05.05.2020 — Jesus’ assertion of his identity

4th week in Easter Time, Tuesday – 5th May 2020 — Gospel: Jn 10,22-30

Jesus’ assertion of his identity

The religious authorities are asking Jesus whether or not he is the Messiah. This enquiry has marked the beginning and end of Jesus’ ministry, but only here it is answered directly (1,19-28; 4,25.29; 7,26-27.31.41-42; 11,27; 12,34). Jesus’ response has two components. First, He has already told them plainly, but that is of no effect (10,26a). Second, as Messiah, Jesus does the same kind of work that God does (10,26b). He has used this argument before at Bethzatha (5,36-38). In retelling the imagery of the sheep that hear the shepherd’s voice, Jesus shares mutual knowledge, “I know my own and my own know me” (10,14). Further this intimate relationship leads the sheep to follow the shepherd: “I know them, and they follow me” (10,27). This mutual knowledge resembles that of Jesus and God: “The Father knows me and I know the Father” (10,15). Jesus’ final assertion of his identity crowns this relationship: “The Father and I are one” (10,30). This oneness connects with the larger theme of Jesus’ works. Just as the Father knows Jesus and Jesus knows the Father, so also Jesus knows his followers and they know him. This intimate relationship between God and Jesus is so similar to that of Jesus and his community that one could say that through Jesus, God the Father is intimately related to his followers also. Though Jesus is not equal to God in essence, yet functionally they are united in the work they do. Both the Father and Jesus give eternal life to the believers (5,21; 10,28), have power to preserve their lives (10,28), and also to judge them (5,22; 9,39).