Before turning to the great story of Lazarus, this passage comes to my attention, and I’d like to spend a little time here. I go to these verses because John has them in his gospelm just before the story of Lazarus. There are several interesting things that Jesus says that we need to pay attention to. Well, that goes without saying I guess! Anyway, Jesus is in Jerusalem for the Feast of Dedication, and as always some of the Jewish leaders try to corner Him with questions.
John 10:22 And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. 23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch. 24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. 25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. 26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
His sheep hear His voice. The religious leaders of the day had no idea who Jesus was. He came with no fanfare onto the scene and started to do miracles and teach kingdom principles everywhere He went, and they just didn’t get it. The truth is that they were worried. They were worried that the people were following Jesus, and would no longer yield to their authority. They did not understand the authority He walked in even though it seems the common people could easily see it. They did not see the wisdom in His teaching.
Pride blinds us to the wisdom of others if we are not careful. I have been in the position of being a “know-it-all”, and believe me, I could be unbearable at times because I was so staunch in my ways. I was a Pharisee, only willing to listen to those who agree with me, because I was right. Oh, how foolish pride makes us!
But the common people did see His wisdom. The people who flocked around Him were the ones who heard the voice of the Good Shepard. They knew He was special. They watched the miracles, and brought the sick to Him to be healed. And they were His sheep, and no one was going to be able to take them away from Him. They know His voice, and they follow Him because they know who He is.
Why do you follow Him? Do you follow Him because of the miracles and the blessing that He gives your life each day, or do you follow Him just because He is the Lord? Would you still follow Him if all was stripped away, and all you had was a little fire in front of you, and a piece of bark to scrape your sores, as Job did (Job 2:8). I urge you to take a hard look at why you love the Lord, and make sure it is not because of all He does for you, but it is because of who He is!
30 I and my Father are one. 31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. 32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? 33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. 34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? 35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; 36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? 37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. 38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him. 39 Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand,
Jesus declaration that He is one with the Father sends the religious leaders over the edge. They want to stone Him on the spot. But He disarms them quickly by pulling an obscure verse out of the Psalms – Psalm 82:6, which says I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. I have just finished studying that part of Psalms, and skimmed right over that one! Now I am not trying to say that I am a god, but I am now an adopted son of the Father! I think this verse out of Psalms is more prophetic in nature. And here’s Jesus, doing the works of the Father. How could they miss the amazing things He has been doing? Jesus asks them to believe the works if they can’t believe Him. Yet, once again, the religious leaders try take Him, but He gets away.
We are not gods. So many people act like they are their own god, but they will eventually answer to the one who is. We try to control those things around us, not realizing God is in control. We try to tell Him how to run things, thinking He is at our beck and call. We should be at His. Too many have God all tied up in this neat little package, thinking they can manipulate Him with their prayers and pleadings. If we could manipulate God, we would be more powerful than Him.
God does what He wants when He wants. He neither needs our permission or our understanding. He will bring about our purification through His own process, and we should be thrilled He is allowing us to go along for the ride, no matter how bumpy it is. Our only duty is to yield.
Well, that took a little longer than I thought it would, so we will talk about Lazarus tomorrow!
I love the Lord. Each day, he gives me words of praise and encouragement, and asks me to share them with you I pray that they minister to you as you read them, share them, or ponder on them. Have a blessed day!
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