I’ve been focusing on this passage a lot as I added it to my Bible Memory list. It has one fascinating and important truth after another. The context is the “Good Shepherd” narrative where Jesus is speaking to the Pharisees. He was asked if He was really the Christ, but they didn’t want the answer.
John 10:25–30 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. 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.”
It is crucial to note that these people have seen Jesus face-to-face many times and even seen his miracles firsthand, yet they still don’t believe.
John 10:25 I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, but you do not believe . . .
Keep that in mind when skeptics say they’d believe if only they got a sign from God. The Bible says they have already been given plenty of signs to know about God:
Romans 1:18–20 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
And Jesus warned against asking for signs:
Matthew 16:4 An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.” So he left them and departed.
And just ask atheists if they’d worship God even if they were provided evidence that met their standards. Many will admit that they still wouldn’t follow him.
Why didn’t the listeners believe even when they talked to the incarnate Christ in person and saw his miracles? Because they weren’t his. The Father hadn’t given them to Jesus. And as Stan noted in the comments section, they believed because they were his sheep. They didn’t believe and then become his sheep.
but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep . . . My Father, who has given them to me . . .
How are his sheep identified? They believe Jesus, they follow Jesus and they persevere over time.
but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. 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.
So when “Christian” Leftists and other false teachers deny the Bible – which Jesus affirmed (the Old Testament) and authorized (the New Testament), then you can know they are wolves. They don’t believe Jesus. They don’t follow him, they follow the world.
One of the hidden blessings of the LGBTQX movement is that it makes a clear distinction between sheep and goats. No one will have an excuse as to why they followed a false teacher.
This is an important truth for evangelism. We should scatter the seed of the Gospel broadly and not try to guess who is and isn’t in Jesus’ flock. We’ve all seen people who seemed highly unlikely to believe (I witness that monthly doing prison ministry) as well as those who you’d think would believe but don’t. It glorifies God to proclaim the truth about Jesus regardless of whether people accept him. But if people are hostile to the Gospel, then they either aren’t his sheep or it isn’t their time to believe.
And note the double assurance of perseverance: No one will snatch you out of Jesus’ hand or the Father’s hand. You didn’t save yourself, you won’t un-save yourself, and no one else will un-save you. That isn’t to say that you should never test yourself, just that if you have repented, believed and trust his Word then your default setting should be set on assurance.
2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!
If you work really hard you can ignore the concept of predestination and salvation by grace and not works in this and other passages :-). There is no hint that Jesus thinks that if He just badgers them some more that they will become his sheep. Also this:
My Father, who has given them to me . . .
And note Jesus’ divinity here. His hand = the Father’s hands. And this:
I and the Father are one.
The whole passage is so clear about sheep, goats, evidence, evangelism, predestination, perseverance of the saints and salvation by grace. It is no accident that the “Christian” Left works overtime to dismiss the authority of the Gospel of John (and more). Every time they do so they prove Jesus’ points.
Meditate on this passage today and enjoy the beautiful truths!