(Study Outline sourced from “The System Bible Study” – “The Book of Life” [Zondervan])
(19). Parables Of The Mustard Seed And Leaven Repeated
These two parables that were already given in Matt.13:31-33 and Mk.4: 30-32are repeated here in Lk.13. (see Part 8 (d) & (e) for comments).
(20). The Pharisees Attack On Christ At The Feast Of Dedication
“…the Feast of Dedication at Jerusalem: Dedication, Feast of (Heb. hanukka). In 1 Macc. 4:52-59 it is called “the dedication of the altar,” and by Josephus (Ant. 12.7.7) “the feast of lights.” It was a popular and joyous festival commemorating the purifying of the Temple, the removal of the old polluted altar, and the restoration of the worship of Jehovah by Judas Maccabeus, 164 B.C.
This feast began on the 25th Chisleu (December) and lasted eight days but did not require attendance at Jerusalem. Assembled in the Temple or in the synagogues of the places where they resided, the Jews sang “Hallel,” carrying palm and other branches; and there was a grand illumination of the Temple and private houses. The origin of the illumination of the Temple is unknown, although tradition says that when the sacred “lampstands” of the restored Temple were to be lighted only one flagon of oil, sealed with the signet of the high priest, was found to feed the lamps. This was pure oil, but only sufficient for one day– when by a miracle the oil increased, and the flagon remained filled for eight days, in memory of which the Temple and private houses were ordered to be illuminated for the same period. No public mourning or fast was allowed on account of calamity or bereavement. The festival did not require anyone to abstain partially or completely from his ordinary occupation, and unlike some other celebrations it was not marked by a holy assembly at the beginning and the end. The celebration was always of a joyous, exuberant character, which commemorated the restoration of the worship of the Temple (1 Macc. 4:41-49). The similarity between this festival and the “feast of Booths” would seem to indicate some intended connection between the two. Without doubt, our Lord attended this festival at Jerusalem . It is still observed by the Jews.(from New Unger’s Bible Dictionary. Originally published by Moody Press of Chicago, Illinois. Copyright (C) 1988.)
While attending the feast, our Lord was questioned by the Pharisees, as to how long He would keep them in suspense regarding Him being the Messiah (Christ), saying, “If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus responded by indicating that He had already provided evidence to them but they had not believed Him; and He continues by saying that “The miracles I do in my Father’s name speak for me..”and they refuse to believe because they are not His sheep. Our Lord continued by stating, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” And the fact that they did not believe proved they were not His sheep (followers). All His sheep listen to and obey His voice, and in so doing confess to the fact that they have received the gift of eternal life (salvation from sin) and will never have to face God’s judgment for sin, and just as important, no one can ever defeat God’s purposes and “snatch” them from the hand of God, or from the hands of our Saviour for “I and the Father are one.” .
Because of His claim to be equal with the Father the Pharisees were about to stone Him for blasphemy “because you, a mere man, claim to be God” they stated, giving the Lord Jesus reason to quote from the O.T. “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are gods’?” The Psalm begins by stating that “God presides in the great assembly; he gives judgment among the “gods””the word “gods” is a reference to the judges or rulers that were appointed to oversee the complaints of the people . So Our Lord continues by asking “If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came– and the Scripture cannot be broken– 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’?” He had the right to claim He was God’s only Son, and further challenged them “Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does. But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.” The miracles were the actual proof that Jesus Christ was God incarnate! Only God has full control over all the elements of His creation and this was demonstrated in all of Jesus’ miracles.