November 8, 2020

Jesus Knows Those Who Believe On Him

INTERESTING FACTS : John Adams,   born October 30 [October 19, Old Style], 1735, Braintree [now in Quincy], Massachusetts [U.S.], died July 4, 1826, Quincy, Early advocate of American independence from Great Britain, major figure in the Continental Congress (1774-77), author of the Massachusetts constitution (1780), signer of the Treaty of Paris (1783), first American ambassador to the Court of St. James (1785-88), first vice president (1789-97) and second president (1797-1801) of the United States. Although Adams was regarded by his contemporaries as one of the most significant statesmen of the revolutionary era, his reputation faded in the 19th century, only to ascend again during the last half of the 20th century. The modern edition of his correspondence prompted a rediscovery of his bracing honesty and pungent way with words, his importance as a political thinker, his realistic perspective on American foreign policy, and his patriarchal role as founder of one of the most prominent families in American history.[1]
"The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God"[2]
Daily Reading : JOHN 9 - 10
TEXT : John  10:23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch.  10:24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.  10:25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me.  10:26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.  10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:  10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.  10:29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.  10:31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.  10:32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?  10:33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.
John 9 
After Christ's departure out of the temple, in the close of the foregoing chapter, and before this happened which is recorded in this chapter, he had been for some time abroad in the country, it is supposed about two or three months; in which interval of time Dr. Lightfoot and other harmonists place all the passages that occur from Luk_10:17 to Luk_13:17. What is recorded in ch. 7 and 8 was at the feast of tabernacles, in September; what is recorded in this and the following chapter was at the feast of dedication in December, Joh_10:22. Mr. Clark and others place this immediately after the foregoing chapter. In this chapter we have,  I. The miraculous cure of a man that was born blind (Joh_9:1-7).  II. The discourses which were occasioned by it.  1. A discourse of the neighbours among themselves, and with the man (Joh_9:8-12).  2. Between the Pharisees and the man (v. 13-34).  3. Between Christ and the poor man (Joh_9:35-38).  4. Between Christ and the Pharisees (Joh_9:39 to the end). [ Matthew Henry][3]
John 10 
Christ speaks the parable of the sheepfold, Joh_10:1-6. Proclaims himself the door of the sheepfold, Joh_10:7-10, and the good shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep, Joh_10:11-18. The Jews are again divided, and some revile and some vindicate our Lord, Joh_10:19-21. His discourse with the Jews at the temple, on the feast of dedication, Joh_10:22-29. Having asserted that he was one with the Father, the Jews attempt to stone him, Joh_10:30, Joh_10:31. He vindicates his conduct, and appeals to his works, Joh_10:32-38. They strive to apprehend him; he escapes, and retires beyond Jordan, Joh_10:39, Joh_10:40. Many resort to and believe on him there, Joh_10:41, Joh_10:42. [Adam Clarke][4]
There is something notable in the Gospel of John 10: 24. The question proposed by the Jewish leaders was-"how long dost thou make us to doubt?" They then ask Jesus-"if thou be the Christ, tell us plainly." The implication in such a statement is clear-"You do many things, and say many things, and lead us to believe that you are the Messiah.  Now, we want to hear you say it with your own mouth. State it clearly. "
Jesus' response is that he did tell them.  However, they did not believe him.  Faith or believing in the Word (s) of God has always been the prerequisite to answered prayer as well as "knowing God." Keep in mind; one can "know God" academically or intellectually. That is not the same as knowing God personally, or in relationship and reality. For instance, you can be an expert on the life of an historic person.  You can be the leading authority on that person's life, activities, accomplishments, etc. and so forth; yet, you never knew them, or know them personally. 
Further, if that prominent individual is still alive and you were to walk up to them and greet them, they would deny any knowledge of you whatsoever.[5]  Therefore, it is simple to understand the difference between "knowing about" someone, and "knowing them." The Jews questioning Jesus knew about the Messiah.  Still, when he appeared in the world, they did not know him personally.  Even as John records in chapter 1:9 - 11 - "that was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.  He was in the world, and the word was made by him, and the world knew him not.  He came unto his own, and his own received him not."
Thus, you see that it takes more than feeling, touching, reading, or studying in order to know Jesus Christ is the Son of God; the second person of the Trinity.  In addition to the indwelling Holy Spirit that brings the reality of Christ into your life, an antecedent choice is made on the part of the individual.  That is, you must respond (obey) to the light as God gives it to you in order to receive more light, and ultimately, to know Jesus personally, as well as intimately as the Light of the world.  This is why the psalmist would say in Psalm 36:9- "For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light."
