Today's Lectionary Text
John 10:22-30At that time the festival of the Dedication took place in Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the portico of Solomon. The Jews gathered around him and said to him, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly." Jesus answered, "I have told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name testify to me; but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep. My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father's hand. The Father and I are one."
This is the end of Jesus’ public ministry. It is winter and Festival of Dedication, what we know as Hanukkah today. This group is gathered outside of Solomon’s Portico, the most shelter most sheltered part of the Temple. This story of Jesus’ teaching reminds the reader the last sermon he gave on sheep back in September, with the rest of John 10.
The last time of Jesus’ public ministry sticks with me in this season of transition. So does the conversation about voice.
To believe is to belong to those who hear Jesus’s voice. The crowd is not a neutral crowd in this story, because “keep us in suspense” it’s actually an idiom here and the people would say today “How long will you continue to annoy us?” The people weren’t happy, People are annoyed at Jesus.
The people were expecting one thing, and it’s the only place where Jesus is asked directly whether he is Messiah Jesus is not the political liberator who will restore Israel. Jesus is more than the people could ever ask or imagine.
Jesus uses the shepherd imagery is the throwback to the Old Testament, a metaphor restores the rule of God. Jesus clears things up on his role, as the last part of his ministry. Purpose of Jesus’ ministry is to do the works God had given him to do. Jesus and God do the same work. They are united in the work that they do.
As we seek to be united in what God is calling us to do, tap into the power to listen to Jesus’ voice.
This weekend challenge is to take pause and listen to Shepherd’s voice in your life this weekend.
-- Rev. Nicole Conard
Prayer for Reflection
O God, we hear Your voice as you speak to us this day. Forgive us for when we tune you out. Guide us in Your ways and in the way that is more than we can ever imagine. Amen.
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