Eighteenth Day of Lent

John 10: 22-42

Thus far Jesus has been speaking in figures of speech, calling himself the Bread of life, the Light of the World, the Gate, and the Good Shepherd. Jesus has implied that he is the Messiah, the one who would come and provide life and flourishing for the world. However, the crowd wants to know directly if he is the promised Messiah.

Jesus answers in a completely unexpected way. Instead of simply telling the crowd that he is the Messiah, he responds, “I and the Father are one.” Jesus does not only claim to be the Messiah, Jesus claims divinity. The crowd understands this and seeks to kill him because of this claim. They are not ready to hear the voice of the Good Shepherd and follow him to the green pastures of eternal life which he will graciously give to his sheep.

Jesus pleads with the crowd desiring that they would “know and understand the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” Jesus wants them to know that whoever has seen him has seen the Father. The Good Shepherd is calling out waiting for his sheep to hear his voice.  The question for us is are we willing to hear and believe the voice of the Son of God and experience the depths of his grace?

One of the activities that I enjoy doing with my confirmation class is setting up an obstacle course that a student must travel through blindfolded. The majority of the class is invited to misdirect the student and prevent them from making it through the course. One student is asked to truthfully guide the student through the course leading them to the finish line. The blindfolded student’s experience of the course is based entirely on which voice he obeys.

As we journey through this life, there are many voices that vie for our attention. If we listen to the voices of our surrounding culture without first heeding the voice of the Shepherd, our spiritual walk is bound to lose its vitality and vigour. If we are to fully experience the eternal life that is offered to us we must consider afresh how we heed the Shepherd who laid down his life for his sheep. For when you hear his voice, you hear the voice of God.

Andy Gilkinson
Minnedosa Evangelical Covenant Church
Minnedosa, MB