John 10:22


Every faithful teacher, coming into a morally mixed society, meets with a twofold experience: he evokes the hostility of those who hate truth and righteousness, and he rallies to him those who are candid, just, and pure. Such was eminently the result of our Lord's ministry among the Jews. It was foretold that, as a consequence of Christ's coming, "thoughts out of many hearts should be revealed." Never was this more manifestly the case than during those discussions which arose between Jesus and the Jews towards the close of his ministry.

I. THE CALUMNY ADVANCED AGAINST CHRIST.

1. The real and lasting ground of calumny. It was the truthfulness and purity of Christ's character; it was the justice and severity of his denunciations of formalism and hypocrisy, that incensed the Jewish leaders against the holy, outspoken, and fearless Prophet of Nazareth.

2. The immediate and special ground of calumny. It is noticeable that, on the several occasions upon which the slander mentioned in the context was uttered, Jesus had just been making some high claim to communion with his Divine Father, and to a consequent authority altogether above any wielded by created beings.

3. The real motive of the calumnies of the Jews was, therefore, their moral indisposition to tolerate the highest excellence. They loved darkness rather than light.

4. The nature of the calumny. It was said to Jesus, and of him, that he was possessed by a demon, and was insane. How it could be supposed that such gross slanders could meet with any credit, we are at a loss to say. It is certainly an instance of the malignity of sinners that such a calumny could be invented, and of the credulity of fools that it could be believed.

5. The purpose of the calumny. This was to discredit Jesus, to weaken his influence with the people, and so to aid the Jews in their malevolent aim, which was, no doubt, to bring his ministry to a shameful and violent close.

II. THE CONFUTATION OF THE CALUMNY.

1. It is observable that this did not proceed from Jesus himself, or from his immediate friends and professed disciples. Its effect must have been all the greater from its origin in the minds of impartial. spectators and auditors.

2. The sayings of Christ are declared incompatible with the supposition that Jesus was possessed by a demon. Their sobriety and reasonableness was a refutation of the charge of madness; whilst their justice, their purity, their opposition to falsehood, error, and deceit, were conclusive against the foolish accusation that they were inspired by the prince of darkness.

3. The works of Christ were, if possible, even more exclusive of such an imagination, such an invention as that referred to. Jesus had opened the eyes of a blind man, he had wrought other miracles of a nature most beneficent, he had relieved men from privations and sufferings, and restored them to health, to sanity, to happiness. It was incredible that such deeds of mercy as these could be inspired by the emissary of the foe of man. - T.









And it was at Jerusalem the feast of Dedication.
Antiochus Epiphanes, on his return from the conquest of Egypt, having entered Jerusalem with very great slaughter, and having pillaged the city, proceeded to pollute the sanctuary, placing on the altar of God the abomination of desolation; offering swine's flesh; burning the books of the law; and putting to death those who ventured to keep that sacred volume in their possession. This was, no doubt, a time of great mourning to the godly in Judah; and with many prayers and tears would they sigh for deliverance. And as under the oppression of Pharaoh, so under that of Antiochus, the Lord looked upon the affliction of His people and sent them a deliverer. Judas was raised up, a warrior who is said to have taken for the motto of his standard, "Who is like unto Thee among the gods, O Jehovah!" the first letters of which words in Hebrew when put together made up the word Maccabi, whence it is supposed his surname of Maccabaeus was derived.

