Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Jesus' Winter

In John 10:23, John records that Jesus was walking in the Temple courts in the winter. He's already established in the previous verse that he's moved to a new time frame, starting with the Feast of Dedication. Why then mention the winter?

I think it connects us to Solomon's dedication of the Temple, for that took place in the seventh month (December, if my facts are straight). Solomon, being the Son of God that he was, is a player in the discussion that ensues, and even gets mentioned once in 10:23. Jesus is dedicating a new Temple and moving in, the Temple of His Body, the Church. He's going to raise Lazarus and then deal with the public for just a little bit more before concentrating on His disciples through the last nine chapters.

I think it's doing a little more though. One of the things Jesus is doing in this section is showing Himself to be the Greater Prophet. There's lots of Ezekiel and Jeremiah connections, and I think this is one. In Jeremiah 36, Jeremiah writes a scroll through his scribe Baruch and sends it to be read in the presence of Jehoiakim the King of Judah. Jehoiakim will not listen and burns the scroll, and God tells Jeremiah that his line will be cut off. All this takes place in the ninth month, while Jehoiakim is at his winter house (Jer 36:22).

And that is what is going on with the Jews in the Temple in John 10. They have rejected Jesus and His signs, and shown that they do not love the Lord. They are prophesied for destruction when Jesus levels the city and Temple. We should notice that He removes Himself from the Temple for good at the end of the chapter, never to return (at least in John's account). The wicked Jews have worshipped their idols long enough, and now God is moving out of His winter home to a new home. But the spring will not dawn for these Jews.