Monday Devotional: May 2, 2022



Scripture: John 10:22-30

This Gospel reading takes us back to winter, to Hanukkah, the festival of Dedication. Jesus walks around the Temple during a time when his contemporaries are especially mindful not only of the liberation and restoration of the Temple under the Maccabees but also of kings and kingship. Perhaps that mindfulness prompts the question, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”

Jesus replies that he has told them, and they did not believe. Therefore, he will not testify on his own behalf: “The works that I do in my Father’s name testify to me.”

Indeed, Jesus has told them in figurative language, using a series of “I am” statements: water, wine, bread, light, shepherd, sheep, gate. The images reveal or conceal depending on the hearer’s heart disposition. “I have told you, and you do not believe,” Jesus said. We know credo, the Latin word for “believe,” but its deeper meaning is “I give my heart to.” Clearly, Jesus’ questioners have no disposition to believe- to give their heart, to hear his voice, to follow him.

These verses prompt reflection in at least two ways. First, what is the disposition of your heart? Are you predisposed to belief in Jesus: to give your heart to him, to hear his voice, to follow him? Or do other commitments or loves interfere with your belief, your ability to see clearly who Jesus is? Second, Jesus says his works (healing, feeding, comforting, freeing) testify to his identity. How do our works testify to our identity as his followers? Do others “know we are Christians by our love”? In a world of information overload and cheap and meaningless words and promises, perhaps the saying often attributed to Saint Francis could be our motto: “Preach the Gospel at all times; when necessary, use words.”


Lord Jesus, may we give our heart to you and embody our belief in our lives by following your way. Amen.

By Cheryle Somers-Ingersol, Upper Room Disciplines 2013