(J. Fawcett, M. A.)Three decisive victories in the first two years ( B.C. 166, 167) of the campaign at Samaria, Bethoron and Emmaus, secured Judas' fame and success; and, finally, an encounter at Bethzur made him master of Jerusalem. They entered and found a scene of havoc. The corridors of the priest's chambers which encircled the Temple were torn down; the gates were in ashes, the altar disfigured, and the whole platform was overgrown as if with a mountain jungle or forest glade (1 Macc. 4:33). It was a heart-rending spectacle. Their first impulse was to cast themselves headlong on the pavement, and blow the loud horns which accompanied all mournful, as well as all joyous, occasions. Then, whilst the Greek garrison still remained in the fortress, the warriors first began the elaborate process of cleansing the polluted place. The first object was to clear away every particle which had been touched by the unclean animals. On the 22nd of Marchesvan they removed the portable altar which had been erected. On the 3rd of Chisleu they removed the smaller altars from the court in front of the Temple and the various Pagan statues (2 Macc. 10:2, 3). With the utmost care they pulled down the great platform of the altar itself, from the dread lest its stones should have been polluted. But with the scrupulosity which marked the period, they considered that stones once consecrated could never be entirely desecrated, and accordingly hid them away in a corner of the Temple, there to remain till the Prophet (2 Macc. 4:46) — the solver of riddles — should come and tell what was to be done with them. How many stones of spiritual or intellectual edifices excite a like perplexed fear, lest they have been so misused that they cannot be employed again — at least, till some prophet comes to tell us how and when! For the interior of the Temple everything had to be refurnished afresh — vessels, candlesticks, incense, altar, tables, curtains. At last all was completed, and on the 25th of Chisleu, the same day that three years before the profanation had occurred, the Temple was rededicated. It was the very time predicted in the book of Daniel (Daniel 7:25; Daniel 9:24-27; Daniel 12:6, 7). The three years and a half from the time of the first beginning of the sacrilege was over, and the rebound of the national sentiment was in proportion. The depth of winter (December) could not restrain the burst of joy. From the first dawn of that day for the whole following week songs of joy were sung with cymbals and harps. In the Psalms of Solomon (11:2, 3, 7) there are exalting strains which echo the words of the Evangelical prophet, and welcome the return unto Jerusalem. The smoke once more went up from the altar; the gates, and even the priestly chambers, were fumigated. The building itself was studded with golden crowns and shields, in imitation of the golden shields which in the first Temple had adorned the porch. What most lived in the recollection of the time was that the perpetual light blazed again. The golden candlestick was no longer to be had, its place was taken by an iron chandelier cased in wood; but this sufficed. It was a solemn moment when the sacred fire was again kindled on the new altar; and from it the flame communicated to the rest of the building. As in the modern ceremony of the "Sacred Fire" in the church of the Holy Sepulchre, so this incident was wrapped in mystery and legend. The simple historical account is that they procured the light by striking the fresh unpolluted stones against each other. But later representations, going back to the like events in Nehemiah's life, imagined some preternatural origin of the fire itself. It was further supposed that one unpolluted crevice was found which furnished the oil for the lighting of the Temple during the whole week; in remembrance of which every private house was illuminated, beginning, according to one usage, with eight candles, and decreasing as the week went on; according to the other, beginning with one and advancing to eight. Partly, no doubt, from these traditions, or (as Josephus thinks) from the returning joy of the nation, the festival in after days bore the name of the "Feast of Lights." This would receive a yet fuller significance in connection with another aspect of this great day. Though the latest it took rank at once with the earlier holy days. It won for itself a sanctity which neither the dedication of Solomon nor Zerubbabel had acquired. Both of these consecrations had been arranged to coincide with the Feast of Tabernacles. That season had already passed whilst the patriots were hiding in the mountains. Now, however, it was determined to make this new solemnity a repetition of that feast. It was called afterwards "The Tabernacle Feast of Winter"; and on this, its first occasion, there were blended with it the usual processions of that gay autumnal holiday, brandishing their woven branches of palm and other trees, whose evergreen foliage cheered the dull aspect of a Syrian December. And we can hardly doubt that they would, in accordance with the name "Feast of Lights," add to it that further characteristic of Tabernacles — the illumination of the precincts of the Temple by two great chandeliers placed in the court, by the light of which festive dances were kept up all through the night. There was an additional propriety in the transference of the national festival of the vintage to this new feast, because it coincided with the natural solemnity of welcoming the first light kindled in the new year. December 25th was at Tyre, as at Rome in after times, celebrated as the birthday of the Sun — the revival, the renewal, the Encaenia of man and nature.

