Sunday Readings: Acts 13.14, 43-52; Revelation 7.9, 14-17; John 10.27-30
“The Father and I are one.” – John 10.30
John’s gospel uses shepherding imagery to describe Jesus’ relationship with those who believe in him. Jesus’ first words in Sunday’s gospel are plain but theologically loaded. “My sheep hear my voice,” Jesus says. Hearing his words is believing. Those who believe recognize that Jesus reveals God. “I know them, and they follow me,” Jesus continues. To know refers to deep, personal belonging. To follow expresses wholehearted allegiance. The gospel escalates as Jesus promises believers eternal life and insists “no one will snatch them from his hand.” These promises lead to Jesus’ inflammatory claim: “The Father and I are one.” Many Jewish hearers of these words reach for rocks to stone Jesus for blasphemy, for making himself equal to God. In John’s gospel Jesus is from above. He preexists with the Father. All things come into being through him. This understanding of Jesus creates hostility with other Jews.
What divides people today in our church? What do Jesus’ words “the Father and I are one” mean to you and for you?
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