22 It was the feast of the Dedication at Jerusalem; 23 it was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the portico of Solomon. 24 So the Jews gathered round 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, they bear witness to me; 26 but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; 28 and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall 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."
Meditation: How secure is your faith and trust in God?
Scripture describes God's word as a "lamp for our feet and a
light for our steps"(Psalm
119:105). The Jewish Feast of the
Dedication is also called the Festival of Lights or
Hanakkuh. This feast was held in late December, near the
time when Christians celebrate the feast of Christmas. This is the
time of year when the day is shortest and the night longest. Jesus
used this occasion to declare that he is the true light of the
world (John 8:12). In his light we can see who God truly is
and we can find the true path to heaven.
Our true and lasting security rests in Jesus alone
Jesus speaks of the tremendous trust he has in God his Father and the tremendous trust we ought to have in him because he is our good shepherd (John 10:11). Sheep without a shepherd are defenseless against prey, such as wolves, and often get lost and bewildered without a guide. That is why shepherds literally live with their sheep out in the open field and mountain sides. The shepherd guards his sheep from the dangers of storms, floods, and beasts of prey. The shepherd leads his sheep to the best places for feeding and the best streams for drinking. He finds the best place for their rest and safety at night. The sheep recognize the voice of their shepherd and heed his call when he leads them to safe pasture and rest.
Listen to the Good Shepherd and you will not go astray
We are very much like sheep who stray, we become easy prey to forces which can destroy us - sin, Satan, and a world in opposition to God and his people. The Lord Jesus came not only to free us from Satan's snares and the grip of sin, he came to personally lead us to the best of places where we can feed on his "word of life" and drink from the "living waters" of his Holy Spirit. The sheep who heed the voice of Jesus, the good shepherd, have no fear. He leads them to the best of places - everlasting peace, joy, and fellowship with God and his people.
In this present life we will encounter trials, difficulties, and persecution. We can face them alone or we can follow Jesus, the true shepherd, who will bring us safely through every difficulty to the place of peace and security with God. Do you listen to the voice of the Good Shepherd and heed his commands?
1 On the holy mount stands the city he founded;
2 the LORD loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwelling places of Jacob.
3 Glorious things are spoken of you, O city of God. [Selah]
4 Among those who know me I mention Rahab and Babylon; behold, Philistia and Tyre, with Ethiopia -- "This one was born there," they say.
5 And of Zion it shall be said, "This one and that one were born in her"; for the Most High himself will establish her.
6 The LORD records as he registers the peoples, "This one was born there." [Selah]
7 Singers and dancers alike say, "All my springs are in you."
Daily Quote from the Early Church Fathers: The Great might of Christ's hand, by Clement of Alexandria, 150-215 A.D.
"The faithful also have the help of Christ, and the devil is not
able to snatch them. Those who have an endless enjoyment of good
things remain in Christ's hand, no one thereafter snatching them
away from the bliss that is given to them. [No one can throw them]
into punishment or torments. For it is not possible that those who
are in Christ's hand should be snatched away to be punished
because of the great might Christ has. For 'the hand' in the
divine Scripture signifies 'the power'" It cannot be doubted
therefore that the hand of Christ is unconquerable and mighty to
all things." (excerpt from the COMMENTARY ON THE
GOSPEL OF JOHN 7.1)