Context: The Feast of Dedication mentioned here is commonly called Hanukkah: an 8-day celebration in December of the rededication of the Jewish Temple in 164 B.C. after it was desecrated by Antiochus Epiphanes several years earlier. The actions of Antiochus are actually a portend of the things that are prophesied in Daniel and Revelation regarding the ‘abomination of desolation’ in the Temple during the Great Tribulation. Jesus himself refers to it during his Olivet discourse in the final week leading up to the Crucifixion. In John 10 Jesus teaches openly in Solomon’s Colonnade and reiterates that His works and the testimony of the Father substantiate he is God in human form. He takes the entire progression one step father by boldly asserting, ‘I and the Father are one.’
Observations: Why did Jesus capitalize so much on the Jewish festivals to spread his teaching and engage in the form of Jewish dialogue and debate? Note his continued thread of the sheep motif, including ‘my sheep hear my voice; but you are not among my sheep.’
Application: Remember a time when God ‘spoke to you.’ What was happening externally or internally for you to be ‘aware of His voice’? How significantly does Scripture enter into our ability to hear (and respond) to the voice of Jesus? Practice humility throughout the day (which is not the same as passivity).
Prayer: Ask God to ‘speak to you’ in an area where you have been stubborn, blind, resistant to change. Be aware of different avenues the Shepherd is trying to get your attention: the Bible, other Christians, especially those in your local church body, communicators and teachers of the Scriptures, circumstances, criticisms and praises from others. God often uses trials to make us more receptive to His voice … how is He wanting to use our current pandemic and its practical implications in your life right now? Our collective life as a church?