12 May 2019John 10:22-30
Jesus answered, ‘I have told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name testify to me; but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep. (vs. 25-26)
Psalm: Psalm 23
As a teenager my sport was cycling. It’s still my preference today. I ride occasionally – fine weather cycling and nothing too strenuous. When the big tours, like the Tour de France, take place I’m stuck to the TV. But I digress. In my teens I belonged to a club, cycled regularly, usually 300 or so miles a week, over 200 miles in a day on one occasion. I remember, early on, riding up a long hill in Devon. Going slower and slower. Coming to a stop. Or so I thought. Then I felt the hill ease. An older rider had come alongside me, grabbed my saddle, and was pulling me up the hill, all the way to the top. I learnt that that’s what we did for each other. Strong helping the weak.
There were conditions to this though. We had to keep ourselves fit and our bikes in good order. Not to would be to let the others down. We belonged together, sometimes followed, sometimes led.
Belonging has benefits, but also consequences.
It was the same in Jesus’ day. Those who believed were one with Jesus. Those who didn’t found that they were not. And this was not just a matter of lip-service. Jesus expected, and expects, those who believe, who trust God, who take his lead to show that in their words and actions. He was only ever harsh with the hypocrites, those saying one thing, doing another. Time and again we find a stress on this in his ministry. Remember a young man coming to Jesus and asking what he should do to enter the Kingdom of God? Jesus challenged him, "Keep the commandments". "Done that," replies the man. "OK," says Jesus, "Go, sell all you have an give it to the poor." Jesus never called him a hypocrite, but he went away heavy hearted. No evidence of belief there, no action, just words. And words sometimes count for nothing at all.
- What evidence is there of your belief?
- How can you show that you belong to God?