From Pastor Perry

John 10:31–11:1 (ESV)

I and the Father are One.

31 The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. 32 Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?” 33 The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.” 34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’? 35 If he called them gods to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be broken— 36 do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? 37 If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; 38 but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” 39 Again they sought to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands.
40 He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing at first, and there he remained. 41 And many came to him. And they said, “John did no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true.” 42 And many believed in him there.

It is interesting that they recognize his works in today’s readings, but they are wanting to stone him because he [Jesus] makes himself God.  Jesus is making the point that his works testify and witness that he is doing his Father’s work and that He IS the Son of God.  And if you don’t want to believe he is the Son, then believe the works “that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.  He moves the issue back to unity with the Father.  Jesus left there and went to where John had been baptizing.  Because of the works he was doing there, many believed him.

I pray: Oh Lord, I have not seen your works, but I have read about them and believe them.  Help me to continue to believe and share your love to others and to not fear persecution.  Amen.

John 10:22–30 (ESV)
I and the Father Are One
22 At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon. 24 So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” 25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”

Verse 22 gives a time marker in that this was happening at the time of the Feast of Dedication.  This is the time of Hanukkah. This is a continuation of Jesus as the Good Shepherd.  He had been talking about the unity between him and his Father.  He had been saying I and my Father are one.  He is saying the same thing in today’s reading.  They ask Jesus to tell us plainly who you are, not using cryptic language... but to speak plainly.  Jesus speaks plainly telling them 1) I told you, but you did not believe and 2) my miracles are proof of who I am. Then he goes back to saying I and the Father are one.  The verse that brings the most comfort to me is verse 28: “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.”  Jesus is our Good Shepherd.

I pray: O Lord, you are my shepherd and I know you will protect me.  I find comfort that no one will snatch me out of your hand.  Continue to protect me and guide me.  Amen.

John 10:16–21 (ESV)
I Am the Good Shepherd
16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”
19 There was again a division among the Jews because of these words. 20 Many of them said, “He has a demon, and is insane; why listen to him?” 21 Others said, “These are not the words of one who is oppressed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”

What does Jesus mean in verse 16 when he says “I have other sheep?”  As a Lutheran, we must ask “What does this mean?”  The “other sheep” are the Gentiles.  I am one of the “other sheep” because I’m not Jewish.  This verse means a lot to me because he is including me!  Jesus went to the cross, not just for the Jews, but also for the Gentiles.  He did it voluntarily.  No one forced him.  (This is all Good Friday - Easter stuff!)  Jesus says: 17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”  Sheep who ignore the Good Shepherd’s voice (His Word) have only themselves to blame and will fall prey to Satan. Unlike human love motivated by self-interest, Christ’s love for His own moved Him to voluntarily endure even death on a cross for our sake (Php 2:8).

I pray: O Lord, on this week of Easter, you simply amaze me with your unselfish love for me and all mankind.  It hurts that many reject you and walk away.  Help me to spread the Word about what you have done.  You died to take away the sins of the world.  I repent of my sins and give thanks for your life’s work.  Amen.

John 10:12–15 (ESV)
I Am the Good Shepherd (Part 3)
12 He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.

I remember after church one Wednesday night, we went to a sub sandwich shop down the street.  We had about 16 people and it was about 15 minutes to closing time.  The person at the counter told us that they could sell us the sandwiches, but they were closing in 15 minutes and we would have to leave.  Leave we did!  We did not eat there... we went down the street and ate at a different sub shop that was closing in 5 minutes when we got there.  They told us to take our time and enjoy the food.  We did and about 30 minutes later, we were gone.  About a year later, my wife and I went back to the first shop which was hurting for business.   He said he hadn’t seen us for a while.  We were talking to the owner who was behind the counter.  We told him we had a bad experience and this was the first time in a year that we came back.  He had lost our business for about a year.  When we told him what had happened, he was furious.  You see... he was the owner and he would have stayed there until we were finished.  He quickly figured out who was waiting on us and that he had fired him a while back.  He said there were quite a few good customers who have not come back because of this persons management skills.  The man we were talking to was the owner and he had a vested interest in the shop.  The other manager that was fired did not have his money invested and when it came time to go home... he went home.  No matter if it meant lost sales, he was gone.  The owner would have never let what happened happen.  This is what today’s story is talking about.  If you are a shepherd and a wolf comes to attack the flock, the hired hand may try to protect the sheep, but once his life becomes threatened, he runs because he is not the owner of the sheep.  The sheep are not his life... he can get a job somewhere else.  If the owner of the sheep were keeping watch, he would have risked his life to save his sheep (his investment).  Jesus has a vested interest in you and he was willing and did give his life for you.  What a great text for the day after Easter.  He is arisen!  He is Arisen Indeed! Alleluia!

I pray: O Lord, I don’t have to wonder how much you love me, I know that you gave your life for me.  You have a vested interest in me because I am one of your sheep.  You are the Good Shepherd and you love your sheep.  Amen.

IT’s EASTER!!!!
HE IS ARISEN!  HE HAS ARISEN INDEED!  ALLELUIA!

John 10:7–11 (ESV)
7 So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

I was going to get an Easter passage for today, but when I read the text, it really rings of Easter.  When I hear Jesus say “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep,” I also hear Jesus saying “I am the way, the Truth, and the Life, no one comes to the Father except through me.”  When I hear Jesus say 9"I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture”, I hear Jesus saying “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”  When Jesus says “I am the good shepherd.  The good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep,” I think of the cross where he died protecting me from my own sins... and on this day... God raised him up from death and sets us free.  Easter is the most important day of Christianity.   Without Easter, our hope is lost.  Those who reject or choose not to believe in Jesus... they cannot ignore the facts that Jesus died on Friday and God raised him back to life on Sunday.  This is Easter... His resurrection is proof that God accepted Jesus life, death, as an atonement for all our sins.  Christianity is not about death, it is about LIFE.  Jesus said in today’s reading: “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

I pray: O Lord, I know that I am a sinner and I fall short.  I repent and want to do better.  You took my sins to the cross and died for me, a death that should have been mine.  You are the scapegoat, the Pascal Lamb, the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.  On this day roughly 2,000 years ago, you raised him back to life.  You give us victory over death and a new hope.  You forgave me my sins and restored me into your kingdom.  Thank Lord Jesus, Amen.

Latest comments

05.03 | 22:15

Pastor. since I did not get to attend church today, I read your blog and found it
to be so informative for Ash Wednesday. Thanks for your comments.

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25.12 | 07:53

Amen+

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28.11 | 13:00

Happy Thanksgiving

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03.11 | 01:46

A-Men!!!

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