far. Turning water into wine, healing the official son, causing a parallel, his man to walk, multiplying the bread and fish to feed thousands of people, walking on the water, giving sight to a blind man. His words have caused division, intentionally so, as we've seen, and so Jesus effectively says, I know you can't clearly grasp my words, so instead I'm inviting you to reflect on my works. My works are of the father, my works are from the father, my works are done in the father's name, and that alone should lead you to understand and know who I am and who is he. He says the father is in me and I am in the father. See how his works establish his divine unity, or he put it in verse thirty, I and the father are one now. When he said that, the response was that the Jews picked up stones again to stone him. Their response this time...

...to a very similar statement verse thirty nine. Again they sought to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands. This is an important episode because this is Jesus's last public offer to receive him. That is recorded in this Gospel. It is his final gracious invitation and it is rejected. They seek to seize him. Of course they can't, because we know his hour has not yet come. And so we see the pattern in this Gospel, kind of cycle through again where Jesus does a mighty work or Jesus makes a claim to deity and he has met with opposition and hostility and rejection. But this this episode doesn't exactly end right here. John adds this little concluding transition starts in verse forty. He went away again, across the George to the place where John had been baptizing it first, and there he remained and many came to him and they said John did no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true and many believed in him. there. Now, like we've seen Jesus do before, he strategically retreats from Jerusalem. The differences this time he will stay away until the end comes, and the place he chooses to go is highly symbolic. Now that Jesus's public ministry is ending, we're only about three months away from the cross. At this point he returns to the place where his public ministry began, where John the Baptist prepared the way for him, and and the memories of John the Baptists. They are still very strong in that place, even though John has been dead for some time now. And when Jesus shows up, the people remember not the works, because John hadn't done any more. The people remember what John had said about Jesus. John Never performed a miraculous sign, something that was virtually required to to authenticate yourself as a as a Jewish prophet. John's greatness was found in his faithfulness and clarity in his witness to Jesus. Just by way of reminder, John the Baptist said things like behold the lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. He said things like after me comes a man who ranks before me because he was before me. He said things like I must decrease, but he must increase. He said things like I have seen and born witness that this is the son of God. John's ministry was not about him. It was all about Jesus. And look at this legacy. I think this is amazing for it to be said of him everything that he said about Jesus was true. What I pray that that can be written on my tombs. Don't maybe one day everything he said about Jesus was true. That should be the legacy we're all striving for. and John's truthfulness, combined with his humble witness about Jesus, created this fertile soil where many came to believe in Jesus in that place and and another thing that strikes me about this is that John didn't live to see that happen. I think there's something special about that, to a good reminder that for us, that that we can be encouraged that that any fruit that might occur in the lives of others that results from our faithful witness to Jesus, that can take place and blossom long after we're gone. We can plant, someone else can water, someone else can harvest. We don't have to be there for that. And so this repeating pattern of Jesus doing great signs and facing great opposition sets the stage for for what's coming, when Jesus is going to return to Jerusalem to perform his greatest sign and face his greatest opposition and what we'll start turning our attention there beginning next week. But as we as we bring this to a close, I want us to recall something of that bigger story, especially as it relates to this section of John's Gospel, since we're concluding that section today, chapters five through ten. This festival cycle, there was the unnamed feast back in Chapter Five where John healed the paralyzed man on the Sabbath and he used that opportunity to say, my father is working until now and I am working. The response was that the Jews sought to kill him, not just because he was breaking the sabbath, but also because he was claiming equality with God. In John Chapter six, at the time of the pass over, another feast, Jesus, of course, Mur raculously provides bread for thousands of people...