(Dean Stanley.)

There was nothing in this institution against which the most correctly informed conscience could object, and it was enjoined by the lawful authorities; Jesus therefore would submit to an ordinance of man for the Lord's sake; and not only so, but He would willingly encourage this feast of dedication as a solemn acknowledgment of Divine mercies. On exactly the same footing stand several of the observances of our Church. The fifth of November, for instance, is observed as a memorial of a like deliverance from the machinations of those, who, after the example of Antiochus, would burn the Scriptures, and those who were found to possess them; and even our Christmas, and Lent, and Good Friday, and Easter, and Whitsuntide, rest on the same foundation. They were appointed by man, and are supported by the authority of the Church; a higher authority they do not claim: but who that feels as a Protestant and as a Christian, and regards the example of Christ, would refuse to comply with them?

(J. Fawcett, M. A.)

It was winter.
Consider it in relation —

I. TO GOD.

1. As a display of Divine power (Job 33:22-30). God humbles the wildest elements of nature by His northern blast. It not only arrests the mountain stream, but congeals into mountains of ice the polar seas; not only withers the flowers, but strips the forest; not only binds up the vegetable powers, but chains the solar heat. Who can stand before His cold? No one, but for the safeguards provided by the God of winter. And if such securities be so valuable, how invaluable the robe of righteousness for the naked and destitute soul!

2. As a display of Divine wisdom and goodness. Frosts purify the air, destroy noxious vermin, etc.; and if it occasion some disorders it prevents many others; and even these disorders by confining us at home, induce reflection.

3. As a display of Divine faithfulness. The fulfilment of the promise to Noah requires the annual preparation of the soil for fertility, and the preservation of seed from destruction. The first is secured by the action of frost, the latter by snow, which affords a warm garment, and cherishes infant growth. Then, touched by the sun, the vesture melts and saturates the pores of the soil with the dissolving nitre, thus replenishing the earth with the principles of vegetable life. Were there only snow the soil would be too damp; were there only frost the seed would perish. So God blends both together.

II. TO MANKIND AT LARGE. It reminds us —

1. Of the condition of the poor. We must not excuse ourselves from benevolence because we have paid the Poor Rate. We are compelled by law to do that; but how dwelleth the love of God in him who, having this world's goods, does nothing but pay his legal dues.

2. Of the reverses of lot to which we are all liable. Often affairs that were once as promising as spring, bright as summer, and rich as autumn, are now desolate as winter. It is not necessary to forget prosperity in adversity. To so remember it as to beget impatience is foolish and sinful, but not if it deepens our convictions of the uncertainty of human affairs, and warns others against trusting in uncertain riches. And then, again, how often is adversity the season when we first began to think seriously.

3. Of the evening and end of life. As winter comes freezing the streams, and weakening the powers of vegetable life, so old age congeals the warm blood and impairs the mental faculties. And yet this is the season to which the soul's weightiest concerns are often left. Old age is not the time for business effort, much less, then, for spiritual.

III. TO THE SPIRITUAL WORLD. Winter should remind us —

1. Of the entrance of sin into the world. For as winter deforms the face of nature, so sin brought a curse upon the earth. Sin quenched light, froze love, destroyed holiness.

2. Of the natural state of the heart in the sight of God. The heart and life of every man ought to be as spring: rich in buds of holiness; as summer, rich in the bloom of holiness; as autumn, rich in the ripe fruit of holiness. But, alas! it is not so. It is winter in every heart withheld from the Sun of Righteousness. And every year of neglect hardens the heart further against God.

3. Of the unhappy state of the backslider; its desolation and despair contrasted with its former fruitfulness and hope.

4. Of the great salvation. God has made the whiteness of winter's snow an emblem —

(1)Of the purity of salvation, "Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow."

(2)Of pardon and sanctification, "Come, now, let us reason together, etc."

(R. Philip, D. D.)

