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Hearing His Word

Lent 2022

Read John 10:22-42

22 At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon. 24 So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” 25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name bear witness about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”

31 The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. 32 Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?” 33 The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.” 34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’? 35 If he called them gods to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be broken— 36 do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? 37 If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; 38 but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” 39 Again they sought to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands.

40 He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing at first, and there he remained. 41 And many came to him. And they said, “John did no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true.” 42 And many believed in him there.

John chapter nine reminds us that Jesus gives us eyes of faith to see and believe. Chapter ten reveals that Jesus gives us ears of faith to hear, trust, and follow Him. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.”

Yesterday’s devotion noted that sheep have discerning ears. Jesus says that his sheep recognize and know his voice. How does this take place in our lives? “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing from the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). “Abide in me… abide in my word” (John 15). Time and time again, Jesus brings us back to hearing God’s word. Our Good Shepherd speaks through his word: written in the pages of Scripture, proclaimed from a pulpit, and contained in his sacraments.

While we tend to get bored if something is repeated, Jesus indicates the importance of the word. Familiarity with his word strengthens discernment of his voice. Led by the voice of our Shepherd we will not perish, for no one is able to snatch us from his hand.

Prayer: Blessed Lord, you have caused all Holy Scripture to be written for my learning. Grant that I may so hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them that, by patience and comfort of your holy word, I may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ, my Lord. Amen. 1

1 Prayer adapted from “Grace to receive the Word”, Lutheran Service Book. p. 308

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