Jesus Christ had already declared he is God. From his previous teaching, Jesus said he is the Good Shepherd and he will die for us (10:11) and give us life (10:10).
Rev. Albert Kwan
New Life Chinese Lutheran Church,
Jesus' saying is so firm, true, and full of compassion. What is our response towards his preaching?
It is too sad that God's chosen people, the Jews, refused him. Their response was: they had an internal argument (19-20) and reject him. Then comes today's gospel scripture (10:22-30): if we are the Lord's sheep, we will accept him. Otherwise, we will refuse him like the Jews who wanted to kill him.
In our mission church, Edmonton New Life Chinese Lutheran, I encourage my people to preach the gospel to the unchurched people and to their non-believer friends. Sometimes they feed back to me that it is very discouraging that not many people come to Christ. Yet, we still see some new converts in our church. I comfort my people in the following ways:
Sometimes we give the unchurched people many real life testimonies, like: the gambler quit gambling; a couple were at the edge of divorce when they came to Christ; how Christ turns their life on and saves them from gambling, divorce and so forth. Some people were moved by these testimonies but some people were not. When I invited them to receive Jesus as their personal saviour, they preferred not to. I felt they were like the Jews who had such a real testimony (like Jesus' own teaching to the Jews of that time). Why did the Jews refuse Jesus? They had the hidden agenda that they wanted a hero to lead them to retrieve their country! They refused because they had their hidden agenda. They did not like to change their living style. They liked to do whatever they liked to do. They knew if they received Jesus, then, they had to say good-bye to their old, sinful life. They cannot see the true light or have life and have it more abundantly.
To my parish, I told them two things:
- Give thanks to our Lord, for you do not have to struggle like the Jews in John 10:19-30. You are the children of God. You recognize the Lord's voice and follow Jesus. It is God's grace and gift. Think if you were not following Christ! What will you be?
- When you go out to preach, if there are no followers, that means they are not God's sheep. Don't be frustrated and discouraged. You pray for those people and hope one day they will become God's sheep. God never wastes anything. Simply follow Jesus' commandment. Go out to preach the gospel. That is our responsibility!
-- Rev. Albert Kwan