In John 10:22, the author notes,
Then came the Festival of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was in the temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade.
Immediately prior to this authorial note is the parable of The Good Shepherd and His Sheep. Immediately after this note, Jesus tells the Pharisees that they are not one of his flock and attempt to stone him. 10:22-23 however seem to have no relationship to or purpose in the text and seem to interrupt the flow of the text with unimportant and irrelevant detail. The text could have simply begun at v24 (albeit with a slightly modified introduction such as
One day, the Jews gathered around Jesus, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”)
So, why then did the author of John include this awkward note? Does the time of year or the festival have some relationship to shepherding or sheep? Does this merely serve as some sort of structural divider for the text? Simply put, how are these two verses relevant in any way to the preceeding and/or following content?