The Jews are getting impatient; are you or are you not the Messiah, they ask Jesus? And they demand a direct answer! Jesus does what he always does, he points them to his works and tells them that if they can't see him directly then at least believe his signs. What Jesus is really asking for is an act of faith. Unless we make that act of faith and make some sort of effort to believe that Jesus is who he says he is then we are going nowhere in the Christian life. Its our move; Jesus has come and done his work....how are we going to respond? Do we want more proof than the resurrection or do we believe what our heart tells us? The very least that our heart tells us about Jesus is that he is someone unique, someone who can't be ignored and someone we have to make a decision about. Sooner or later we all face the question...who is Jesus in our life?
The first thing our Lord made clear to them was the reason why they continued to refuse to accept what he had already made clear about himself. “Jesus answered, I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father's name speak for me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow.” There had been plenty of indications of his answer to that question, but they refused to believe. The telling point here is our Lord’s reason for their lack of faith. It was not due to there not having been enough indication from our Lord about himself. Nor was it because he had not provided sufficient evidence of the truth of his claims. He had told them, and he had worked miracles, signs, to support his claims. Moreover, John, whom all held to be a prophet, had given testimony to Jesus. The reason was not of this order, but that they were not his sheep. This was the reason for their existing refusal to believe, despite all the indications already given. There was a fundamental separation from him, a moral stance shaping their thought and their decisions. Their refusal to believe in Jesus flowed from this foundational disposition which meant that they were not his sheep. They simply did not, nor wanted to, belong to him. Their starting points, their preferred assumptions, their deeper moral postures, were at variance from his own, and from God and his holy will. These starting points governed their decision not to believe. Basically they did not like what they saw in Jesus, and this was due to the sin that reigned in them, separating them from him and leaving them in darkness. They had to change, repent, be born again, become new, if they were to find that life that is in him. But there was a further point to his answer. In respect to his being the Messiah — he had already answered that: “I did tell you, but you do not believe.” What he now tells them, calmly, without warning, and at the very Temple itself, is that “I and the Father are one” (John 10:22-30). This must have caused an awestruck and powerful silence. They had not mistaken him — he was claiming to be God. They immediately prepared for a stoning.
Let us appreciate the depth of the issues featuring in today’s Gospel passage. Our Lord calls attention to the profound moral factors in the act of faith. To believe in him involves one’s entire moral stance. One has to be of a certain moral disposition if one is to believe in Jesus Christ. We ought pray to God that he give us the right foundations, the right starting points, so as to be his “sheep,” persons who belong to him. Further, we must ask God for the grace to appreciate the high majesty of Jesus Christ. He is none other than God himself, one with the Father in being, though separate from him in person. The two are united in love by the Holy Spirit. Let us take our place with him then, and never allow ourselves to stray from him!