May 2, 2004

John 10:22-30

 [22] They were celebrating Hanukkah just then in Jerusalem. It was winter. [23] Jesus was strolling in the Temple across Solomon's Porch. [24] The Jews, circling him, said, "How long are you going to keep us guessing? If you're the Messiah, tell us straight out."

 [25] Jesus answered, "I told you, but you don't believe. Everything I have done has been authorized by my Father, actions that speak louder than words. [26] You don't believe because you're not my sheep. [27] My sheep recognize my voice. I know them, and they follow me. [28] I give them real and eternal life. They are protected from the Destroyer for good. No one can steal them from out of my hand. [29] The Father who put them under my care is so much greater than the Destroyer and Thief. No one could ever get them away from him. [30] I and the Father are one heart and mind."

[The Message]

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1. "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines." – Ralph Waldo Emerson. Here the divines are having at it, looking for some consistent model within which to place their experience and have it link up, one-to-one, with said model. In John, Jesus is rather long-winded and a later divine, Cardinal Richelieu, would have had an easy time figuring this out. He said, "If you give me six lines written by the most honest man, I will find something in them to hang him."

2. This does raise a question for us though, "What are you using as a measuring rod for GOD's presence?" Is it beauty? creedal consistency? good feeling? inner voice? justice? healing? number of followers? are you still guessing?

3. Jesus response is that "actions speak louder than words." What are the actions of your hero/heroine you are doing your best to emulate? What are the actions of your enemies that drive you up a wall? What are your actions that are simply yours because you are the recipient of specific gifts in the midst of a specific situation?

 Are you still being drawn to GOD or have you already captured God? Are you still drawing others toward GOD or have you already brought God down to their level?

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