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Gems in the Gospel of John

Part 45 – John 10:24


The people listening to Jesus asked “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.” What Jesus had said was not enough – as he points out in his reply when he says “I did tell you, but you do not believe”. Someone has wisely said ‘Jesus always gives just enough of himself to make faith possible, and yet he always hides enough of himself to make faith necessary’. What does Jesus say here to suggest how they should step past the difficulty?

First three things they should do:

  1. Listen to his voice as his ‘sheep’ did. If we always put the voice of Jesus at the centre of all our concerns we will slowly and surely come to believe more deeply and more securely,
  2. Jesus said he would know them. I well remember on my honeymoon looking across at my brand new wife as we walked the winter streets of Edinburgh together and wondering who she really was – did I really know her at all? More than 50 years later I know her far better than I did then but there are still hidden depths to discover. That is our task with Jesus.
  3. So we walk with Jesus. The text says ‘follow me’ but it is perhaps better to think of it as ‘walking in step with Jesus’ to borrow and slightly change the expression the NIV uses in Galatians 5: 25. Walking with people is one of the very best ways to get to know them.

Then, according to Jesus, three things will happen:

  1. We will be given ‘eternal life’. That is deep, lasting, satisfying life starting now and rolling on forever through the part of it we have some idea about – life in this world – to the part of which we have no real idea – the life after this life. That life in this world will be deep and satisfying. It will not depend on our actual physical existence, which may be good or bad, but it will be a good life whatever the detail may look like.
  2. We will ‘never perish’. Of course one day we shall die, but in a real deep heavenly sense we shall not cease, we will not perish – and then just for emphasis Jesus says it again in a slightly different form,
  3. We are firmly held in the hand of Jesus, or if we prefer to think of it differently, in the Hand of Father God. We may think we can walk away if we want to do so and, in many ways, we can. But it won’t be God’s doing. He will hold on to us forever.

So believing is not easy, but it is always possible. Possible for you and possible for me. Jesus, and behind him God the Father, has created us with the wonderful power to believe. Let us do so – and rejoice.

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