Tuesday after Exaudi
Scripture: St. John 10:22-31 (NKJV)
10:22 Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter. 23 And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon’s porch. 24 Then the Jews surrounded Him and said to Him, “How long do You keep us in doubt? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.”
25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. 26 But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. 27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. 30 I and My Father are one.”
31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him.
The unbelief of the Jews can certainly come across as foolish. Yet those who hear the Shepherd’s voice continue to struggle with their sinful, unbelieving flesh as well. Consider what we believe, teach, and confess in the Small Catechism regarding the total depravity of our flesh and who exactly creates and sustains faith: “I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him, but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and preserved me in the true faith; just as He calls, gathers, enlightens and sanctifies the whole Christian Church on earth, and preserves it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith.”
Thankfully, the Lord brings us to pray “Thy will be done,” bringing us to pray against our flesh, and for His sustenance. We confess: “How is [God’s will] done? When God breaks and hinders every evil plan and will (like the will of the devil, the world and our flesh) that would keep us from hallowing God’s name and prevent His kingdom from coming; and when He strengthens and keeps us steadfast in His Word and faith, until the end. This is His good and gracious will.”
Rejoice that the Lord keeps telling us plainly through His means of Word and Sacrament that He is the Christ. And through such a feeding of faith He sustains His sheep, while creating godly desires. “Thy will be done” indeed!
We pray: Almighty, everlasting God, make us always to have a devout will toward You and to serve Your majesty with a pure heart; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.