Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Reflection: John 10:22-30

Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter – John 10:22-30

The setting for today’s Gospel is the Temple.  Jesus was in the Portico of Solomon and several Jews gathered around him and asked:  “How long will you keep us in suspense? Tell us who you are! Are you the Christ?” They desperately wanted to hear Jesus to say to them: “Yes, I am the Christ.”

Jesus did not do as they asked.  Rather, he said to them (perhaps in an exasperated way): “I have already told you who I am and you refuse to believe me.” Jesus then told these difficult Jews that his “sheep” not only hear his voice, they also listen intently to his voice.  His sheep trust him and they follow him.  Jesus will give up his life to protect His sheep from harm.  Jesus then says that he will give them eternal life.

Jesus then begins to speak of his Father.  He says that his Father is greater than anyone, and no one has the ability to take his sheep out of the Father’s hand.  Jesus ends with the simple yet powerful statement: “the Father and I are one.”  How did the Jews react to Jesus’ words?  Not very well I suspect!

Did the Jews want to understand who Jesus was or were they simply harassing him? I suspect they wanted Jesus to give them an answer that they could use against him in the future. It is clear that these Jews were not open to Jesus’ message.  They simply were trying to manipulate him!

Jesus refused to play their game.  I assume that his refusal to answer their questions simply fueled the Jews’ anger. Did his response intensify the Jews’ desire to rid themselves of Jesus?  Jesus stayed true to who he was. What a model Jesus is for us.

Do we speak out about what we believe, even when the people who are listening may not want to hear what we have to say? Do we have the courage of Jesus to stand up and speak of our beliefs and values, even in the face of criticism or anger?  Being a follower of Jesus is not easy!  Like Jesus, we are called to voice our truth.  At times, we do this with our words.  In other situations, our actions or attitude may speak for us.  We may not need words.  Jesus will give us the courage and grace when we are in need.  Do we trust Him to do so? Will we be true followers of Jesus?

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