The religious leaders angrily demand that Jesus say plainly whether or not he is the Messiah.

Jesus does not give a direct answer because his understanding of God’s purposes is totally at odds with mainstream Jewish expectations of their long prophesied Messiah. Instead he answers that his works among the people testify to who he is. He does everything in his Father’s name.

Those who follow Jesus (his sheep) ‘hear his voice’ – meaning they recognise he is authentic, fair dinkum, the real deal. In following Jesus, we are obeying God. Those who won’t take that step will never understand.

Jesus’ dramatic assertion that “The Father and I are one” brands him as a blasphemer in the eyes of the religious authorities.

Jesus, sent to us in human form, reveals the nature of God, through his acts of kindness, forgiveness, healing, teaching and his breaking down of all kinds of barriers. God’s love and compassion are especially shown through the sacrifice Jesus would soon make on the cross for our salvation.

Thus, if we are faithful followers of Jesus, we are united with God, through his Holy Spirit, for the whole of our life’s journey.

Philip Eldridge