Scripture: John 10: 31-42
Key verses: (37-38) “If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me. But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”
Reflection: At the time of Jesus, the Jews longed for the coming of the Messiah. They had their own vision of what the Messiah would be like – a king, stronger than the Roman Empire, who would raise up the nation of Israel once again. When the religious authorities saw the crowds that followed Jesus and heard what he was preaching and teaching, they accused him of blasphemy because they were unable to understand his message. Their preconceived ideas of God got in the way of believing.
From our perspective, it is hard to understand how they couldn’t believe – they were eyewitnesses to his miracles and healings! But, before we are too hard on them, we might want to remember the times in our own history when we have been unable to understand what God was doing in the Church or the world.
How often has the Church resisted new voices and the movement of the Holy Spirit? How often have we pushed our own agendas and interests ignoring cries for justice, mercy and compassion? It isn’t hard to cultivate division in the community of faith over social issues, politics, and theology. But, we can’t hear the voice of the shepherd if we are listening more to ourselves than to God – no matter how noble the cause.
Jesus was showing God’s compassion and power through his teaching and healing, but he was doing this in a very non-traditional way. Some responded and some did not.
How do we respond to Jesus’ message? Are we able to hear his voice or only our own?
Prayer: Gracious God, give us the grace to receive your word and respond to your invitation to follow. Remind us today and every day that you and the Father are one. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Author: Deborah Conner
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].