Jesus was walking in Solomon’s Porch in the Temple, when the people gathered around him and asked, ‘How long are you going to keep us in suspense? Tell us the plain truth: are you the Messiah?’
Jesus answered, ‘I have already told you, but you would not believe me. The deeds I do by my Father’s authority speak on my behalf; but you will not believe, for you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me.’ (verses 23-27)
Read John 10:22-30
It must nearly have been frustrating enough for Jesus to want to pack his bags and go home! How often had he made it quite clear who he was and whose work he was doing? How often had his miracles shown that he worked with God’s authority and power? How often had the authoritativeness of his teaching amazed them. And yet they could come to him and ask, ‘How long are you going to keep us in suspense? Tell us the plain truth: are you the Messiah?’
If Jesus couldn’t convince them, then how on earth can we? How can we hope to witness to people and expect them to listen to us? Is there any point in even trying?
We can only follow Jesus’ example. He kept trying, right to the end. Then he commissioned eleven followers to keep trying. He gave them the Holy Spirit to empower them to witness boldly, sensitively and effectively. And we are Christians today as a result. All because Christians through the ages have persisted in sharing the gospel, and those they shared with have done the same.
So we should never give up either. It is never in vain.
Father, I thank you for the people who brought you r good news to me. May I also be your witness, wherever you ask me to be. Amen.
by Robert Turnbull, in ‘Renewed Hope for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 2000)
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