22 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.”
“The Feast of Dedication, now known as Hanukkah, was established as a memorial to the purification and rededication of the temple by Judas Maccabeus, [who successfully led a revolt against foreign occupying forces and who therefore was regarded as a Messianic figure].”
• Given that this happened during the Feast of Dedication, what might have motivated the Jews to ask the question about Jesus’ identity?
• Why would approaching Jesus as a potential political deliverer from the Roman occupiers eventually lead to anger and rejection?
• How does this dynamic play out in people’s approach toward God in our day?
• What are the characteristics of Jesus’ sheep?
• How do Jesus’ words “no one will snatch them out of my hand” encourage me in my struggles today?