Each winter, the Jews observed the Feast of Dedication (Now known as Hanukkah about Dec. 19th or 20th on our calendar). This eight-day feast was instituted to commemorate the renovation and purification of the temple in the year 165 BC. The Syrians had desecrated it during the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes. Jesus traveled back to Jerusalem to observe this feast.
Since the Jews were expecting the Messiah to free them from Roman oppression, they pressed Jesus again to declare Himself.
Jesus reminded them that He had already told them, but they did not believe. The miracles that He had performed showed that He was the Son of God and that if they had been His sheep, they would have believed Him.
When Jesus said, “I and My Father are one,” the Jews took up stones to stone Him. He stated, “Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?”
The Jews replied, “For a good work, we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.”
According to the Law of Moses, blasphemy was a capital offence and was to be punished by stoning. When they attempted to arrest Jesus, He escaped again because it was still not the time for His death.
Jesus retreated to Bethabara about twenty miles east of Jerusalem in the area of Perea. It was there that John the Baptist had begun his ministry and had baptized Jesus. Many people believed in Him there because the things that John had said about Him were true.