John 10:22-27

Then came the Festival of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was in the temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade. The Jews who were there gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”
Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.“

The Jews tell Jesus, "If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly." I'm not surprised by their request. Jesus had the annoying habit of speaking in riddles, so he wasn't easy to understand. Jesus responds, not directly acknowledging who he was, but by pointing to the things he did: "The works I do in my Father's name testify about me," he said. 

His response highlights the fact that spiritual understanding often requires more than just verbal claims; it requires deep reflection. Firstly, we need to reflect on the things that Jesus said. This is perhaps the reason Jesus spoke in "riddles." Secondly, we need to reflect on the things that Jesus did. As it is said, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

Let's understand this clearly. Consider, for instance, that Jesus told us we need the Holy Spirit to live a full life. This is a straightforward statement that you would not spend too much time thinking about because you would have believed that you understood the statement. However, imagine Jesus told you that you need to drink the living water, which he said was the Holy Spirit. Now, you are forced to think about what Jesus said, digging deeper to extract the meaning of the statement. That's the first thing we need to do.

The second is to see if his words are backed up with proof. If Jesus merely declared he was the Son of God but didn't back up his words, how can we believe his claims? He said, "I did tell you, but you do not believe." Words are understandably not enough. However, even the works he did sometimes don't convince us! Why? Jesus has the answer. “MY sheep listen to my voice," he said. "I know them, and they follow me."

This is the key. To truly grasp the essence of Jesus' message and identity, we must be attuned to his voice, much like sheep are attuned to the voice of their shepherd. However, this metaphor extends beyond mere auditory recognition. It implies a deep, intuitive understanding and a relationship built on trust and familiarity. 

The idea that Jesus' sheep "listen" to his voice and follow him also highlights the role of active faith. It's not just about passive belief but a dynamic process of engaging with Jesus' teachings and actions. Those who are his sheep are distinguished by their responsiveness to his call, their readiness to be led by him, and their willingness to trust in his guidance.

God bless you.  

More in this category: « John 10:14-21 John 10:28-30 »
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Read and reflect on the gospels with Aneel Aranha — one little bite at a time. To receive these via WhatsApp, please message "subscribe" to +91 93214 56817. For other great resources by Aneel Aranha, visit https://aneelaranha.com/
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Read and reflect on the gospels with Aneel Aranha — one little bite at a time. To receive these via WhatsApp, please message "subscribe" to +91 93214 56817. For other great resources by Aneel Aranha, visit https://aneelaranha.com/

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