I. OF THE STATE OF THE UNCONVERTED.

1. In winter the light of heaven is obscured. Even in our temperate zone, our day is brief; but in the far north for months the orb of day never appears above the horizon. So the unconverted see not the Sun of Righteousness, nor the light He sheds on things important and interesting. They "sit in darkness and the shadow of death."

2. The deadness and barrenness of winter is figured in the unregenerate state. There is no foliage, corn, fruit, but what may be forced by artificial heat, and wanting in natural flavour. So in spiritual husbandry: the unconverted bear no fruit of approved quality "of the Spirit."

3. The cold of winter typifies the state of those who are strangers to the genial glow of pure and spiritual affection. Their tenderest feelings in religion are but a partial thaw produced by a transient sunshine which leaves no memorial behind except the pendant icicle and slippery surface, hardening the more for the momentary softening.

4. The winds and storms of winter are apt emblems of those ill-regulated and malignant passions which agitate with ceaseless tempest the souls that have no rest in God.

II. OF THE STATE OF SPIRITUAL DECLENSION. When summer and autumn have gone a change is soon perceptible. Where the golden light, luxurious warmth, precious produce? Nothing remains but cold barrenness. Emblematic of those who started well but have fallen out. Sometimes this change is gradual, as the days gradually shorten; sometimes more rapid through the influence of temptation, as when winter is hastened on by a premature and unexpected storm. But to remain in that state is to die.

III. OF A STATE OF DESERTION AND TEMPTATION. In winter nature seems barren of charm, and so the soul when Christ has withdrawn. Such an act is usually the result of man's negligence; but sometimes it is for the trial of faith and patience. Thus it was with Job, our Lord, Paul, and all great saints.

IV. OF A STATE OF AFFLICTION. In the case of the poor, winter is much more than an emblem, and that is the time to show our true religion, which is "to visit the widow and fatherless in their affliction." How many are exposed on the stormy sea or amid the drifted snow! Let us then be thankful for our security. But there are sorrows that create winter in the soul. Conclusion: Winter precedes spring in nature, and may do also for the unconverted, the backslide, the troubled, etc.

(H. Grey, D. D.)

We have one whole season that bears a look of unbenignity; but while many of God's doings do not represent His disposition, they exhibit His modes and ends of discipline. Turning our thoughts in this direction we shall find enough in winter to satisfy us of God's benignity. Some have thought that God would have shown His goodness more perfectly if He had omitted winter altogether. But would the advantages of a cylindrical world be greater than a spherical one in spite of its winter? In winter —

I. WE SEE THAT GOD'S BENEFICENCE IS NOT ALWAYS CONCERNED IN THE PROMOTION OF PHYSICAL ENDS. He here takes us off into a field to show on how large a scale He builds and governs, and works for ends that are superior. Our God is not a summer God, but a winter God, caring visibly less for all mere comfort than for the grand prerogatives and rigours of principles.

II. WE NOTE A MARKED CHANGE IN OUR BODILY AND MENTAL HABIT AND TEMPERAMENT.

1. Diseases are of a different type, and health itself a different experience. In summer the senses are more awake, and the body has free communication with nature through every pore. In winter these gates are closed; the vital force retreats to sustain the internal heat by extra exertion then. We fold our cloak instinctively about us, and ask to be separated from nature by impervious walls.

2. This change naturally effects the tone and temperament of the mind which is less given up to sensation and passion. In the perpetual summer of the tropics the soul's capacities are all but macerated; but where there is a good interspersing of winter habit, a more rugged and distinctly moral temperament is induced.(1) The contrast between summer and winter life in respect to reflection is remarkable. After the mind has received the summer into its storehouse then it wants winter to review its stores. Now the senses lose their objects, we listen to conscience and think of other worlds. Every prospect without is forbidding, the indoor fire more attractive, and if we ever think cogently we do now.(2) It is well understood that the mind never attains to strength without the habit of reflection. The same is necessary to a vigorous pronouncement of the moral man. Hence the intellectual and moral dearth of the tropics, Their moral nature wants the frigorific tension of a well-nurtured life and experience. Who would undertake to form a Scotch people as to a sense of principles in Jamaica?

