It was now winter, and Jesus was in Jerusalem at the time of Hanukkah, the Festival of Dedication.
He was in the Temple, walking through the section known as Solomon’s Colonnade, when the people surrounded him and asked, “How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”
Jesus replied, “I have already told you, and you don’t believe me. The proof is the work I do in my Father’s name. But you don’t believe me 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 will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and he is greater than all. So no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.”
Once again the people picked up stones to kill him. Jesus said, “At my Father’s direction I have done many good works. For which one are you going to stone me?”
They replied, “We’re stoning you not for any good work, but for blasphemy! You, a mere man, claim to be God.”
Jesus replied, “It is written in your own Scriptures that God said to certain leaders of the people, ‘I say, you are gods!’ And the Scriptures can’t be dismissed. So if those people who received God’s message were called ‘gods,’ why do you call it blasphemy when I say, ‘I am the Son of God’? After all, the Father set me apart and sent me into the world. Don’t believe me unless I carry out my Father’s works. But if I do, believe on the basis of the works themselves. Then you will know and understand that the Father is in me, and I am in the Father.”
Once again they tried to arrest him, but he slipped away and left them.
He crossed the Jordan River and stayed where John had first baptized. Many people followed him.
“John didn’t perform any miraculous signs,” they said, “but everything he told us about this man was true.” And many who were there believed in Jesus.