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Showing posts from April 11, 2021

The People Still Debating About Jesus (John 10:19-21)

 Jesus definitely stirred people up in this conversation. Again, it is hard to come away with the idea that Jesus is just a good moral teacher. People giving self-help advice don't claim to be God, if they want to be taken seriously. On the other hand, in order to take the claims of Jesus and St. John the most seriously, in a way, we have to take Jesus's sharpest critics seriously as well. What would it mean, if Jesus were wrong about himself? What would it mean, if St. John and all the other Gospel writers and disciples of Jesus were mistaken? And yet, it seems pretty hard to account for the good that Jesus is doing. No one in this audience would seriously consider atheism as an option, so the choices were: 1. Believe in Jesus, and accept everything that he has said about himself, the Father, and the Holy Spirit; or 2. Believe what had been revealed to the Israelites until Jesus came. Given this background, we can see why people find it hard to believe that a demon could open

Jesus Speaks Again (John 10:7-18)

 Jesus intends to speak authoritatively again, and then he says, "I am the door of the sheep." A door is something that you go through to get to somewhere else. Through Jesus, we find peace and well-being. What does Jesus mean, when he says that all who came before him were thieves and robbers? He is obviously not talking about the patriarchs or the prophets. Jesus is aware that many so-called "anointed ones" had come, promising to lead the people out of bondage to the foreign rulers. Even a couple of his own apostles had been armed militants in that cause. But military victory and political freedom is not what Jesus came to bring. When it comes to the deepest desires, and the deepest needs, none of those others, with their bold promises, will ever come through. The special relationship that Jesus has with the Father is now one that we can have with Jesus, and with the Father! The Father and the Son are family, and we can be in the family of God as well. Then Jesus

The Door and the Shepherd (John 10:1-6)

 Jesus starts this section with, "Truly, truly, I say to you," which is a way to introduce new, authoritative teaching. We have to use our imaginations, to think about a thief or a robber, and the way he or she might come in to try to steal the sheep, or even to kill them. Who is the gatekeeper? I would suggest it's most likely the Father. Then the shepherd goes ahead of the sheep, and leads them where he wants them to go. It's a key part of this analogy, or this "figure," as St. John calls it, that the sheep know the voice of the shepherd. We could possibly imagine someone who looks like the shepherd of a particular herd of sheep, and who has the mannerisms of that shepherd, could possibly trick the sheep. But Jesus is saying that his sheep will know his voice, and they will follow only him. When we believe in Jesus, when we trust in Him, we become the sheep of his pasture. Jesus and St. John both know that their audience knows Psalm 23, and I'll just p