“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life” (Winston Churchill).
Read John 10:22-42
 Then came the Festival of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter,  and Jesus was in the temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade.  The Jews who were there gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”  Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me,  but you do not believe because you are not my sheep.  My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.  My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.  I and the Father are one.”  Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him,  but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”  “We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”  Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods”‘?  If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came-and Scripture cannot be set aside-  what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’?  Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father.  But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.”  Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.  Then Jesus went back across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing in the early days. There he stayed,  and many people came to him. They said, “Though John never performed a sign, all that John said about this man was true.”  And in that place many believed in Jesus. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhy couldn't the Jews understand that Jesus is the Messiah?
It’s time for Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, a memorial to the “cleansing of the Temple” in second-century BC. It all started when a Hasmonean king set up an altar to Zeus in the Temple and offered a sacrifice. The Jews were outraged; under the leadership of Judas Maccabeus, they revolted and drove the enemy forces out of Jerusalem. The Temple was then cleaned, refurbished and proudly rededicated. Almost 200 years later, Jesus stands in Solomon’s Portico, an impressive colonnade on the southern edge of the Temple Mount. Another confrontation is taking place. But, as N.T. Wright says, “This is no gentle devotional discussion of deep personal religious truth, set within a framework of civility and mutual respect: this is a man facing a crowd, set upon lynching him and bravely speaking up against their hypocrisy.” Despite this, Jesus remains implacably calm. How is that possible? On Christmas Eve 2011 Bishop Mulinde, a Ugandan convert from Islam, was scarred for life when someone threw acid in his face. He’s been viciously attacked many times but has not retaliated. “I bear the marks of Jesus,” he says.
“Always forgive your enemies,” said Oscar Wilde, “nothing annoys them so much.” It requires Jesus’ Spirit.
Mighty God, You stared down Your enemies. Give me some of that strength for today, I pray.
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