Today’s readings… Numbers 36, Proverbs 27, John 9&10
Today our New Testament reading confronts us with the picture Jesus paints of himself as the good shepherd and the sheep he is calling to follow him, “for they know his voice.” Many who listened to Jesus did not understand what he meant, and John comments, “This figure of speech Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.” [10 v.4, 6]
Do we understand? We “hear his voice” today by reading what John wrote. But it is one thing to ‘hear’ or to read, but Jesus said, “Take care then how you hear” [Luke 8 v.18] Do you read attentively, seeking to correctly understand? Many heard Jesus, many read the Bible and there are many different reactions. What motivates our reading? Do we read because we are seeking? Is it idle curiosity? Is it to find fault? Is it to boast of our knowledge?
Another challenging statement Jesus made was, “For judgement I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind” [John 9 v.39] It is plain he is not talking of physical blindness but of the blindness of the mind.
When Jesus said this, “some of the Pharisees near him heard these things and said to him, ‘Are we also blind?’ Jesus said to them, ‘If you were blind you would have no guilt (sin) but now you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains.” [v.40,41] There are many today who say, ‘we see’ – meaning they are convinced they are the highest form of evolved animals and this happened all by chance, the result of an almost timeless series of ‘creative’ accidents. For those who ‘see’ life in this way then this is the only type of life they will ever know and the comment of Paul about the philosophy of such, “Let us eat and drink for tomorrow we die” [1 Cor. 15 v.32] appears to be true of all to many.
But for those who “know his voice” there is a wonderful prospect, Jesus is “the good shepherd” and says “I came that they (the sheep) may have life and have it abundantly” [John 10 v.11,10] The more we read the more we discover the awesome nature of that abundance.