My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. — John 10:27
Erik Raymond has written a great post today and a great reminder that we can never make Jesus more appealing than he is. I cannot take Jesus and make him clearer and more appealing than he is in the Bible. As I read through John 10 today, I saw Jesus boldly make claims that offended his hearers and led them to want to kill him. I thought, “If Jesus himself can be rejected by some of his listeners, what makes me think I can do better?”
It took a miracle of God to break through my own resistance to him when I became a believer. He made what was heart of stone become alive to him and changed my passions. Did that mean that others didn’t play some part? By all means, no! But the final, saving action was done by God alone and I responded to that work of God.
We believe because we hear the voice of the Shepherd and follow. The fact that Jesus preached his message while he was on earth and we have the Bible points to the fact that, while we are saved by God alone, there are means he uses to bring us to that point. To those who don’t believe, this is all foolishness, but the hope is that it will one day be clear to them through Jesus Christ.
For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. — I Corinthians 1:22-25