Faithlife Sermons

They Follow Me

Easter 2019  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  27:01
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John 10:22–30 NIV
Then came the Festival of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was in the temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade. 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.” Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”

Hannukah

The Feast of Dedication (remembering the dedication of the Temple by Judas Maccabaeus
God was faithful to deliver his people. They enjoyed self rule for more than a century. At the low point what they wanted was God’s deliverance. At the high point they wanted the worldly benefits. These are fleeting and nearly impossible to control. The winners of wars and elections should not be equated directly with the hand of God. God’s move is always so much more. And His purposes are not thwarted by political outcomes. Deep down the people knew this. They never forgot to give thanks for freedom to worship. But still their longings were a bit on the worldly side and we inherit their tendencies.

Sheep

Jesus refers to his followers as Sheep. Often this is seen as a negative term—sheep are said to be dumb and easily duped. Jesus is painting a picture here. It could be said that human beings are not always smart and sometimes are easily led into destruction and evil. But Jesus is saying that those who follow Him trust him completely. They know His voice because they are used to listening to him. Are you used to listening to Him? He says his sheep here is voice and follow Him. They don’t pretend they are smarter than Him. They have learned that his ways are the best ways. So it’s no longer a daily battle over who is in charge. Sheep with a good shepherd are a sight to behold. Shepherds are not wimps. They are fierce. Jesus protects his sheep and takes his responsibility seriously.
John for Everyone, Part 1: Chapters 1–10 The Messiah and the Father (John 10.19–30)

The reality—the real question he was talking about when he spoke of himself as the good shepherd—was and is very different. It was and is all about power and rule, about God’s kingdom and the world’s kingdoms, about God appointing a true king, not where there had been a vacuum waiting for someone to fill it, but where there had been too many kings, too many rulers, and all of them anxious and ready to strike out at anyone trying to stake a new claim.

I give them eternal life

No one can snatch them out of my hand

I and the Father are one

Who’s sheep are you?

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