“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” (John 10:27-30)
These are amongst the most comforting words a person can hear. Can there be a safer place than the secure arms of Jesus, the strong safe hands of God? Jesus’ promise that He gives his followers, his sheep, life to the full that goes on forever, is only possible because He lays down his life for the sheep. Being in the care and protection of One who has proven his love to that extent is no small thing. There is no other person in the universe who can claim that kind of relationship with his sheep. No one else has, or could, die for our sins, since He is the only one who lived the perfect life we should have lived and died the death we deserve to die. Amazing love! Total sacrifice!
Jesus clear statement that “no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand” is so comforting when we are tempted to doubt his presence, or his love, or his ability to see us safe ‘home’. God’s power and persistence and endless love guarantees it. He is greater than all, and He will not divert from his mission to rescue his people.
Does this security mean that we can do whatever we like? The characteristics of the sheep that Jesus talks about are that they hear his voice, He knows them, and they follow him. Hearing his voice means more than just listening, it means doing what He says. It’s a kind of hearing that makes a difference – following him. We all do that imperfectly, and long for the day when we see Jesus and are finally freed from our weaknesses and are made like him. In the meantime we keep listening and following, secure in the knowledge that by his power and grace we will be taken safely home to the new creation where we will praise and serve him forever. Jesus and the Father are one – they are both working to bring this about.
What a privilege to be known and held secure by our Father and the Lord Jesus. Let’s keep hearing and following.