John 10.16, 12.21-26 – The will of God
Posted: 3 August 2011 in John

“And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.”

“The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus. Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus. And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.”

In the second of the above passages, Jesus seems to be saying that his death was necessary for the birth of the Church (“much fruit”). In human terms it is, of course, extremely difficult to understand why the sacrifice of the Son of God should be necessary for the birth of the church, or for his sheep to hear the voice of their shepherd, but nobody said that the things of God had to be easy to comprehend.

Of course, the passage is not without its implications for us. If God was prepared to countenance the death of his own Son so that his will could be fulfilled, we have no reason to suppose that our pilgrimage through life must necessarily be an easy one – and that might include personal tragedies such as the death of a loved one, as well as natural disasters.

This passage contains another warning for us – namely that we must be prepared to lose our lives, in the sense of surrendering control over them, so that we too can be used as instruments of the Father’s will.

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