The Gospel according to John (10:22-30)
The feast of the Dedication was taking place in Jerusalem.
It was winter.
And Jesus walked about in the temple area on the Portico of Solomon.
So the Jews gathered around him and said to him,
“How long are you going to keep us in suspense?
If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”
Jesus answered them, “I told you and you do not believe.
The works I do in my Father’s name testify to me.
But you do not believe, because you are not among my sheep.
My sheep hear my voice;
I know them, and they follow me.
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.
No one can take them out of my hand.
My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all,
and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand.
The Father and I are one.”
Some years back, I went to see my niece perform in “Fiddler on the Roof” with a youth troupe. I don’t recall the role she played (but I am sure she was great – after all, she is my niece!). The role of Teyve, the main male character was played by Deacon Frey, the son of Glenn Frey, who was in the music group the Eagles. I happened to get to say hello to Glenn at intermission and recalled how amazed I was that he introduced himself just as “Glenn” (not “Glenn Frey from the Eagles”). He seemed just like a regular person, happy to see his son in a play. I probably had my own preconceived notion about what he would be like — you know, that he wouldn’t talk to a common person like me — but I was thankfully wrong!
I tell that story because I suspect that the Jews in today’s Gospel had their own idea about what the “Christ” would be like. Doubtless, many of them looked for the Christ to be the one to overthrow their oppression by the Romans and be a new political leader, like King David. Jesus was, after all, from David’s line. It seems like very few of those Jews recognized Jesus for the Christ that He was – the suffering servant from Isaiah, who laid down His life for those who believe in Him.
How often do I expect Jesus to be something that He is not? How often do I pray not for His Will, but that He will let *my* will be done? Our own nature always wants our needs met ahead of (and maybe sometimes at the expense of) others. That’s the nature that we fight against when we try to be good followers of Jesus.
The challenge during this Easter time is to stop listening to those who would lead us away from our Lord, and instead to pause and listen for His voice! He is always there, leading us, but even more amazingly, He is right at our side, too. He companions us, His sheep, through the path we follow in our lives, wanting only that we feel His love, that we share His love, and that we keep our eyes fixed on Him, so that we can receive the eternal life that He promises. May we all see Jesus as the selfless, ever-loving Son of God who is our brother, and may we long to share His love and peace wherever we go!
Action for the Day:
Find a quiet moment today to listen for the voice of the Shepherd, calling you to follow Him, and then, go and be kind to someone for no reason at all. You’ll be amazed at how good you will feel!
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