...and he uses that opportunity to say I am the living bread that came down from heaven, who, if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the response, remember, after this, many of his disciples turned away and no longer walked with him. At the Feast of booths, in John Chapter Seven, which celebrated God's provision for Israel during the wilderness years, Jesus cried out, if anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. In John Eight, he says I am the light of the world, and John Nine he proves that by opening the eyes of the man born blind. He claims to be the very presence and provision for his people, and the response several times in those chapters is that the authorities attempt to arrest him with the intention of killing him. Now, each one of those feasts, not only is there a pattern of rejection, but in each one of those feasts. Jesus dim and Straits that he is the ultimate fulfillment of everything that feast pointed to. He is the Lord of the Sabbath, he is the bread of life, he is the living water, he is the light of the world. So what about this feast, the Feast of dedication? Hanka, remember the Feast of Dedication celebrated the victory of Judas mccabee and the and the rededication of the temple to the Lord. And I want you to look again at verse thirty six, where Jesus refers to himself as him whom the father consecrated. Equally legitimately translated, him whom the father sanctified, we could also say him whom the father dedicated. The feast of dedication celebrates one of the great human deliverers in Jewish history, and yet here their divine deliverer, the Messiah, is rejected. The Jews are gathered to celebrate the rededication of the temple and they are oblivious to the true temple of God who is standing in their midst. The act of dedication that really matters didn't happen in one BC, when Judas maccabeus removed the idols from the temple and rededicated it and purified it. The act of dedication that really matters happened in eternity past, when the preincarnate son of God was dedicated, sanctified, consecrated, set apart for the mission given to him before the foundation of the world. There is a bigger picture to this story, one of epic proportions. The father consecrated, dedicated the son and sent him into the world. We read about this in Hebrews, chapter ten, verse five. Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me, and burnt offerings and sent offerings. You have taken no pleasure. Then, I said Christ said, behold, I have come to do your will, Oh God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book. In eternity past, God set apart his son to be sent on mission into the world, and that that mission brings salvation to us, the people of God. But it is not primarily about us, although it does involve us. Do you remember what Jesus praise? On the night before his death? He says of his followers, to his father, sanctify them in the truth. Your word is truth, as you me into the world, so I have sent them into the world and listen to this. For their sake, I consecrate myself that they also may be sanctified in truth. I want totally tell you all about that, because we'll save that from when we get to John Seventeen. But but just notice this. Just as Jesus was set apart to be sent into the world, he asks his father that his followers will be set apart to join him in this mission. And the way that will happen, Jesus says, I consecrate myself, I dedicate myself, I sanctify myself in a special way for a sacred purpose, to fulfill the mission that the father has given me. And in that context he is consecrating himself, he is dedicating himself, setting himself apart for the cross, and it is by the means of...

...the cross that he consecrates his followers to be saved and to join that mission and advance his cause. Hebrews ten continues in verse ten and says and by that will, by Jesus's perfectly obedient will, by that will, we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. So I want you to see the beauty of the Gospel in this. Jesus is the one sanctified by the father. He then sanctifies himself for the cross in order to sanctify his people. For mission. Jesus is the sanctified, sanctify er, the ultimate dedicated one dedicated by God, who dedicated himself to save and dedicate his followers. So what have we learned from this passage? And we really are almost done? Number One, the works of Jesus demonstrate his messianic identity. He says. The works that I do in my father's name bear witness about me. He is the Christ. The works of Jesus preserve his people for eternity. He says. I give them eternal life. They will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. No one is able to snatch them out of the father's hand. You may have life in his name. And the works of Jesus Establish His divine unity. He says, I and the father are one. The father is in me and I am in the father. He is the son of God. How do we respond? To these truths. I mean even in this passage there are different responses. Some do not believe and they respond with hostility towards Jesus. That's one way to respond and they will be held account for that response. But in verse forty two there is another way. People believe, and that is the call of the entire gospel of John, isn't it? That's been the application of just about every sermon in this series. Believe. So have you? Maybe a better question is, are you believing? Are you trusting in Jesus's finished work that demonstrates that he is the Christ? Trusting in his finished work that establishes that he is the son of God? Trusting in his finished work that gives you eternal life and preserves you forever? Have you turned from your sin? Do you continue to turn from your sin and turned towards him? The son of God was consecrated by the father and sent into the world to seek and save the lost. He is worthy of your trust, he is worthy of you consecrating your life to serve him. And all these things are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God, and that by believing, you may have life in his name. So look to Christ, believe on him for the first time, or keep believing in him and be saved. Let's pray, sovereign, Lord, you and your cause, not us and our causes, is what we want to engage our hearts, and so we pray that you would continue the work that you began in us. Through us, we know that not only can you, but you certainly will accomplish everything you have set out to accomplish. So, Lord, we pray that you would use us as you will, that you would do with us what you will, that your kingdom would come, that great numbers would fall on their knees and confess Jesus as Lord and Savior. God help us to toil towards that end. Let us be willing to give everything for your cause, because that is what we long for. Your cause, your kingdom, not our own. Maybe. So, in your name, into Your glory, Jesus, we pray. Amen,.

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