Thursday, November 26, 2009

John 10:22-30 – My Sheep Hear My Voice

John 10:22-30 – My Sheep Hear My Voice
It was the feast of the Dedication at Jerusalem; it was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the portico of Solomon. So the Jews gathered round him and said to him, "How long will you 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 that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness to me; but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall 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. I and the Father are one."

Comment: My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
The images of shepherd and sheep can be tough for modern Christians to grasp.

Most Australians are either too far away from the practices of sheep herding or, if they do know a bit about them, have a negative image of sheep as unthinking herd animals.

Is this passage teaching us to follow the crowd without question or to have no mind of our own?
Or is it telling us to expect someone else to take care of us?

But the sheep in this passage are complicated creatures. They believe in the shepherd's providence, but that belief does not blind them to the terrors that await them along the way. They seem to possess a radical trust rather than blind obedience.

Those who follow Jesus and believe him—his sheep—know that the work Jesus is doing comes from identification with the Father. It is being one with the Father, rather than following blindly as in the image we often have of sheep.
Source: Daily Prayer Online

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