Although doubtful, St. Francis of Assisi has been credited with saying, "Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words." Even so, it is still an important idea. We can give voice to the most marvelous sentiments, but our actions must embody our beliefs.
In John's Gospel, the eternal Word becomes flesh and dwells among us. The Word teaches and preaches the good news of God's love for the world and the new life this brings. Yet, the Word is more than words. Jesus' works, the signs he performs that point to God, testify to truth that he has been set aside by God to bring hope and reconciliation to all of creation. The greatest sign of all, Jesus' willingness to empty himself and go the way of the cross resulting in resurrection life, speaks volumes.
John 10:22-30 (NRSV)
22 At that time the festival of the Dedication took place in Jerusalem. It was winter,
23 and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the portico of Solomon.
24 So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly."
25 Jesus answered, "I have told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name testify to me;
26 "but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep.
27 "My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me.
28 "I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand.
29 "What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father's hand.
30 "The Father and I are one."
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