What My Father Has Given: John 10:22-42

Focus Passage: John 10:22-42 (GNT)

22 It was winter, and the Festival of the Dedication of the Temple was being celebrated in Jerusalem. 23 Jesus was walking in Solomon’s Porch in the Temple, 24 when the people gathered around him and asked, “How long are you going to keep us in suspense? Tell us the plain truth: are you the Messiah?”

25 Jesus answered, “I have already told you, but you would not believe me. The deeds I do by my Father’s authority speak on my behalf; 26 but you will not believe, for you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never die. No one can snatch them away from me. 29 What my Father has given me is greater than everything, and no one can snatch them away from the Father’s care. 30 The Father and I are one.”

31 Then the people again picked up stones to throw at him. 32 Jesus said to them, “I have done many good deeds in your presence which the Father gave me to do; for which one of these do you want to stone me?”

33 They answered, “We do not want to stone you because of any good deeds, but because of your blasphemy! You are only a man, but you are trying to make yourself God!”

34 Jesus answered, “It is written in your own Law that God said, ‘You are gods.’ 35 We know that what the scripture says is true forever; and God called those people gods, the people to whom his message was given. 36 As for me, the Father chose me and sent me into the world. How, then, can you say that I blaspheme because I said that I am the Son of God? 37 Do not believe me, then, if I am not doing the things my Father wants me to do. 38 But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, you should at least believe my deeds, in order that you may know once and for all that the Father is in me and that I am in the Father.”

39 Once more they tried to seize Jesus, but he slipped out of their hands.

40 Jesus then went back again across the Jordan River to the place where John had been baptizing, and he stayed there. 41 Many people came to him. “John performed no miracles,” they said, “but everything he said about this man was true.” 42 And many people there believed in him.

Read John 10:22-42 in context and/or in other translations on BibleGateway.com!

Have you ever read something multiple times, and perhaps on the fifth time you see something new?

It is this way for me with this passage. I have read it numerous times, but just today, I noticed a phrase that I’ve not seen or paid attention to before.

When Jesus is sharing His first response, before the people respond in anger, He says the following sentence: “What my Father has given me is greater than everything, and no one can snatch them away from the Father’s care.” (v. 29)

This is a summary statement for what Jesus was saying, but when reading it this time, a phrase and idea jumped off the page: “What my Father has given me . . .”

The subject matter is Jesus’ followers, and how they are drawn to Him, and in this statement, Jesus says that God is the One who brings people to Him.

This has two huge implications:

  • First, Jesus didn’t come to earth to draw attention to Himself – He came for other reasons. The miracles, the healing, and the cross was not Jesus saying “Look at Me.” If anything, through these events and miracles Jesus was saying, “Pay attention to what God is doing in your midst.”

    Jesus didn’t come to build a band of spiritual-giant disciples – He came and picked ordinary and somewhat dysfunctional people, and equipped them for service. That means that there is hope for you and I in God’s plan. He doesn’t need people to be perfect before drawing them to Him, He draws people and those who choose to come are then equipped.

  • Secondly, people don’t lead people to Jesus, God does. Yep, you’re off the hook!

    Jesus demonstrated this in His own life because when crowds came, He started preaching about difficult to accept things. In this passage and others, it is almost like Jesus is assessing the group and then pushing the hot-button topics – in this case, He pushes the button of who the Messiah really is and on the identity of the true people of God.

    In our lives today, we should never place the focus on leading people to Jesus. Jesus stated that God does this. Instead, we should have a clear reason why we follow Jesus and put our faith in Him. Jesus called us to love people, not convert them. He does the conversion part – we do the loving part (or at least that was the intent).

Both these ideas have huge implications for us today!

  • God draws people to Jesus. We might be a small part of someone’s testimony, but it will be because of our love – not anything else.

  • God keeps His people safe. Don’t stress out about past mistakes and times when we have messed up and/or said something we regretted. God is bigger than our mistakes.

  • God gives us the role of loving each other. We are not the judge and we are definitely not the prosecuting attorney! We are either the defendant, or a witness standing up in defense for the defendant. Satan is the prosecuting attorney, and when we judge or condemn someone, we are siding with him.

This thought was inspired by studying the Walking With Jesus "Reflective Bible Study" package. To discover insights like this in your own study time, click here and give Reflective Bible Study a try today!

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