Follow and Believe
On the Fourth Sunday of Easter, from the Gospel of St. John, Jesus tells us:
“My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.”-John 10:27-30, NAB
Before we tackle this verse, let’s understand the context of the story. Jesus is near the temple in Jerusalem when He is cornered by some nearby Jews. They asked Him, straightforward, if He was the Messiah. Jesus responded by saying that He had told them already, but they did not believe.
The Lord continued with today’s verse. Those who follow Christ as their Shepherd will understand that He is the Messiah. This group had rejected Him, so they did not believe, but anyone who follows Him will believe. The formula is simple, then: follow and believe.
Many of Christ’s first disciples chose to follow Him because of the many miracles and wonders He performed, but they still did not believe that He was the Messiah. They would learn and come to believe that later. They chose to follow Him because of His works, and Jesus would later reveal His true identity.
Like the disciples, many of us may be confused about our faith, at first. We can see God working in our lives, but we have a hard time believing that Christ is our Savior. In that case, we should follow the same basic formula to follow and believe. Follow the ways of Christ, and as we learn to recognize His voice, our faith will grow stronger.
To follow and believe go hand-in-hand. Believing takes faith, and the first step in faith is to follow Christ – even if we are not certain of His identity. Everyone, initially, must take this step to join Christ’s flock. We must follow Him with an open mind and heart, and as the Holy Spirit enters our lives, the full beauty of Christ will be revealed.
Accepting Christ as your Savior can be challenging, but it begins by taking a step in faith. Follow the ways of Christ, and over time, your doubts, fears, and questions will be answered. If you follow, you will believe.