Hello. Greetings in the name of Jesus, the Christ. I trust you and yours are doing well.
This is the first of a mini-series presenting the words of Jesus, His voice, on our present reality. We hear a cacophony of voices all claiming to have expert knowledge on the burning issues of our times. And, it is true that many of these voices are credible and trustworthy. However, as Christ-followers, it is important that we get His voice into the conversations we are having with each other and the world. It is my hope that we rediscover how relevant Jesus and the Bible are to our world’s situations. And also remind ourselves just how radical His words were then and still are today. Today, let’s look at a few foundation statements.
Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27 NASB). From this verse, and others, we can clarify that Jesus speaks to His sheep and not other sheep. This implies His sheep will listen to Him over other shepherds/voices (John 10:4-5 NASB). Clearly, Christians need to be sure they are listening only to their Shepherd and not any other. We have a responsibility to listen to experts and consider their trained observations.
An example of listening to our Shepherd and considering expert guidance is the issue of face masks. Jesus has a guiding principle for this topic. In Matthew 25:40 we hear Jesus say, “Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me” (Matthew 25:40 KJV). In Luke we have these words of Jesus, “And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted Him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? Jesus said unto him, What is written in the law? How readest thou? And the lawyer answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind, and thy neighbor as thyself. And Jesus said unto him, Thou has answered right: this do, and thou shalt live” (10: 25-28 KJV). It would appear that we are to care for each other in love.
How do we respond in times like these? One chapter to turn to in the New Testament for this question and others is John 17. It is the prayer of Jesus to the Father on our behalf among other things. Let His prayer become our guide during these challenging times. May we share the light and love of Jesus to each other and to those in dark places. Amen.
Selections from John 10
Verse 6: I (Jesus) have manifested Thy name unto the men which Thou gavest Me out of the world; Thine they were, and Thou gavest them Me; and they have kept Thy word.
Verse 11: And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to Thee, Holy Father, keep through Thine own name those whom Thou has give Me, that they may be one, as we are.
Verse 17: Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth.
Verse 21: That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, are in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou has sent Me.