The Sheep Belonging to Jesus Recognise His Voice
The Feast of the Dedication celebrated Solomon’s Dedication of the Jerusalem Temple. It marked the time, when the all powerful and omnipresent God-Yahweh, listened to the words of the mortal – Solomon and came and abided in the limited space of the Jerusalem Temple. Read all this is 1 Kings 8.
Jesus was present in the Temple area, on this feast day. The Jews here, most probably refer to the Pharisees and scribes and other people in Authority, because if we take note of the huge crowd following Jesus had already acquired, these crowds were made up of the common people and their understanding and worship was simple and uncomplicated. The common folks saw the signs and wonders that Jesus was doing, the good effect/fruit of these signs/wonders/and the refreshing nature of his teachings (Wisdom), and they believed. It was not so with those who prided themselves as knowing scriptures and those who called themselves experts in the Law. They were biased by the human way they looked at God’s Instructions/the Law, and also how they studied the Law. The base was not who Yahweh was and how he saw things. They were more interested in me, myself and my own, that also included political mileage.
For such people, there can never be sufficient proof. Any amount of proof and even if events happened plainly before them that could testify to the truth, they would still not believe. If things meet their understanding and preference, only then they would regard it as truth. They looked at things from what we can term as culturally biased/changing truth.
Jesus tells them, to identify the identity of a person, a witness to a person needs to know/have some sought of a relationship with the person – Verse 27: My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. Jesus refers to himself as not being a hired hand, that would be careless with regards to the care for the sheep, nor a thief to exploit them to his advantage. He is the Holy one of Israel. Israel’s Creator, who promised to always bring them home. And yes he was God, because he shared Unity and Same Substance as Yahweh.
Above is a gist of verses 28-30, paraphrased. For us today, reading these verses in the original Jewish understanding and sensibility is difficult. But if you re-read these verses you will also notice that Jesus is not rebuking these people of their faithlessness, but in the plain language of their times, saying. I come from the Father. I come that all humanity may have life in all its abundance. I am the Good Shepherd – God Creator, who was spoken of by Moses. The one who would shepherd them to the presence (eternal life/fullness) of God.