Are You a Sheep?
Often times the words of Scripture are tough to hear and few passages are harder to hear than Jesus’ words in John 10:24-30. Here is the interaction Jesus had with a some Jews:
24 So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, ‘How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.’
25 Jesus answered them, ‘I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not part of my flock. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.’ -ESV
I hear the Jew’s words in verse 24 today, but they often said with a twist. Atheists invite Jesus to present himself at their meetings. Agnostics saying things like, “I wish we could really know God.” Muslims dismiss Jesus’ deity because he “never told anyone he was God in plain language”. All of these things have the same theme…they all expect Jesus to prove who he is on their terms. Well, that isn’t how God works. God doesn’t submit to the wishes of his creation and Jesus reflects this in his response starting in verse 25.
The first words out of Jesus’ mouth are, “I told you, and you do not believe.” Jesus makes it abundantly clear that he has told people who he was. He told them but they didn’t believe. Jesus doesn’t only point to the words that he has said but he tells them, “The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me.” Jesus’ works attested to who he is but the Jews refused to acknowledge it. Jesus could have stopped right there but he goes on to explain why they do not believe.
In verse 26 Jesus said, “but you do not believe because you are not part of my flock.” What a slap in the face. The Jews were the chosen people. They were the gatekeepers to God. They were held the keys to holiness but Jesus tells them that they are not part of his flock. They did not believe because they were incapable of believing. Jesus then transitions into what a sheep is.
In verse 27 Jesus makes it plain that Jesus’ sheep hears his words, follows his words, and he knows them. This is a remarkable statement by Jesus. His chosen people hear him and follow him, but not only that, Jesus knows them. Jesus has an intimate connection with his sheep. Jesus loves his sheep. Jesus cares for his sheep. Jesus died for his sheep but Jesus did even more. Jesus obtained eternal life for his sheep.
Jesus’ words in verse 29-30 are plain and amazing:
I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.
Jesus gives his sheep eternal life. Jesus promises that his sheep will never perish. Jesus said that nothing can snatch his sheep out of his hand. What is even more amazing is that Jesus doesn’t do this alone. The Father gives Jesus’ sheep into his hands. The creator of everything gives his chosen people into the hands of Jesus and they will remain their for eternity. This is an amazing truth within Christianity.
Jesus’ sheep hear his words, follow his words, and Jesus knows them intimately.
So, the burning question that you need to answer is…
…Are you a sheep?
Thanks for reading.