“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone 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 My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.” John 10:27–30
Most of you reading our focus text today will find the words beautiful and reassuring. They paint a picture of closeness with our Savior and give a promise of security within the shelter and care of the hands of Jesus and the Father.
But for the Jews who were looking for a reason to condemn Jesus these words weren’t beautiful; they were a cause for anger and violence.
The words, “I and My Father are one,” had the Jewish leaders picking up stones. Jesus had dared to make a statement that presented himself as being equal to God the Father. They’d been looking for Jesus to say something like this, and they were ready to destroy him.
But not everyone was angered by Jesus’ words. There were others there that day that were also looking for Jesus to declare himself as the Messiah, the Son of God. The mingled presence of both detractors and followers quite possibly added to the confusion of the situation and made it possible for Jesus to escape unharmed.
It bears mentioning that the point Jesus was making was not about his identity. It was about his followers. “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.”. The statement that ignited the ire of Jesus’ enemies really plays a supporting role to Jesus primary declaration.
But the Jewish leaders weren’t looking for someone to follow, or eternal life, or security in their relationship with God, and because of this they missed the beauty of the salvation Jesus was promising to them. They should have been listening. They professed to know God and were outwardly committed to pursuing him and protecting his honor, but their personal ambitions made them blind and deaf to the moving of God in their lives.
Most of the time salvation and our relationship with God aren’t first in our thoughts either. Personal interests, goals, and priorities occupy our minds. In the midst of all this Jesus quietly declares a message of hope. Some how, some way, our hearts and minds need to be tuned so that we don’t miss Jesus quietly calling us to himself. We need to be sensitized to the moving of God in our lives like, Abraham was, and Elijah was, and the disciples were.
O Jesus, give us hearts that listen for you. You’ve promised that no one can steal us away from you but we know that it’s possible that we would voluntarily leave you if we’re not listening. Give us your Spirit. Give us ears to hear.