22 Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter. 23 And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon’s porch. 24 Then the Jews surrounded Him and said to Him, “How long do You keep us in doubt? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.”
John at this point recorded a final confrontation of Jesus with a Jerusalem crowd (10:22-39). John 10:22-42 marks the end of Christ’s public ministry. Official Israel still rejected Jesus as the Messiah at the end of His public ministry (Isa 53:3). Only a few embraced Him as Savior.
The time frame was now two months later than verse 21. It was now the month of Kislev (Nov-Dec).
The focus of 10:22-39 is upon two titles of Christ: (1) the Messiah (10:22-30) and (2) the Son of God (10:31-39).
Now it was the Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah) in Jerusalem,
The Feast of Dedication is the feast of Hanukkah or the Feasts of Lights (an eight-day festival). This feast celebrated the rededication of the temple after its desecration by Antiochus IV (Epiphanes) by offering a pig on the altar in 168 BC. He erected a statute of Zeus in the most holy place. That desecration of the temple by the Syrian forces of Antiochus Epiphanes was called “the abomination of desolation” (Da 11:31; Mt 24:15).
The priest Mattathias and his sons revolted against this persecution. On 25 Kislev 164 BC, they liberated the temple. The rededication of the temple was called “the Feast of Dedication.”
This feast was not officially specified in the Old Testament.
and it was winter.
Two months had elapsed since Jesus’ confrontation with the Jews at the Feast of Tabernacles in October (Jn 7:2). The weather was inclement. This was the rainy season in Israel.
And Jesus walked in the temple,
Since it was winter, Jesus went to the temple precincts for shelter.
in Solomon’s porch.
Solomon’s porch is the Portico of Solomon (200 yards long), a covered walkway on the eastern side of the court of the Gentiles located in the temple complex.
Then the Jews surrounded Him and said to Him,
“The Jews” here refers to the crowd in general, not leaders of Israel. The word “surrounded” metaphorically means to accost. They hemmed Jesus in. The Jews circled around Jesus, making demands of Him. They were seeking a reason to condemn and crucify Him. They wanted an adequate accusation that they could present before a tribunal.
“How long do You keep us in doubt?
The Jews did not want Jesus to keep them in suspense. The implication is that He had not been candid with them. In fact, Jesus never publicly declared Himself to be the Messiah in so many words. He did so privately with the Samaritan woman (Jn 4:26) and to His disciples (Mt 16:13ff). Instead, however, He publicly made His Messiahship obvious by His words and miracles.
If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.”
“The Christ” is a reference to Messiah. The Jews wanted to extract a plain statement from Jesus that He was the Messiah. However, Jesus had clearly revealed Himself by words and miracles, yet they still did not believe. Why should He continue with people of negative volition? They attempted to discredit Him; they had no interest in who He truly was.
Jesus purposely omitted public declaration of His Messiahship so that religious authorities would not have reason to arrest Him before it was time.
Objective and empirical evidence is necessary to believe in Jesus.
The Messiahship of Jesus could not be recognized by those who were not His sheep (Jn 10:26) because they were volitionally shut down. They did not reject Him because of the evidence He presented but because of hostility toward Him.
People who would believe in Jesus must look at the empirical evidence of who He is and what He did.