The earliest Christians followed a Jewish tradition of pausing to pray, preferably together, first thing in the morning, about mid morning, at noon, about mid afternoon, and in the evening. “Just a Note” posts are brief observations made from Scripture readings not related to a lectionary. If I have one to post, it normally appears about 9:00 in the morning, at “the hour of prayer.”
In John 10:1-6 Jesus, speaking to a group of Pharisees, speaks to the importance of abiding by lawful custom. The word picture he uses is that of a person who sneaks into a sheep pen rather than entering through the gate, recognized by the person there guarding the gate. This intruder is a thief. He is not the rightful owner of the sheep. They may not even be willing to follow him because they don’t know his voice.
It seems we sometimes want to paint Jesus as a radical revolutionary, coming in from outside, blasting the Jewish authorities and setting up something very different. Yet upon closer inspection, we find that he comes in accordance with what Moses and the Prophets said. He is the one who was born according to the prophecies. He is the one who fulfilled the Law rather than overturning it. He is the one who entered the sheep gate through the gate and is calling his own sheep.
Some will hear his voice and recognize him, following him. Some, like most of the Pharisees, will reject his voice. What is his call? It is the same to each and every person. Come in trust, come repenting of your sins, come for forgiveness. It is in Jesus that this promise of forgiveness, life, and salvation is made to every person. And it is a universal call. What if some do not believe? It does not make the call any less genuine. It simply displays the rebellion which we hold against the holy God.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
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