Monday, June 2, 2014

John 10:22-42

Then came the Festival of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was in the temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade. 24 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.”
25 Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”
31 Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him, 32 but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”
33 “We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”
34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods”? 35 If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside 36 what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? 37 Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. 38 But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.” 39 Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.
40 Then Jesus went back across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing in the early days. There he stayed, 41 and many people came to him. They said, “Though John never performed a sign, all that John said about this man was true.” 42 And in that place many believed in Jesus.

In this final passage in the tenth chapter of John, we will hear Jesus again using the metaphor of sheep and shepherd, and we will (again) see that the Jews are not ready to accept Him as God's Son.
We'll be looking at four things that demonstrate the authority and the power of Jesus. Ready? Let's dive in!

Have you ever wished that you had the power, and the authority, to straighten something (or someone) out? I'm indebted to Pastor Paul Decker for the following anecdote:

As the crowded airliner is about to take off, the peace is shattered by a five-year-old boy who picks that moment to throw a wild temper tantrum. No matter what his frustrated, embarrassed mother does to try to calm him down, the boy continues to scream furiously and kick the seats around him.

Suddenly, from the rear of the plane, an elderly man in a Marine uniform is seen slowly walking forward up the aisle. Stopping the flustered mother with an upraised hand, the white-haired, courtly, soft-spoken Marine leans down and, motioning toward his chest, whispers something into the boy’s ear.

Instantly, the boy calms down, gently takes his mother’s hand, and quietly fastens his seat belt. All the other passengers burst into spontaneous applause.

As the Marine slowly makes his way back to his seat, one of the cabin attendants touches his sleeve. "Excuse me, sir," she asks quietly, "but could I ask you what magic words you used on that little boy?"

The Marine smiles serenely and gently confides, "I showed him my pilot’s wings, service stars, and battle ribbons, and explained that they entitle me to throw one passenger out the plane door, on any flight I choose."
Of course, this is a humorous story, but aren't there some seeds of truth there?
There are times when we wish we had the power to fix something that needs to be corrected, aren't there? Sometimes it is a situation that annoys us. Sometimes it is a matter of justice. "It's the principle of the thing." We long for the situation or the person to be handled, rather than let go.
When nothing is done, it festers, and bothers us and irritates us.
Then we say, "Why doesn't somebody DO something?"
In the time of our scripture passage, the same cry had gone out from the people. The Jewish nation had been humiliated by its conquerors, the Romans. But to add insult to injury, they also were suffering from the hypocrisy and betrayal of their own religious leaders. They were far more interested in keeping their power than in doing the right things.

And now someone had come, that had the authority and the power to straighten everything out. His name was Y'shua. We might call Him Joshua, but in the pages of our Bible, the Greek form of His name is used: Jesus.
During Jesus' ministry, He consistently proved His identity to His listeners. We're coming to the end of the tenth chapter of John's gospel, and it is just about halfway through that gospel. John has been doing his dead-level best to give us evidence about Jesus. Remember? He wants us to "get it" figure out Who He is and why He came. And to do it faster than some of the folks who were there to see it all!

By examining what He does and what He says, we are finding out over and over again who Jesus really is.
And when one is truly ready to give this an honest investigation, with a desire to know the truth, the conclusions are startling.
For Jesus does not allow us any other conclusion…He is the Lord.
He is God made flesh.
The display of
His power, both in action and in person, does not allow for any other conclusion.

We'll continue in this passage on Wednesday.


Belinda said...

Yep. There are countless situations I'd love to "fix" but can't. So the only other choice is to give it to Jesus.

Seems that Jesus used sheep over and over again. Clearly because it takes hearing it over and over again to get the message across to us dumb sheep!

The book of John is so jam packed with good stuff!!!

Cathy said...

SO many times, countless numbers of times, I see a situation, and want to fix it. Somebody doing something they shouldn't, someone doing it the wrong way,or at least the wrong way according to me. I get frustrated and think, and sometimes even say "why don't you do this and that or such and such". It rarely ever turns out well, or makes a change. Then I realize, once again, that the only one I have any right or ability to change is me.