By Sally Lombardo
“At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon. 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.” (John 10:22–24)
There is a movie called “The Truman Show” that is set in a utopian town in the Florida panhandle. The main character, a young man named Truman, is part of a bizarre TV show about his contrived and managed life. Friends and family are simply actors in the story. In the final scenes, Truman discovers the truth, gets a boat, and sails off the coast to the exit door. The action switches to people in a bar who have been watching the show, waiting in suspense to see when Truman will discover the truth. When he does, they look at each other in disappointment and wonder what else is on. Then they change the channel.
This passage from John describes the Pharisees, who were watching Jesus and waiting to see what he would do. Jesus was walking through the colonnade at the Festival of Dedication, and Jewish leaders gathered around him, asking, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly” (John 10:24). Jesus had shown the leaders his identity many times, but they did not believe him. So he told them again, with several verses proclaiming his connection to the Father. Jesus finished his answer by saying, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). Immediately, the Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him because Jesus had declared himself to be God. Unlike the viewers of “The Truman Show,” who were bored and disinterested with the truth, the Jewish leaders were provoked and enraged. They did not want to hear the truth about Jesus, the Messiah.
How are we like this? When the truth is out, how do we respond? We have easy access to the Bible, and we don’t have to live in suspense for the truth. God’s Word reveals Christ for who he really is. We can read Jesus’s words plainly—sometimes they comfort us, sometimes they challenge us. Hopefully, they never bore us! God’s Word promises to renew, restore, and enlighten us (Psalm 19:7–8). Jesus calls us to stay the course and not abandon our love of his law and commands, even when doing so is hard. As we abide in Christ, we can joyfully walk by faith for all he has given us to do. As we wait in suspense for Jesus’s return, we can joyfully share his truth with others.
Reflection: Is God’s Word—the truth about Jesus—a priority in your life? How can you grow in your study of his Word? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
In our six-week small group Bible study on the book of 1 John, you are invited to live and celebrate true life in Christ. Throughout his first letter, John wrestles with the assurance of salvation. How do we know that we are genuine Christians, and how can we recognize authentic faith in others? The Apostle John taught that you can enjoy full assurance through believing in the incarnate Son of God, walking in the light of obedience, and loving God and his children. Embark on this study with us today!
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