“Then came the Festival of Dedication[b] at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was in the temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade. 24 The Jews who were there gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.” 25 Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all[c]; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.” John 10.22-30
It was winter. Cold, chilled air. Frost on the ground in the morning. Leaves have fallen from the trees. Crops are dormant. The people must have wrapped themselves in warm jackets, blankets and firs. Small fires are burning to keep the worshippers in the Temple warm. A large fire is burning on the altar, consuming the animals sacrificed to the Lord both day and night.
And in the midst of the cold air, the smoke, the hustle, and the busyness comes the Messiah. He’s told many, showed many, and demonstrated that he is indeed the Christ but still, they do not believe him. They do not believe he is or could be the Messiah. Otherwise, they would listen to his voice and follow him.
Those Jews surrounding him says, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.” Were they mocking Jesus? Egging him on? Trying to trap him. They listened to his voice without hearing: “I did tell you,” Jesus said, “But you do not believe…because you are not my sheep.”
I wonder how many people who think they are in the flock of God are not his sheep? How many who claim to know Jesus, follow him and serve him actually have know idea who he is? Matthew 7.15-20, Jesus says, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.” Could some who call themselves Christians yet bear “bad fruit,” refuse to call upon the name of Jesus, side with society over Scripture in social and spiritual matters, not belong to his flock?
If you know Jesus, you will follow him, hear his voice and abide in him. If you know Jesus you will believe that he is One with the Father and his desire to save the world will also be your desire. If you know Jesus you will repent of sin, turn from wicked ways, and trust that his blood covers a multitude of sins. If you know Jesus you will have eternal life and will never perish.
Why not walk with this Wonderful Messiah along Solomons colonnade in the Temple courts? Listen to his teachings, believe what he says, surrender your life to the God who gave his life for the world.
“O Lord, I do not mean to be judgmental but how can two groups, both reading from the same text, who belong to the same church, come up with such different results? One looks like culture and the other looks like Christ. One allows sins of all kinds and the other strives for holiness. Come now, Holy Spirit, reveal you way to us! Help us know Jesus, follow his commands, lean into his laws and love him deeply. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen