Tuesday, April 17, 2012

John 10:22-33

The Jews gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”

Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father’s name speak for me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. (John 10:24-27)

This encounter with the Jews happen at a different time than those at the beginning of this chapter, during the Feast of Dedication, while Jesus is in the temple area. The Jews are charging Jesus to tell them “plainly” whether or not He is the Christ. Jesus makes it clear that He has already communicated who He is. Not only did He clearly make remarkable claims, but they were validated by the miracles He did. The problem was that this audience does not have spiritual ears. They will not hear Him, because they are NOT Jesus’ sheep!

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” (vs. 27-30)

These verses describe what I call the “heavenly handclasp.” Jesus says that once we are His, he holds us in His mighty hand and NO ONE can snatch us away. And NO ONE can snatch us out of the Father’s hand. I envision myself upheld by the hand of Jesus and covered by the hand of the Father. It forms a single fist holding onto me tightly. I don’t hold onto them, they hold onto me! That’s about as secure as it gets! Remember that the purpose of John’s gospel is that we would believe and KNOW that we have eternal life. We can KNOW it only because it is GOD who holds onto US.

Jon Courson, in his Application Commentary: New Testament (P. 525-528), writes about Jesus’ hands. He describes them as “strong” hands. The hands of a carpenter would be calloused. They were hands that lifted a dripping wet Peter out of the water, hands which overturned the money tables in the temple court. He describes them as “tender hands;” hands that blessed the little children brought to Him. They were “wonder-working hands.” They fed five thousand and touched and healed the lepers. They opened the eyes of the blind. Courson also says they were “inclusive hands” that choose us to be His family.

They are the hands that “span the cosmos.” Isaiah 40:12 tells us that He measures the waters and the cosmos with the span of His hand. Courson writes, “With the naked eye, man can see 1,029 stars on a clear night. With his first telescope, Galileo counted 3,336 stars. Now e know there are more than 100 billion stars in our galaxy, more than 100 billion galaxies in our universe, each having at least 100 billion stars. That’s a lot of stars - and the Lord knows each of them by name (Isaiah 40:26). Can you imagine knowing the names of 100 billion stars times 100 billion more? . . . Nothing can compare to the big Hand of the Father. The entire universe and whatever is beyond is spanned in His hand."  (P.527)

These are the hands that hold onto us! Amazing!

When Jesus made the claim that He and the Father were one (vs. 30), the Jews had a strong reaction.

Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”

“We are not stoning you for any of these,” replied the Jews, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God. (vs. 31-33)

They would not have been upset had Jesus merely claimed to be “a son” of God. They understood He was claiming something much more. He was claiming to be the exclusive Son of God, to have the DNA of Deity. He was claiming oneness with His Father. He was claiming to BE God! He is the Great Shepherd, the One who knows us by name, the One who holds us in His heavenly handclasp. Praise His name!

Tomorrow we’ll look at the related Old Testament passage about our Shepherd, the 23rd Psalm.  Remember to pray for Royce this morning as he has his surgery.

No comments:

Post a Comment