Wednesday, April 20, 2011

John 10: Very Truly, Who Am I?

Guy: Very truly, I am a sheep. Now to some people this is a bad thing, but I like being a sheep. I know my caretaker's voice. Provided I follow his directions and go through the gate, he provides for me. Some of my more clever sheep brethren who are too cool for school have ignored his voice and gone outside the gate. The last time I saw them they were learning how the wolves are provided for.

Jesus: Very truly, I am the gate for the sheep; whoever enters through me will be saved. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. Remember Nazi Germany? Hired hands, most of 'em, except that fellow Bonhoeffer and a few others. I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.

Pharisees: Very truly, we are neither Jesus's sheep nor good shepherds. As for the gate, it is exceedingly tall and hard to climb, but we are redoubling our efforts. We'll get those sheep, just you wait. We also are not gods. The stones in our hands are for you, Jesus, because you commit blasphemy.
Jesus: Very truly, time out. I need you to think outside of that dark, tiny, tight little box you jam all of your thoughts and anxieties into. In our Scriptures (Psalm 82) God refers to people as "gods, sons of the Almighty." Now let's not get too carried away here, but God thinks of you as His sons, and he expects you to act like it and work hard in the family business (82:2-4): 
 2 “How long will you[a] defend the unjust
   and show partiality to the wicked?[b]
3 Defend the weak and the fatherless;
   uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.
4 Rescue the weak and the needy;
   deliver them from the hand of the wicked.
If God called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside— what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’?

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