In this period of Easter we jump back in time to before Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. Jesus is asked if he is the Messiah (the Christ) and Jesus says he has already told them in his actions who he is.
They do not see the truth of his life because they are not meant to see it. Only his sheep see the truth reflected in his life.
This requires us to understand the place of shepherds in the Jewish culture. I have shared it many times, and we need to constantly remember that the shepherd leads from the front with a pet ewe that would follow the shepherd, and the others would follow the ewe.
There is a difference between sheep and humans. Sheep don’t think a lot, they see a sheep moving so they follow.
Humans do think and can choose to not follow, in fact they can question, and get angry and bitter.
The shepherd seeks to build a relationship with the sheep, and to know how to get the sheep to do what he wants. Those outside the flock will not understand.
Those who think like Jesus are attracted to Jesus and follow Jesus, but those who do not walk away.
Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection are something we chose to believe, but todays reading suggests that we are responding from a greater point, one of already being chosen.
It can be a mind blowing to think that God chose us before we were born, or even thought of by our parents. It is also an amazing and humbling thought to think we were chosen by God, even before we chose to believe in God and Jesus. In fact we could say that we did not chose to believe in God, but to respond to the call he was making to us. No matter where we wander, God is always calling us, and comes looking for us, so that we will enter into God’s kingdom.