Summary: In our world your are either listening to jesus and responding or we are not. If not we are not sheep.
Sheep or Not Sheep
It was close to our Christmas season, when you look at the calendar. The Jews call it Hanukkah, the Festival of light. This festival celebrates the cleansing of the temple in 164 BC. by Judas Maccabeus.
He was a Jewish country boy that took Jerusalem back from the Greek Emperor Antiochus Epiphanes. Who had desecrated the temple and Judas led the revolt. The Hanukkah celebration celebrated a miracle where was only enough oil to burn the lights for one day, but the light continued for 8 days without being refilled.
Jesus is walking in Solomon’s Colonnade. That is the entrance on the East end of the temple, that was made up of rows of tall columns. It overlooked the Kidron Valley and the Mount of Olives. A priest stood on a spot on its roof watching for sunrise and would signal when the new worship day could begin.
The Jews, presumably leadership in the temple. Asked Jesus a direct question, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly."
The Jews are looking for another military leader like Judas Maccabus. They are looking for the man that God would send to kick the Romans out of Israel.
When these Jews ask their question, do you really think they need an answer? Could it be a trick? Is their mind made up?
Jesus answers their question, "I did tell you, but you do not believe.”
If you look back over what John records in scripture, we really don’t find Jesus answering that question in simple clear words. What we find is him talking with certain Jews and them wanting to stone him for their interpretation of their questions. We also find that Jesus does miracles that convince many Jews that Jesus is from God. They call him Lord and worship him.
What Jesus does not say with words He says with actions.
He continues, “The miracles I do in my Father’s name speak for me”
Read between the lines people. Who else has healed physical and spiritual problems in the name of God the father?
Folks, look at the signs, think about what you know about scripture…..
Who do you think I am? Come on it is as plain as the nose on your face.
He tells them that they don’t believe because they aren’t His sheep.
Jesus jumps to a sheep metaphor. But basically, He is telling them that they really don’t want to know the answer to the question. They have not been willing to accept the physical signs and they are unlikely to accept the verbal answer either.
Our world, the modern world hears what it wants to here, doesn’t it?
White people are scared of or at least look down on black people.
If you look like an Arab, I doubt that some one would pick you up if your car broke down.
Their minds are made up. They rarely take into account a persons actions and often don’t even ask the question. If they did how likely are they to believe the answer over their personal view?
Our nation has its mind made up about Christians either really good or really really bad and often are not interested in changing their opinion regardless of who might be talking.
Are Christians any different when it comes to an open mind, to listening?
This passage and many others describe our relationship with Christ as a shepherd and sheep relationship.
My question is, Do we act like sheep?
Do we even want to be sheep?
Come on, Sheep are pretty dumb and defenseless.
I hear they wonder away and get lost sometimes.
But, there is one thing that Jesus says they do pretty well. They listen to His voice.
We listen to the things we want to listen to don’t we?
Renee says I am selectively deaf. I can’t deny it, because I can think of several times where the first words I hear her, she is saying, “Are you listening to me?”
Yes dear, of course….”Well tell me what I said?” …..Uh ,
"Two men were walking along a crowded city sidewalk. Suddenly, one of the men remarked, "Listen to the lovely sound of that cricket," But the other man could not hear the sound. He asked his friend how he could hear the sound of a cricket amid the roar of the traffic and the sound of the people.
The first man, who was a zoologist, had trained himself to hear the sounds of nature.
He didn’t explain to his friend in words how he could hear the sound of the cricket, but instead, he reached into his pocket, pulled out a half-dollar coin, dropped it onto the sidewalk, and watch intently as a dozen people began to look for the coin as they heard it clanking around amid the sounds of the traffic and the sounds of the crowded city living.