At that time the festival of the Dedication took place in Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the portico of Solomon. So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered, “I have told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name testify to me; but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep.” (John 10:22 – 26)

In this section of the gospel of John, Jesus has been establishing the motif of being a Good Shepherd. It is, I grant you, a bit of a fuzzy section and so it is not surprising that the Jews are feeling confused as to what Jesus is saying. Remember that Jesus was not the type of Messiah that they were expecting. And I think it is safe to assume that they assumed the Messiah would meet and coordinate with them rather than going against them as the prevailing Jewish authorities. Plainly and colloquially put – this is not the Jesus you are looking for. But it is the Jesus you get!

My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.” (Verses 27 – 30)

I was out shopping with my daughter recently; or at least we were in the same store but in different parts of it. I heard a sneeze, and recognized it instantly – in our wanderings were found ourselves in the same part of the store. And I found her instantly when she sneezed – I knew that sound! Jesus says that those who believe and believe in Him through the Lord God knew Jesus instantly. That is, knew He was from the Lord God. Or at least would come to know that eventually. And that fact, their faith, and their belonging to the Lord God would never change.

This makes me think of my growing up years, and coming to faith. Perhaps it was the same for you, beloved reader. The Holy Presence whispered in your ears and in your heart, and you know that it was the Lord God calling you. And as each stage of growing and maturity came upon you, you heard the call more thoroughly and deeply. That is a nice thought, and I am going to end on that note. Shalom & Selah!