A division occurred because of these words.
John 10:1-21 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6 This figure of speech Jesus spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things were which He had been saying to them.
7 So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
11 “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. 12 He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, 15 even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. 18 No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.”
19 A division occurred again among the Jews because of these words. 20 Many of them were saying, “He has a demon and is insane. Why do you listen to Him?” 21 Others were saying, “These are not the sayings of one demon-possessed. A demon cannot open the eyes of the blind, can he?”
Jesus spoke in parables so that His disciples would have a better understanding of the truths of the kingdom of God. Yet in Matthew 13:10-17 it says: The disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him. Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says, You will keep on hearing, but will not understand; You will keep on seeing, but will not perceive; For the heart of this people has become dull, With their ears they scarcely hear, And they have closed their eyes, Otherwise they would see with their eyes, Hear with their ears, And understand with their heart and return, And I would heal them.’ But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.” So, the very simple truths revealed by the parables of Jesus to those who are His disciples, remain a mystery or even seem as foolishness to others. 1 Corinthians 1:18 says: The word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:25 says: The foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 1 Corinthians 2:14 says: The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. I will gladly be considered foolish in the eyes and minds of people, that I might, through the Spirit, have understanding of the simple truths and the wisdom of God.
It is also for this reason that I don’t strive to convince anyone of God’s truth revealed in His word, rather I simply express and expound on the word itself. If the word of God seems as foolishness to someone, how could my words make it seem as wisdom? Should I think that I can improve on what God has said? Here is the thing about the word of God, even when it has not been received, accepted or understood. God says: My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:8-11) God is faithful and His word will accomplish what He desires. There is no reason then that we should deviate from or complicate the simple truth of God’s word. We should trust Him and trust the Spirit that those who we meet and those who we speak with and to would be blessed with eyes to see and your ears to hear; that God’s word would succeed.
There are many voices in the world today. Each person needs to decide and discern for themselves what voice they will listen to. In today’s text Jesus says: “The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” The reason the sheep know the voice of the shepherd is because he spends countless hours with them. He is always with them and always speaking to them. God is also always speaking to us. In Deuteronomy 31:6 He says: The LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you. If we would be those who know the voice of the Lord, if we desire to know and understand the simple truths of His word, we must be those who spend time with Him. He will never leave us, but we may leave Him. He will never stop speaking and revealing truth to us, but we may be those who do not listen or hear. Of all the voices in the world, we must choose the voice of the Lord. Jesus says: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Many today who desire the things of the world choose the worlds wisdom, they listen to the voices of the world. The voice of God, while it may seem foolish to the world, leads to abundance, while the voices of the world lead only to destruction.
In today’s text it says: A division occurred again among the Jews because of these words. 20 Many of them were saying, “He has a demon and is insane. Why do you listen to Him?” Others were saying, “These are not the sayings of one demon-possessed. A demon cannot open the eyes of the blind, can he?” If those who saw the things that Jesus did and heard the words that Jesus spoke were divided, why should we think that there would not also be division among people today regarding Jesus? The world may think us foolish. They may even despise us for following and sharing the simple truth of God’s word. In John 15:18-25 Jesus says: “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates Me hates My Father also. If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well. But they have done this to fulfill the word that is written in their Law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’” Still, the voice of Jesus is the only voice I want to know.His truth is all that I want to speak.
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit; though I be thought a fool and even though I be hated, may I know and hear only Your voice. May the word of truth and the truth of Your word be revealed to me and through me. May my life be a living parable of Your love and Your truth, that others too would be blessed to see and hear and know You. Amen.