Posted by: Pauline | January 15, 2018

Scriptures for Sunday January 21

John 10:14-18

The image of Jesus as our Good Shepherd is comforting to many people. This is true even for people with no personal experience of sheep or shepherding – perhaps particularly for them, because they can attach to the image only the comforting aspects of being called and cared for by Jesus, without much thought of the dirty, smelly, or otherwise unpleasant facets of the business of raising sheep.

It is also an image associated with peace rather than struggle or controversy. But among those who heard Jesus speak, there would have been plenty of disagreement about whether Jesus was in fact a legitimate leader for people to follow, as well as who were the legitimate “sheep” who qualified to belong to the flock. Such questions continue today, though generally in contexts quite different from images of sheep and shepherds.

Romans 10:10-15

Studies have shown that we learn far more from what we see than what we hear, and polls show that most people would prefer to lose their hearing than their sight,if they had to choose. Yet Scripture emphasizes the importance of hearing and of words. Both earlier in the book of Romans and later in this chapter, Paul alludes to the general knowledge of God present in creation, but that knowledge is limited.

We see the power of God in the created world, and we can recall experiences of our own as well as those we have heard from others that we understand as evidence of God’s work in our lives. But only by hearing the word of God do we come to know His character, especially His gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. And only by speaking these words can we convey this same good news to others.

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