A communication problem
Husbands, perhaps your wife occasionally accuses you of not listening to her. You try to point out to her that she didn’t say what she thought she said, but she doesn’t go along.
Wives, perhaps your husband accuses you of not hearing him. You insist that he didn’t say it.
You may have a communication problem.
The crowds that surrounded Jesus had a communication problem too. While they insisted that Jesus hadn’t told them who he was, in truth, they had not been listening. As Jesus explained, “The miracles I do in my Father’s name speak for me.” Jesus was not “keeping them in suspense.” The “suspense” was entirely their own invention because they rejected the evidence right before them. “You do not believe because you are not my sheep.”
Sometimes preachers try to prove Jesus’ miracles, instead of simply proclaiming them. Especially on Easter, pastors may think they need to convince the skeptics out there. But “faith comes from hearing the message.” Look at Paul in Sunday’s First Lesson: he simply tells what happened. We tell the story of what Jesus did, and the Holy Spirit works through those words to build faith. “My sheep listen to my voice.”
“I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.” He gives eternal life, and he keeps us in eternal life. As much as we might want to promise our children that the bad situation will turn out fine, we can’t make things go the way we want. But God can, and he does. Not even Satan can snatch us out of the Good Shepherd’s hand in this life, nor in the world to come. Since the Father is greater than all, no one can snatch us from him.