Missing the Obvious
By Pastor Jerry Donovan
How is it that people can miss the obvious? On every page of the Gospel of John, he is telling us who Jesus is. In the first chapter alone, Jesus is introduced as God, Lamb of God, Son of God, Messiah, King of Israel, and Son of Man.
In chapter 10, Jesus claims that he is the door to salvation; no one enters except by him. He also says that he is the Good Shepherd. Jesus did what no mortal man could do. It is rather obvious, isn’t it, that Jesus is the Christ? So we are surprised that the Jews would say to Jesus, in John 10:24-25 ESV “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me.”
Then why did they not believe? They did not believe because they were not listening. In John 10:25-27 NLT Jesus replied, “… you don’t believe me… you don’t believe me because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” The shepherd speaks. The sheep listen. But the Jews were still asking questions because they were not listening.
The sheep who belong to a particular shepherd hear his voice and respond to it, but those who belong to another shepherd do not. These Jews were showing quite plainly by their attitude and their questions that they do not belong to the flock of which Jesus was the Good Shepherd, the Messiah. Of course they could not recognize him as their Messiah when they followed all sorts of other shepherds. Jesus gives the characteristics of his sheep: My sheep hear my voice. They follow me.
People turn away from Christ today because he isn’t what they are looking for, or because they were expecting something else. They have their own agenda and Jesus doesn’t seem to be following their agenda. They want to be rich. They want easy success. That’s the kind of Christ they want: one that will promise them wealth and success. But Jesus never said, “If anyone will come after me, I will make him healthy and wealthy.” He said in Luke 9:23 NET “…“If anyone wants to become my follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me.”
Not only do sheep hear the voice of the shepherd. They follow. When that shepherd calls his sheep there are results. The sheep know his call and follow the shepherd when they hear it. If they really are his sheep, they will certainly respond and will follow him as the disciples had done.
Have you put your trust in the Good Shepherd? Are you following Jesus? Do you hear his voice? Are you obeying him? Only he can save you from eternal destruction. Only Christ can give you eternal life.