John 10:22-40 (ESV)
22 At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade 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 Christ, tell us plainly.” 25 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, 26 but you do not believe because you are not part of my flock. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.” 31 The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. 32 Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?” 33 The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.” 34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’? 35 If he called them gods to whom the word of God came–and Scripture cannot be broken– 36 o you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? 37 If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; 38 but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” 39 Again they sought to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands. 40 He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing at first, and there he remained. 41 And many came to him. And they said, “John did no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true.” 42 And many believed in him there.
I am fairly new at trusting Jesus. Don’t get me wrong, I have known about Jesus since I was born and knew that He loved me and for the most part I loved Him. I trusted that He loved me but I didn’t trust Him. Why wouldn’t He love me, I am a pretty great guy. No really I am and that is how I looked at it for many years. Of course I never came out and said it that way but in my heart of hearts that is how I felt. But trusting someone requires that you know them and have an experience with them. Jesus knew me but I hadn’t taken the time to know Him. I knew about Him. I created things that I thought were like him. But the reality is I was more than happy to have Him love me but not interfere.
The Jews wanted to know who Jesus was because they wanted to see if He really lined up with what their desire was. Don’t keep us in suspense. Let us know you are the one we want you to be exactly how we envision it to be.
Jesus lets them know that He has answered them and they haven’t heard because they can’t. But we can. For me I was loved by God through Jesus not because I was such a great guy, which is beside the point or icing on the cake for those who know me (not really). God loved me through Jesus when I didn’t deserve it. And He called me when I was His enemy. He knew that I was really His. My fleshy heart still wants to pick up a stone when He doesn’t meet my expectation. And He still calls my name.
Jesus, forgive me for putting expectations on you that are wrong. Forgive me when I look to you to be what I want you to be instead of being who you are. Forgive me for demanding of you to reveal yourself in a new way that meets my immediate desire instead of trusting that you know my true desire. Forgive me trusting my own self for my hope instead of being silent and listening to your hope for me. Thank you teaching me to understand and believe.
Find someone to share your story of being Jesus sheep with and share the whole mess. Share about where you were and where you are and where Jesus is taking you; transforming you. It can be anyone, even someone who has heard the story before but tell it out loud. It will remind you of the greatness and graciousness of our loving God.