Are You Following?

In verse 28 and 29, Jesus states that He will give His sheep eternal life. He uses the word “perish.” Those who have chosen to be followers of Jesus Christ will not experience separation death. They will have a hope that goes beyond the grave. They shall not be separated from Jesus. The Father is greater than anyone. He uses the word “pluck” twice. There will be nobody will be able to rob them from Him. He is stronger than anybody on earth. Some will attempt an open act of violence against Jesus’ followers, but they will not succeed. These individuals were given and are being given to Jesus. The Father is more powerful than anything or anybody. In verse 30, Jesus once again proclaims the unity of Father and Son. They are one. Nothing can come between them whether present or future.

The Jews, who are not part of His flock, take up stones to kill Him. They are once again unsuccessful. The reason for this action is because they claim Jesus is blaspheming because Jesus is putting Himself on equal footing with God the Father.

The previous section does not include all of Jesus’ answer to the unbelieving crowd. He had said all that could be said. He had done all that needed to be done. If they did not believe by this time, there was really nothing more that could have been done. He spoke plainly. It is a dangerous thing to ask God to speak plainly when He already done so. I will be discussing this in the next chapter. Jesus gives the most highly condensed statements of the doctrine of grace in the entire Gospel. The men and women were unable to believe. Those who did believe were receivers of God’s acts in grace by which He elected them into the company of His people. These are the central doctrines of the reformed faith as it has been expressed by Jesus, Paul, Augustine, Calvin and a host of others. This is pure biblical teaching.

It is important to realize that we must add that the doctrines of grace cannot be used as an excuse to escape responsibility. God chooses us, and we choose to follow His leading. He does a miracle in our hearts by which we understand these things and respond to Him. We are responsible for the things we do choose and for the way in which we handle His revelation. What about Christ’s words, and what about His works? These cannot be escaped. If they are true–and what possible reason do you have to doubt them save that someone has told you at one time or another that the Bible is not true. Then wisdom and simple honesty demand that you drop lesser loyalties and follow Jesus. This is what He wants. Jesus says “my sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me” (verse 27). So, listen! Really listen! And don’t stop with just listening, follow Him!

 

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