“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.” John 10:27-28
The words of our text were spoken by Jesus during a conversation He had with the Jews in Jerusalem at the time of the Feast of Dedication. Walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon, Jesus was stopped and asked, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” These Jews were agitated and upset about this man Jesus and the stir He was causing throughout the land. They were among the group who, unfortunately, had resisted the call of God that came first through John the Baptist and then through Jesus. Now they were asking Jesus questions, yet not really with the intention of hearing Him or receiving His Word in faith.
Because of this, Jesus’ reply to them was sharp: “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, but you do not believe because you are not part of my flock” (vv. 25-26). Yes, Jesus was the Christ, and His works proved it. But these Jews, having separated themselves from God through their rejection of His Son, did not believe. What a sad thing is unbelief, and how unfortunate that these people turned from their innermost hearts away from their Savior and Redeemer! When our own hearts grow cold and hard through the trials and temptations of this world, the Holy Spirit through the Word calls us back to the God who loves us—back to Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd who laid down His life for our sins.
How happy and fortunate are all those who hear the voice of their Good Shepherd and believe—even us! In the confidence of God’s love and the forgiveness of our sins for Jesus’ sake we may sing with a glad heart:
I am Jesus’ little lamb,
Ever glad at heart I am;
For my Shepherd gently guides me,
Knows my need and well provides me,
Loves me ev’ry day the same,
Even calls me by my name.
As Jesus said in our text, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.”
This Easter season we continue cheerfully to hear the voice of Jesus and to follow in faith our risen Savior in the way that leads to eternal life.
Lord Jesus, shepherd me through this life until I reach my heavenly home. Amen.