The latter portion of this verse of Scripture in Psalm 36:9 is important and relates to the text of John 10:24.  In God's light, you see more and more light.  What this means is as you respond properly to the knowledge of truth as God gives it - here a little, and there a little,[6] more knowledge is given.  Yet, you must understand the word "light" is a metaphor of a knowledge that is not simply academic or intellectual, but a "knowing" that is related to the way you and I ask if we "know" somebody.  When you and I say we "know" someone, we always refer to a relational knowledge not a book knowledge.  In addition, Jesus taught that no one would come to him unless the Father had taught them and sent them.[7]
In John 10:25, Jesus emphatically states the Jews did not believe in him even though Jesus did tell them he was the predicted Messiah spoken about by the holy prophets in the Old Testament.  However, the antecedent choice - that in this case was unbelief on the part of these Jews, prevented them from receiving the light of the knowledge that Jesus Christ was the true Messiah, God come in the flesh.  In order to receive truth, you must love the truth.  It does not matter whether the truth complements you or censures you. The love of the truth is a prerequisite to being one of Jesus Christ's own sheep.  It is an antecedent choice - you believe on him, and as you do, you hear his voice and another's voice you will not follow.  This is the gift of the Holy Spirit. He witnesses in the inner man in a fashion that goes beyond mere words.  God imparts the "knowledge" that you belong to Jesus Christ.  No man can give this to you.  Neither can you get it simply from reading or studying the Holy Scriptures without the aid of the Holy Spirit.  He is the one who makes the Word of God alive in your inner man, and not merely to your physical ears, eyes, or brain.
In John 10:28, Jesus states he gives you eternal life.  This life, the life that God possesses himself because it had no beginning and will have no end, means you will never perish.  "Perish" in the New Testament, is used not only of physical death, but also of eternal punishment.  It is an inclusive word that takes in the first death (the death of a physical body), and the second death mentioned in the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, that pertains to eternity in the lake of fire (hell).[8]
No one, that is, no man, can "pluck" you out of the hands of Jesus Christ.  You are secure and safe from the attempts of man (or for that matter from the schemes of Satan) to take you away from the life of God.  That is, God's eternal, never ending life.  You know Jesus and you follow him.  Further, according to John 10:29 the Father and the Son (obviously this includes the Holy Spirit as well) are active in keeping you safe for eternity.  No human being has the ability or power to take you away from Christ.  Remember, Jesus and the Father are one (John 10:30).  There is nothing - no man or woman, nothing that will come in your future, not angels or principalities, not one temptation, trial, tragedy, or anything else that can separate you from the love of God which, is also the life of God - eternal life, that is in Christ Jesus.[9]
Today, keep in mind you not only know Christ, but he knows you; and that makes all the difference.

  • [1] Brittanica, Encyclopedia. Encylopedia Brittanica Deluxe Edition. 2011.
  • [2] Thomas Jefferson, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson (Washington D. C.: The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1904), Vol. XIII, p. 292-294. In a letter from John Adams to Thomas Jefferson on June 28, 1813
  • [3] Henry, Matthew. Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible. Public Domain, [1662 - 1714].
  • [4] Adam Clarke LL.D., F.S.A. Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible. Public Domain, 1715 - 1832.
  • [5] Mat 7:21  Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Mat 7:22  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? Mat 7:23  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Mat 7:24  Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: Mat 7:25  And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. Mat 7:26  And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: Mat 7:27  And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
  • [6] Isa 28:9  Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. Isa 28:10  For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
  • [7] Joh_6:37  All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.; Joh 6:44  No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. Joh 6:45  It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.
  • [8] Rev 20:11  And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
Rev 20:12  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. Rev 20:13  And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. Rev 20:14  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. Rev 20:15  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
  • [9] Rom 8:32  He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Rom 8:33  Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Rom 8:34  Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Rom 8:35  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Rom 8:36  As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Rom 8:37  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. Rom 8:38  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Rom 8:39  Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
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