John 10:22 At that time the festival of the Dedication took place in Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the portico of Solomon. 24 So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.” 25 Jesus answered, “I have told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name testify to me; 26 but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep. 27 My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father’s hand. 30 The Father and I are one.” (NRSV)
Imagine a certain person working all 43 years of their adult labor for one cause. They practice a craft with dedication. They are a master and their work is their reputation and name.
They look to the next generation who will apprentice. These students are confronted with competitors, shorts cuts, and questions of doubt. The students come with question and uncertainty: Were they truly the Master? Was this effort for only one generation? What will we do now?
The Jews gathered around Jesus and pressed: Are you the Messiah, tell us!
Imagine a couple raising a house full of children, some of their own, some of them neighbors and cousins. Thousands of meal, thousands of loads of laundry and pages of home work come across that kitchen table. One of the biological children wants to know if the the parents love them. With a touch of frustration, the parents stay, can’t you see how much we love you? Don’t you believe that we love you? You hear us wake you in the morning, we have clothes for you to wear, meals to eat, hours to help you and all these. Can you hear it in all our voices?
The Jews asked, if you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.. clearly, directly, no parables or stories.
Image a group of students following a teacher on field trip. They have their brightly blinding, uniform shirts, name tags, and backpacks. The are excited about the sites they will see and the adventures that await. The are tired from a long weary ride, they are in unknown territory, they are surrounded by threats they could never imaging. The lead teacher blows her whistle with three blasts: two short and one long. The stop in their tracks and see her turning a new direction to avoid falling over the edge, to move away from rapid traffic, to prepare them to be at the right place-at the right time. They are safe because they trust the teach.
No one will snatch them.
The Jews heard Jesus say” What my father has given me is greater than all.” “The Father and I are one”
Image a church filled with people who come to get something out of the service. a group of people who have different responsibilities, various understandings, and think ‘like’ they have limited resources. Yet this group of people have been given gifts.. some never knew what gifts, powers and purpose had been entrusted with them.
This imaginary congregation of gifts people have been saved by the grace given on the cross on Calvary so that the topic of “Worthiness” was no longer an issue.
This imaginary congregation of worthy folks have been given eternal life so they can have the very perspective of God’s timing and patience, so that no “excuses” were needed.
This imaginary congregation of worthy, excuse-less folks have been given the very power of God to do God’s work, to be God’s messengers, to be God’s presence IN the world.
But some how they thought and lived as though God was a one day a week kind-of-a-guy.
They hoped he would show up to save them, for themselves.
Are you the one that God has died for?
Are you the one that God lives for?
Are you the one that God empowers to transform the world?
Or should he wait for another?
Sure he SHOULD wait for another, but here HE is waiting for you and for me. , but here HE is making as way for us to be with him, again.
We sing at VBS: “He’s got the whole world in his hands…” The Revealed message after the Resurrection is that …he takes the whole world and places it in our hands…”
He’s Got the whole world, in our hands..
The work we do, is God’s but as his sheep, we do the work of his will. To do the work of the body of Christ is to do the work of the father.
To work by the power of the Holy Spirit is to bring the muscle of hands and feet to God
When people see us working, they see the father. / see us not working, they see the father.
Are we witnesses of the Messiah? Are we following his voice? Whose voice do we trust?
SO WHAT DO I DO? “I have told you” ” Believe ” Do you believe? Then live like a believer..