So the Jews gathered round him and said to him, ‘How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.’ Jesus answered them, ‘I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness to me; but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand. 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. I and the Father are one.’ The Jews took up stones again to stone him.” (Jn 10: 24-31)

“If you are the Christ,” they demand of Jesus, “tell us plainly.” So then He does tell them “plainly,” not only claiming to have followers or “sheep,” given to Him by the Father, but also: “I and the Father are one.” And they pick up stones to stone Him, because the “plain” truth is actually unbearable to them. While His sheep hear His voice and follow Him, the Jews described above have become obedient to “other” voices, to whom they have chosen to belong. Those “other” voices have them convinced that they already know it all, also about “the Christ,” including the way he will be and the way he will sound, i.e., “their” way, – and this wasn’t it.

This morning let me disconnect for a while from all “other” voices, so God can get a word in edgewise. Let me let Him clear my head of foreign sounds, as I take a bit of time for some heartfelt prayer and “hearing” of His word, because I don’t know it all. “My sheep hear my voice,” You say about us today, Lord, “…and no one shall snatch them out of my hand.” I thank You for that, as I choose to belong to You again today, and to carry these words with me throughout my schedule.

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