III. We are made MORE CONSCIOUS OF OUR MORAL WANTS. The prodigal came to himself in a time of short allowance; and when, as in winter, shall our want of God be awakened? Everything around is an image of the coldness of a cold heart. Cut off from the diversions of summer pleasures, then, if ever, a man will feel those wants which set all moral natures reaching after God.

IV. We are MORE CAPABLE OF REALIZING INVISIBLE SCENERIES AND WORLDS. God is more vividly imagined in summer, and the tropical attractions of paradise, with its twelve manner of fruits, are intimated. But the time for realizing these invisible things is when a pall is thrown over their visible resemblances. When creation is bare we call upon our imaginations to paint and picture, and make it blessed above all seen facts.

V. THE WILL BECOMES MORE ERECT AND DETERMINATE. Men in the tropics seem to have no will, and are commonly inefficient for decisive action. How many of them have become martyrs? And who is not languid and averse to resolution even in our northern summer? We speak of the bracing of winter, by which we mean that we have a nerve to do, determine, endure, i.e., have a new instalment of will, and so of practical energy.

VI. THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL CONDITIONS OF LIFE ARE AFFECTED BENEFICIALLY. Winter is not commonly productive, but is rather a time of expenditure; and in this way it impels by the most stringent motive to habits of industry and providence. And these habits help to set one on forecasting the wants and necessities of the life beyond. And then, having this also provided, he will have it in his heart to borrow the larger lesson, and be no more churlish or barren of gratitude; but, seeing that God gives for expenditure, he will set his comforts in contrast with the desolations around, and thank God for the supplies of the year. VII. We see THE CONTRIBUTIONS IT MAKES TO HOME LIFE. Home is an exclusively northern word. Tropical families living out of doors for the whole year are less regularly gathered into domestic proximity. It is only at the hearth when the winter fire is kindled that fatherhood, motherhood, and other tender relationships become bonds of unity. A whole half-year spent at the hearth — mornings there begun with prayer, long evenings enlivened by mutual society, books opening their treasures, and games their diversions — this condenses a home. Who can imagine a "Cottar's Saturday Night" in the tropics?

VIII. WE HAVE BEEN TRACING PARTICULAR RESULTS OF CHARACTER OPERATED BY WINTER CLIMATES. LET US LOOK AT A FEW WINTER SCENES AND OCCASIONS THAT ARE WORKING RESULTS NOT LESS IMPORTANT. Note —

1. The almost religious impression of winter storms. Tropical storms are so terrible as to leave no moral impression at all. But our winter storm gathers up its force more thoughtfully, as if moving only great instigations, and under this performance, by God's aerial orchestra, our soul is in vibration as never under any combination of act, instrument, or voice.

2. The moral value of winter as a time for charity. In the summer God pours out His bounty so freely that none scarcely miss their needed supply. In the winter He withholds that we may take His place. The conditions of hunger and cold authenticate themselves. If there is no fire the lack can be seen. The poor ragged child, saying by his piteous look, "Who can stand before His cold?" wants no certificate.

3. Winter funerals. These are a trial that awakens strange inward commotions. Our heart shudders, but while our feeling is protesting, the thought arises "Our departed is not in that hole. Let the snows fall heavy — we thank Thee Father Lord of the warmer clime that our dead one lives with Thee." Practically, almost nothing will compel a faith in immortality more than to bury a friend in the winter.

4. Winter religious movements. It is remarkable, and a fair subject for congratulation, that the great Church days are in winter or early spring — Christmas and Easter, e.g. Whether Lent is fixed because at that time the mind is more congenially tempered for the higher meditation and severer exercises of religion some may question, but Lent in July would have much less chance of the intended benefit; and in churches not observing Lent, the time is distinguished by what are called revivals of religion. But in both cases winter becomes the harvest of religion. The tonic force of winter gives a possibility of thought and tension specially needed for earnest religious exercises. It is also an advantage that we love proximity in winter, and covet more easily the warmth of assemblies and high social impulse.

