“There was again a division among the Jews because of these words. Many of them said, “He has a demon, and is insane; why listen to him?” Others said, “These are not the words of one who is oppressed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?” (John 10:19-21).
When I was a youth pastor in West Michigan for nine years one of the most exciting and much anticipated annual youth activities was our Michigan vs. Michigan State Party. It involved members of the youth group, and youth group adult leadership, dressing in their favorite team colors, either maize and blue or green and white, enjoying delicious food which my wife Diana prepared and watching the Michigan/Michigan State Football game. Those in the youth group, whose team lost, provided refreshments to their fellow youth group winners at the following Sunday evening’s youth social.
An important part of the gathering was decorating our basement for the event. Streamers, tablecloths, napkins, cups and plates were adorned with each university’s respective colors. One place where Diana and I were able to purchase these supplies was at a store called The Great Divide. As you entered the store, one half was green and white while the other half was maize and blue. It was a pretty awesome place which contributed to our young people having a lot of fun. Oh by the way and in case you’re interested, this year’s game is October 20 at East Lansing. Go Blue!
On a much grandeur scale, there arose a great divide between the people hearing Jesus’ words that He was the good shepherd who lays down His life for the sheep only to take up His life again by His bodily resurrection. This was not the first time this great divide occurred (see John 7:1-13) about who Jesus was and what He would accomplish.
One commentator explains that, “Jesus has said several times in John 10:1–16 that His sheep hear His voice and follow Him. When the gospel goes forth and the elect hear it, there is no doubt that they will believe. Those who are not His sheep will not hear His voice. They will not follow Him to the end; they will either reject Him outright or, having never had saving faith to begin with, will go out from His people and abandon their profession (1 John 2:19). The last three verses of today’s passage provide something of an illustration of this point, as they show many of the Jews again rejecting Jesus (John 10:19–21). Assuming that they never came to saving faith later on, these individuals were clearly not among the sheep of Christ.”
The great divide regarding who Jesus is continues to this day. It is not a frivolous issue or a fun game. There are those who have faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Others reject Him. This great divide is also an eternal one with eternal consequences: life or death. On which side of the great divide are you?
Soli deo Gloria!