Reading: John 10: 22-30
The Jews in the temple ask Jesus a question I think we ask often. We may not always ask it verbally but I think we certainly do with our decisions and actions. They ask Jesus if he is the Messiah. Is he the one coming to redeem Israel, to restore them to their rightful place amongst the great nations? They are looking for Jesus to do something grand.
His response perplexes: “You do not believe because you do not belong to my sheep”. Believe that you are the Messiah? I’m sure they are thinking something along these lines: ‘Rid us of these Romans and make Israel great and then we will believe and then we will follow. For now though, we’ll just do our own thing. Yes it is nice that that guy can now walk and that that guy can see and that you fed all those people. Really neat stuff (for them), but when will you really start leading, doing really important stuff (for us)?’
We are sometimes a lot like them. Yes Jesus, I love you and believe in you and want to dedicate my life to you, but first I need to… Yes Jesus, I will serve and follow you, but first would you… We like Jesus, but too often on our terms and conditions. Like the Jews in the temple that day, we expect or maybe even demand something grand from Jesus. Then we will be all in. Then…
And Jesus says to us: my sheep follow me. It is not about what I can do for you. It’s about what I do to you, about what I do in you. The miracles, they just show that I am who I say I am: the Son of God, the Word made flesh. Follow me, be my sheep, do what I did: love, serve, sacrifice, forgive. The you will be my sheep. Then you will know a peace that passes understanding. Then you will begin to live eternal life. Follow me.