5. Winter seems the time to meditate all our most serious concerns of life anew. Doing this it will not much concern us if our flight should be in winter.

(H. Bushnell, D. D.)

When the sky is blue above, and the morning air fresh and bracing, and the frost has gemmed every twig and spray of bush and tree, and every weed and blade of grass by the roadside — aye, and every stone and dead leaf, and straw even, and nature's myriad brilliants glitter like diamonds in the sun; and the hard ground rings under your quick tread; and the boys shout on the slippery pond; and the skater hurries to the lake in the park; and the woodman's axe is heard in the copse; and in the barn the flail comes down with a will; and the carter's boy whistles beside the smoking team; and the brown leaves of the oak rustle; and the lark sings overhead — then winter is a brave old boy, and shall have a crown of shining holly with scarlet berries on the dark leaves of glossy green; and the log shall burn on the hearth, and the mistletoe hang in the hall, and the young shall be merry, and the old cheerful, and the thoughtful remember gladly who it is that hath made the winter.

(H. H. Dobney.)

National humiliation and rejoicing may at times be proper, but if annually perpetuated they may become unmeaning. In addition to fasts and festivals of Divine appointment, the Jews had this and others. With how much more reverence men treat Church institutions than those sanctioned by God. Christianity is contrasted with Judaism in as much as it is not an outward religion, has no feasts, attaches no sanctity to days and years, but is inward.

2. At this feast Jesus walked in Soloman's porch, and men sought to stone Him for asserting His Oneness with the Father. Men may attach greater importance to the sanctuary than to the gospel. What was passing through His mind? The contrast between the outward beauty of the Temple and the real condition of the Church? Or the little moral influence it had in the world? For the world's winter was only the symbol of its spiritual state.

3. What does the season suggest to us in the sanctuary? The ritualism of nature is most expressive, and furnishes us with types of spiritual ideas. Christ uses nature's illustrations exclusively.

I. DEATH PRECEDES LIFE. Our year begins with winter, which prepares the way for all that follows. Winter is the type of death. It paralyzes old age, takes the colouring from childhood, and fills many a grave.

1. If mental life is to be developed how much have we to die to — early prejudices, mistaken opinions, confused conjectures.

2. If the spiritual life is to be developed, death must precede it. Old principles must be renounced, old habits abandoned.(1) There must be death to sin that there may be life to God. Crucifixion with Christ precedes Christ living in us.(2) There must be death to things seen if we would live to the things unseen. The world must be dead to us if we would seek the things above.(3) The body must die that it may live a new life.

II. LIFE HAS ITS SUCCESSIVE DEVELOPMENTS.

1. Winter is necessary that one form of life may pass away to be succeeded by another.(1) It is not all spring. Earth's beautiful garments become worn and soiled, and must be laid aside, and in darkness and silence nature makes preparation for her new vesture.(2) It is not all activity and growth. There must be a time for the gathering up of energies.(3) It is not all fruitfulness; the fruits must be gathered in to answer the purposes of their growth, and the developments must begin anew.

2. The length of the year is adapted to the constitution of the world. If any change were to take place the wonderful mechanism would be disarranged and come to a stand, and so in the constitution of man. We get robustness not in summer but in winter, and grow more spiritually then.

3. These successive developments, though almost numberless in their forms, may be repetitions. Every year sees leaves, flowers, etc., like the last. But some forms may be succeeded by new manifestations of life, increase of beauty and fruitfulness. There is not a leaf that falls but has accomplished its purpose and makes way. for its successor. And so some successive manifestations of spiritual life seem copies of each other. These are necessary to Christian character, but they would not go on did not winter intervene, and some are replaced by manifestations far surpassing those that have preceded them.

III. LIFE CONTAINS THE GERM OF ALL FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS. Winter does not destroy life. The first act of faith contains in it the germ of all the future sinless and sorrowless life.

(H. J. Bevis.)

