In John 10:24, the religious leaders ask Jesus, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly." This may sound like a sincere question, but Jesus knew their heart. In verse 25, He responds, "I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name bear witness about me, but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep."
Most people were looking for a political leader, one who would deliver them from the Romans. By speaking in parables, Jesus veiled the truth from those who were not His sheep. Although Jesus didn't claim to be the Messiah in so many words, these religious leaders would have known of John the Baptist's testimony, that Jesus said the Scriptures testified of Him, and that He claimed to be the Light of the World.
They would have witnessed or heard about the miracles He performed: turning water into wine, healing the paralyzed man, feeding more than 5,000 people with only fives loaves and two fish, etc. But they were spiritually deaf and blind. Their hearts were hardened.
Why didn't Jesus give them eyes to see and ears to hear? In John 10:26, He says, "You do not believe because you are not among my sheep." The point Jesus is making, is their condition is unchanging. They are not His sheep, and they will never be His sheep, and this is why they do not believe. In a similar way, being a man, there isn't a way for me to change this. I am a man because of my DNA. I am not a woman, nor can I ever be. The same truth is being conveyed in Jesus's statement. They do not believe, because they are not among His sheep, nor nor could they ever be. Only His sheep come to Him, and only His sheep believe.
This should be unfamiliar to us. Jesus told us in John 6:43-44, Do not grumble among yourselves. No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him." Then in verse 65, He says, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father." We can also read in John 8:47, "Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God." Who is Jesus talking about in those verses? His sheep. Only His sheep are drawn by the Father, have been granted by the Father to go to Christ, and hear His voice.
But wait, how is that fair? If only His sheep are drawn, and only His sheep believe, then what about everyone else? Why can't they believe? Consider Paul's words in Romans 3:11-12, "None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one." Then in verse 23 of the same chapter says, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,"
No one deserves to be saved, but Jesus chose to die for the sheep and they will come to Him. This causes some to ask, "Why should we share our faith? Why should we seek to evangelize those who may not have ears to hear?" We need only read Jesus's words in Matthew 28:19-20, where He instructs His followers to "go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
The Lord chose to make the gospel known through us to the world. So, how do we stay motivated knowing most people will reject Him? Think of it like this. If there was a stack of hay the size of a building, and the owner told you, "There is a gold coin among the hay worth $10,000,000. If you find it, it's yours." Wouldn't you be motivated to go find the coin? Absolutely! That's the way with evangelism. His sheep are out there, and it's worth our effort to find them—with God's help and direction.
So, not only do we have the promise that there are sheep out there, but Jesus also promises all the sheep are safe and secure. In John 10:28 we read, "I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand."
Some people believe they can willingly walk away from the Good Shepherd, that they can lose their salvation. That would be true if we could save ourselves, but we can't. It is God who saves us—and God who keeps us secure. Once we're born physically, there is nothing we can do to change that. The same is true of our spiritual birth. 1 John 5:1 says, "Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him." Once we're born again, there's no way to reverse it. We're born. It's done. And we should rest, knowing that Christ loves us so much He'll never let us go.
Jesus makes this clear in John 10:29, "My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand." Before He laid the foundations of the world, God gave us eternal life, and there is nothing in the universe powerful enough to remove us from His hand.
Because salvation rests on the truths that 1) the Father gave the sheep to the Son before the foundations of the world (John 10:29), 2) Jesus gave us eternal life as a free gift apart from anything we've done (Ephesians 2:8-9), and 3) both the Father and Son are guarding the sheep, promising that they'll never lose your salvation, we can rest assured that our salvation is completely secure.
Let's rejoice in our salvation, knowing we are forever secure!