April 24th John 10
4 “I am the good shepherd”
1: Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2: But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3: To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. 4: And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. 5: And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. 6: This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them. 7: Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. 8: All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. 9: I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. 10: The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. 11: I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. 12: But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. 13: The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. 14: I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. 15: As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16: And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. 17: Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 18: No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father. 19: There was a division therefore again among the Jews for these sayings. 20: And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him? 21: Others said, These are not the words of him that hath a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind?
5 “I am God’s Son”
22: And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. 23: And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch. 24: Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. 25: Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me. 26: But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. 27: My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29: My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. 30: I and my Father are one. 31: Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. 32: Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? 33: The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. 34: Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? 35: If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; 36: Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? 37: If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. 38: But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him. 39: Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand, 40: And went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John at first baptized; and there he abode. 41: And many resorted unto him, and said, John did no miracle: but all things that John spake of this man were true. 42: And many believed on him there.
After Chapter 9 where Christ comes toe to toe with the religious leaders of Israel Christ teaches his disciples what real religious leadership is. He gives them The Parable of the Shepherd (v6). All through the OT Jehovah is described as the shepherd and Israel are the sheep of his pasture. Here Christ continues with the same image and contrasts himself as the good shepherd with the hirelings of Israel. First he says you can always recognise the true shepherd because he enters by the door into the sheepfold. Those who climb in another way are thieves and robbers. Thieves steal secretly but robbers attack in the open causing injury first and then they take everything. Then Christ says, 'He that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep'. Christ himself will enter Jerusalem and take the throne of Israel. Only to him will the porter open and the sheep will hear his voice and he will call them by name and he will lead them out. Here Christ prophetically is referring to Christ’s coming in glory in which he will come to Jerusalem. He will call Israel to follow him and he will lead them out to evangelise the world. And when he puts them out, he will go before them. That is, He will be the leader of the people and they will follow him because they know his voice. This parable also had a partial fulfilment in the ministry of the Apostles whose testimony was rejected, however in a future day the Lord will raise up witnesses again who will hear his voice and be led forth successfully. The people did not understand what Christ said and that probably included the disciples. Christ continued to teach them saying, ‘Verily, verily’. or Listen, listen, l am telling you the ultimate truth from God. ‘I am the door of the sheep’. This was a divine claim. He calls himself the ‘I AM’ and he attaches to this title ownership of Israel. He is saying, ‘I am the God who owns the people of Israel’. Then he contrasts the old failing, thieving, corrupt, leadership of Israel with himself. All that mob, that came before me were rejected because the sheep didn’t hear them. Then he repeats, ‘I am the door and if you come in to me you will be saved’. All the hopes and aspirations of Israel is to be found to be fulfilled in me. I am the Saviour of Israel. Those who trust in me will be set free – he will go in and out and in me he will find sustenance. Then he speaks of the thief who is Satan himself the great enemy of the sheep. Christ says, ‘He has come to steal, kill and destroy. In contrast - I have come that you might have life. (He does not say l have come to give you life sovereignty. But l have come ‘so that you might’ have life. It’s not a automatic thing it is based on a personal recognition of the Messianic claims of Jesus) He comes that they might have life and have it more abundantly, a life that is overflowing. Then Christ goes deeper to explain why He and he alone is the Shepherd indeed the Good Shepherd of his people. He says, ‘The Good shepherd gives his life for the sheep’. You can always tell a good shepherd. He suffers for the sheep. In contrast the hireling, who is not the owner of the sheep, when he sees the wolf, runs away and leaves the sheep in danger and the wolf catches the sheep and kills them. Those that are hirelings don’t care and flee for their lives. Then Christ states again his credentials. ‘I am the Good Shepherd, I know them and they know me’. He says, ‘The Father knows me and l know him and l lay down my life for the sheep’. This was the very first time he had intimated the cross. Then Christ speaks of other sheep which are not of this fold. (See 11v52 Jer 31v33ff The Lord will make a new covenant with Judah and with Israel. Israel (the ten northern tribes are at present lost.) Christ will bring them back and there will be one fold and one shepherd. Zec 10:6-12 Christ will hiss for them like a shepherd calling sheep from a far field back into the fold. Jer 23:3-8 Eze 36v24 Deu 30v1-10 Isa 43:5-7 Jer 16:14-16 Jer 31:7-10 Eze 11:14-18 Eze 36:24.) The people were divided at Christ’s teaching. Some said he was mad others that he had a devil, others that these are not the words of a madman. It was winter and Christ was walking in Solomon’s porch and the Jews accosted him asking him to say if he were the Messiah. He answered l have told you but if you don’t believe my words then believe my Messianic signs. He said you don’t hear me because you do not believe in me. Then he said something very wonderful. He said, ‘My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand’. Can there be any doubt that those that are in the hand of Christ who have eternal life are eternally secure? He also said, ‘My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one’. At this the Jews gathered and picked up rocks to execute him. Christ challenged them. For which good work to you seek to kill me? They said, ‘we are not stoning you for your good works but because of your blaspheme’. Christ pointed out that even men are referred to as Gods in the sense that they have the place of God among men in that they act on his behalf. He escaped from them and went far to the other side of Jordan where John first baptised. Many believed on him there.
- What did Jesus mean when he said, I am the good Shepherd?
- What are hired shepherds like?
- What is the good Shepherd like?