Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth! (Psalm 46:10). These words have always been there quietly shouting to us, but the barrenness of busyness has taken its toll on the family of God. We have become too busy to listen – really listen. I think every reader would agree that God has given to us the perfect time to be still and meditate on the things of God.
Remember our last post. The Living Word (the Lord Jesus Christ) like a laser beam was walking along the road toward Jericho. Zacchaeus, a tax collector, had heard that He was coming through. Zac had climbed a sycamore tree so he could just get a glimpse of Jesus. But Jesus stopped, looked up at him, called him by name and asked him to come down. Jesus said that He must stay at his house that night. Everything that happened was obviously in the plan of God. Nothing happened by chance. The Living Word added that salvation had come to his house because (note the reason) Zac was a son of Abraham. The Living Word already knew him personally. The Living Word’s mission had been earlier explained. “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 15:24).
In a very similar situation, the Living Word, speaking as the Good Shepherd, said to other lost sheep of the house of Israel (other sons of Abraham), “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27). In this context of John’s gospel, Jesus had earlier spoken to a group of Jews who were still questioning His identity. The Jews had surrounded Him, saying to Him, “How long do keep us in doubt. Tell us plainly! Are you the Christ?” (John 10:24).
The Living Word said that He had already told them, and they did not believe. He said that He had given them evidence. The works that He had done in His Father’s name had given witness to His identity (John 10:25). But that was not the real reason that they had not come. The Living Word said to this crowd, “But.” Once again it is the small words that scream at us. “But you do not believe because you are not my sheep.” The Living Word never misspoke, not one time. He did not say that He always knew that they were not going to be His sheep so that is why they did not come. Many add these words to the text but not the Living Word.
So, when did these Jewish sheep become His sheep? Did they become His sheep only after He called them? Or were they His sheep before He called them. Did they become His sheep only because He knew that they would be, so then He called them? Or did He always know them personally, like He knew Zac. Said plainly, were His sheep His sheep, even before they heard His voice. He said, “My sheep hear my voice.” In my mind they were already His sheep.
Did Zac become a son of Abraham only after the Living Word called him out of the tree? He was already a son of Abraham and this is the reason that Jesus said that salvation had come to his house. As I pondered this, my mind quickly hit the recalculate button and I thought to myself, well in both cases both Zac – a son of Abraham – and the lost sheep were speaking of the lost sheep of the house of Israel. But Jesus had earlier added, “And other sheep I have which are not of this fold (His Jewish fold) them also I must bring (the Gentile fold) and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd” (John 10:16). Two sheep folds, some Jew and some Gentiles, blended together as one flock. Then add one Good Shepherd and it equals the Church. Wow!
Speaking of His sheep (Jew and Gentile), Jesus said, “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand” (John 10:28). This is the salvation that had come to Zac’s house and the salvation that can come to your house whatever side of this fence you are on (Jew or Gentile, John 3:16). Carefully follow the final steps and listen to every word of the Living Word as He left Zac’s house. He was on His way like a laser beam to the Via Delarosa (the path of suffering) and ultimately to the cross. His words were the words of the dying Lamb of God. He knew that His death was near – very near. His final words will be life changing for those who will be still and know that God is God. Stay safe and stay tuned.