THURSDAY, JULY 6 | JOHN 10
Have you listened to someone give a speech and been moved to action? Maybe someone’s speech made you excited and pumped up to do something new or tough. Maybe that speech made you upset and ready to counter their claims. Our words are important. They carry value. However, that value can be lost if our words are not followed by our own actions. The phrase, “Do as I say, not as I do.” really takes all the power from what they are saying because it is inconsistent with what they are showing. Today, Jesus says some pretty tough words for the Pharisees to hear. It moves them to the point where they nearly kill Jesus…again. But, focus on how Jesus uses His own life, and the testimony of others about Him, to show that He is, in fact, the son of God.
Read John 10:1-10
Shepherding was a fairly common profession in Biblical times. Using this analogy, and what you’ve learned from studying John so far, who do you think Jesus was referencing when He mentions that all others who have come before Him have been “thieves and robbers”? Who was Jesus speaking to in this passage? Jesus was never shy to be poignant in His words. He was clear, direct, and wise in how he addressed the audience that was listening to Him. In our own words, we should do the same.
Read John 10:11-21
Again the Pharisees are divided among believing and not believing what Jesus is saying. However, do you notice how powerful the statements that Jesus is saying are? The idea of being a shepherd is not only a job for Jesus, but life. If you only were doing something as a job, and it became too tough or threatening, you would leave it for something easier or safer. For Jesus, the fact that shepherding is His life and is life-giving means that He will never leave us in our time of need. His desire is to see us live and thrive within His care and guidance.
Read John 10-22-42
The intensity that Jesus brings to situations is palpable. You can feel the anger, animosity, and struggle that the Pharisees have in listening to what Jesus says as complete truth. When Jesus says that He is one with God, the Pharisees pick up stones to kill Him. Yet, as before, it was not His time. Jesus skillfully demonstrates the difference between what others have claimed as “god” and how He has demonstrated the works of the true God. The reference to other “gods” was because of the judgements made by the judges in Psalm 82- men who judged and determined the fate of others. Jesus is saying that if God gave these judges the title of “gods” without actually any merit, then why is it so upsetting if He calls Himself the son of God if everything He has done has lined up with the will of God? There are inconsistencies in their blame and accusations. Ultimately, many came to believe in Jesus because of a testimony of someone they all respected, John. Despite miracles and consistently living His life according to what God had said and fulfilling prophecies in the Old Testament, this group needed John’s testimony to believe in Jesus.
Our words carry a lot of weight with them. Today, Jesus is showing us that He can speak blatant truth, making bold claims, and yet, despite every reason demonstrating that He is speaking the truth, He can still be at the point of near death. How have you been using your words lately? Have you been using your words to speak truth? Have you also been living a life that demonstrates that truth lived out? If you speak truth, but do not follow it up with actions that are consistent with that truth, the value of your words diminishes. What can you do today that starts making a change where the value of your words increases and better reflects the Truth of Christ in your life? Where are you going to start today?