My sheep hear My voice
by Ivan Ho 2 June 2022
Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon’s porch. Then the Jews surrounded Him and said to Him, “How long do You keep us in doubt? 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 of Me. But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone 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 My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.”
John 10:22-30 NKJV
This story of Jesus’s encounter with the Jews reveals a very important truth that applies to us today: Going to church and observing religious traditions and practices do not make us disciples of Jesus.
And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon’s porch.
Jesus needs no invitation to walk in the temple. He is fully God and fully man while He was walking on earth. Being a Jew Himself, He went to the temple. Jesus the Son of God was personally present in church even though it was full of Jewish unbelievers. To be honest, unless the presence of Jesus is in the church we attend, the whole church experience is meaningless.
Jesus walked into the synagogue but the Jews did not know Him. They have heard Him speak but they did not know Him as Christ the Saviour.
Then the Jews surrounded Him and said to Him, “How long do You keep us in doubt? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.”
There were two groups of people whom Jesus addressed: the Jews who observed Old Testament religious practices being passed down since Moses (you), and the disciples of Jesus (they).
The Jews (unbelievers)
“I told you, and you do not believe”
The Jews observed the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem but they were not dedicated to Jesus. They heard from Jesus but they did not believe. If you are reading the bible but you do not believe in what Jesus says, His words have little impact on your life.
The Jews were unbelievers who didn’t believe in Jesus even though they went to the temple regularly and observed all the religious traditions. Unless this group of people turned to Jesus (like Nicodemus did) and believed in His words and followed Him, they would perish. Going to church and observing religious practices won’t save us if we do not have a personal relationship with Jesus the Son of God.
“But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep”
The Jews did not follow Jesus as their shepherd because of unbelief. They belonged to the synagogue and were members of the church but they did not belong to Jesus.
Disciples of Jesus
” The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me”
The works that Jesus do in His Father’s name bear witness that He is the Son of God.
As disciples of Jesus, we are called to bear witness to what Jesus says and does. Unless we have seen what Jesus did and heard what He said, which are recorded in the Bible, we cannot become witnesses of Jesus. Unless we have personal encounters of Jesus and become born again in Christ, we have no inner witness of Jesus to share with others. We can tell people what we do in church and our personal life experiences and so on, but Jesus wants us to be His witness.
It doesn’t matter how much we achieved in life, if our works don’t bear witness of Christ, we are no different to the unbelievers.
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
1 John 1:1-3 KJV
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”
What defines us as being the sheep of Jesus is our personal relationship with Him. We hear His voice and we follow Him. If all we do is follow some religious teachings and submit to some religious hierarchy but do not follow Jesus speaking personally to us as individuals, we cannot be His disciples. Jesus knows us and we know Him, He speaks to us and we respond to Him. That’s how we make personal relationship with Jesus, in fact with anybody.
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Matthew 7:21-23 KJV
There are many things we can do in the name of Jesus, but on the day of judgement, our Lord only looks upon one thing: Do I know Jesus and does Jesus know me personally?
It will be a great tragedy for people to end up in hell thinking they would impress God by the many ‘spiritual’ things they do, but they never spend time to develop relationship with Jesus so they can hear His voice and do the will of the Father.
There are many well known, well respected, highly esteemed people suffering in hell right now because they died without Christ in their lives. They don’t know Jesus and Jesus don’t know them. Their names may be established in many human halls of fame, winning multiple awards, but the most important thing to ask yourself is: Is my name written in the Book of Life?
Jesus says to His disciples: ” Rejoice not demons are subject to you, but rather rejoice that your names are written in heaven”. (Luke 10:20) At the end of your life journey, Jesus will not count how many demons you cast out, how many miracles you do, what counts is whether or not you know Him.
Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
Philippians 3:8-11 KJV
“And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.”
The word “And” is a continuation of what Jesus was saying about His sheep. Eternal life is our portion if we belong to Jesus.
We are all sinners who are heading to hell if not for what Jesus did on the cross as sacrificial atonement for our sins. Each person must become a born again believer in Christ in order to receive eternal life. Eternal life is given to us by God. We don’t earn it by our good deeds. We are saved purely by God’s grace through our faith in Jesus Christ.