Jesus walked in the Temple In Solomon's porch.
The word "porch" rather means what we should call a verandah or colonnade. It was one of those long covered walks under a roof supported by columns, on one side at least, which the inhabitants of hot countries appear to find absolutely needful. Singularly enough, one sect of heathen philosophers at Athens was called "Stoics," from its meeting in a place called "Stoa," here rendered a porch; while another was called "Peripatetics," from its habit of "walking about" during its discussions, just as our Lord did in this verse. The cloisters of a cathedral or abbey, perhaps, are most like the building called a "porch" here. Josephus says this porch was one of the buildings which remained partly undestroyed from Solomon's Temple. Tacitus expressly mentions it as one of the defences of the Temple at the siege of Jerusalem.

(Bp. Ryle.)This discourse of our Lord concerning His own Divine power as proved by His works was delivered in winter in Solomon's porch. And then the Jews rejected Him (ver. 39). But afterwards this porch was the place in which His apostles, having wrought mighty works in His name, boldly proclaimed His Messiahship and Divine power to the people, who gladly accepted the gospel (Acts 3:11; Acts 5:12). Both in nature and in grace it was then spring. Christ had ascended and the Comforter had come.

(Bp. Wordsworth.)

1. The presence of Jesus brings into prominence —

(1)The place: "at Jerusalem, in the Temple."

(2)The exact part of it: "Solomon's porch."

(3)The time: "winter."

(4)The proceedings: "feast of Dedication."

2. The main feature in all history, and in the event of every life, is the presence or absence of Jesus.

I. WILL HE BE HERE? The place may be a very Jerusalem, our meetingplace may be a temple, it may be a high day, but will He be with us? It may be cold and wintry; but what of that if He be here? Our own eager inquiry is about His presence, and we feel sure that He will come, feral. We have invited Him, and He will not refuse His friends.

2. We are prepared for Him, and are waiting to welcome Him.

3. We have great need of Him, and He is full of compassion.

4. We have some of His brethren, and these bring Him in them; indeed, He is in them.

5. We have those here whom He is seeking — lost sheep.

6. He has premised to come (Matthew 13:20).

7. Some declare that they have already seen Him. Why should not others of us enjoy the same privilege?

II. WILL HE STAY? He will —

1. If we prize His company, and feel that we cannot live without it. We must by earnest prayer constrain Him to abide with us (Luke 24:29)

2. If we love His truth, and delight to make it known.

3. If we obey His will, and walk in sincerity and holiness.

4. If we are diligent in His service and worship.

5. If we are united in love to Him, to one another, and to poor sinners.

6. If we are humbly reverent and sit at His feet in lowly confession. The proud He will never favour.

7. If we are jealously watchful.

III. WHAT WILL HE DO IF HE COMES?

1. He will walk among us and observe what we are doing, even as He noticed those who went to the Temple at Jerusalem.

2. He will grieve over the spiritual condition of many, even as He mourned over the ruin of Jerusalem.

3. He will wait to give audience to any who desire to speak with Him.

4. He will teach by His servant; and His Word, whether received or rejected, will be with great authority and power.

5. He will this day explain to us the Temple itself, by being Himself the Key to it. Think of Jesus, who is the Temple of God (Revelation 21:22), in the Temple, and then understand by the light of His presence —

(1)The Temple (Hebrews 9:11; Revelation 15:5).

(2)The altar (Hebrews 13:10; Revelation 3:3).

(3)The Sacrifice (Hebrews 9:23; 1 Corinthians 5:7).

(4)The shewbread (Hebrews 9:2).

(5)The veil (Hebrews 10:20).

(6)The ark and mercy seat (Hebrews 9:4, 5; Revelation 10:19).

(7)The priest (Hebrews 10:12).

6. He will to His own people reveal His love, as once the Lord's light shone above the mercy seat.

7. He will take us where He always walks, but where there is no winter: to the New Jerusalem, to the temple, to a more beautiful building than Solomon's porch (Revelation 21:10, 11).

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

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