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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Sheep who Did Not Hear Jesus’ Voice

by Donald Miller

There are, of course, all sorts of people who do not hear the voice of Jesus. We can’t infer from this chapter that this is the only kind of person. But it might be helpful to note some characteristics so we can better recognize them in ourselves when they show their heads. Here are a few characteristics I see:

1. They have a strong pre-conceived notion as to what the Christ will look and sound like, and Jesus isn’t fitting that notion at all. Jesus didn’t come out of their schools, He likely does not dress like them. He knows the ancient text just like they do, but He does not interpret it the way they’ve been taught to interpret it, which is likely through a self-serving agenda.

2. He threatens their power. To believe this is the Christ, they are going to have to give up everything they’ve been building all these years. They are powerful men, they rule over people, people come to them for guidance and wisdom. If Jesus is the Christ, they’re livelihood is likely gone. Paul would have this same struggle, but Jesus would confront Him personally. The issue is that if they follow Christ, they are no longer important people in their communities.

3. These are zealous men. They are willing to kill Jesus because He is claiming to be the Messiah. They are not a people of grace, they are a people of the law.

4. And as such, they would likely be threatened with physical retribution from their own community if they followed Christ.

5. They are people who want clarity. They don’t like all this vague hippie talk coming from Jesus. How are they supposed to judge right from wrong, or moreover, who is important and who isn’t with all this silly talk about sheep and shepherds?

6. Jesus likes their enemies. These are people who have very clear enemies and very clear lines about who is lesser than they are. Jesus befriends these enemies and even says they are the ones who hear His voice. These guys probably interpret this to mean that their enemies are right and they are wrong (not an accurate interpretation. the idea is that “the wrong” are loved and will receive grace and protection.)

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