Thursday, July 17, 2014

John Chapter 10, I Am the Good Shepherd, I and the Father are One.

"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber.  But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.  To him the gatekeeper opens.  The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.  When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.  A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers."  This figure of speech Jesus used whith them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.

So Jesus again said to them, "Truly, truly I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.  All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.  I am the door.  If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.  I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.  I am the good shepherd.  The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.  He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.  He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.  I am the good shepherd.  I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.  And I have other sheep that are not of this fold.  I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice.  So there will be one flock, one shepherd.  For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again.  No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.  I have authority to take it up again.  This charge I have received from my Father."

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?"

At the time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem.  It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon.  So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly."  Jesus answered them, "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 part of my flock.  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.  My Father, who has given them to me, is greater that all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.  I and the Father are one."

The Jews picked up stones again to stone him.  Jesus answered them, "I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?"  The Jews answered him, "It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God."  Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your Law, 'I said, you are gods'?  If he called them gods to whom the word of God came--and Scripture cannot be broken--do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, 'You are blaspheming,' because I said, 'I am the Son of God'?  If I am not doing works of my Father, then do not believe me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe in the works, that you may know and understand that the father is in me and I am in the Father."  Again they sought to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands.

He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing at first, and there he remained.  And many came to him.  And they said, "John did no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true."  And many believed in him there."  John Chapter 10

Explanation for verses in John Chapter 10 from The MacArthur Study Bible, pages 1561-1563.  Verses John 10:1-39; John 10:7-10; John 10:9-10; John 10:11-18; John 10:11; John 10:12; John 10:16; John 10:17-18; John 10:26-27; John 10:28-29; John 10:30; John 10:34-36; John 10:35; John 10:38.

"10:1-39 Jesus' discourse on himself as the "good shepherd" flowed directly from ch. 9, as Jesus continued to talk to the very same people.  The problem of ch. 9 was that Israel was led by false shepherds who drew them astray from the true knowledge and kingdom of Messiah (9:39-41).  In ch. 10, Jesus declared himself to be the "good shepherd" who was appointed by his Father as Savior and King, in contrast to the false shepherds of Israel who were self-apopointed and self-righteous (Ps. 23:1; Isa. 40:11; Jer. 3:15; cf. Isa. 56:9-12; Jer. 23:1-4; 25:32-38; Ezek. 34:1-31; Zach. 11:16)"

"10:7-10 I am the door.  This is the third of seven "I am" statements of Jesus (see 6:35; 8:12).  Here, he changes the metaphor slightly.  While in 10:1-5 he was the shepherd, here he is the gate.  While in vv. 1-5, the shepherd led the sheep out of the sheepfold, here he is the entrance to the fold (v. 9) that leads to proper pasture.  This section echoes Jesus' words in 14:6 that he is the only way to the Father.  His point is that he serves as the sole means to approach the Father and partake of God's promised salvation.  As some Near Eastern shepherds slept in the gateway to guard the sheep, Jesus here pictures himself as the gate."

"10:9-10  These two verses are a proverbial way of insisting that belief in Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God is the only way of being "saved" from sin and hell and receiving eternal life.  Only Jesus Christ is the one true source for the knowledge of God and the one basis for spiritual security."

"10:11-18  Jesus picked up another expression from vv. 1-5, i.e., he is the "good shepherd" in contrast to the present evil leadership of Israel (9:40-41).  This is the fourth of seven "I am" statements of Jesus (see vv. 7, 9; 6:35; 8:12).  The term "good" has the idea of "noble" and stands in contrast to the "hired hand" who cares only for self-interest."

"10:11  lays down his life for the sheep.  This is a reference to Jesus' substitutionary death for sinners on the cross. Cf. v. 15; 6:51; 11:50-51; 17:19; 18:14."

"10:12  sees the wolf coming. . .flees.  The hired hand likely represents religious leaders who perform their duty in good times but who never display sacrificial care for the sheep in times of danger.  They stand in contrast to Jesus, who laid down his life for his flock (see 15:13)."

"10:16  not of this fold.  This refers to Gentiles who will respond to his voice and become a part of the church (cf. Rom 1:16).  Jesus' death was not only for Jews (see notes on John 10:1, 3), but also for non-Jews whom he will make into one new body, the church (see notes on 11:51-52; cf. Eph. 2:11-22)."

"10:17-18 take it up again.  Jesus repeated this phrase twice in these two verses indicating that his sacrifical death was not the end.  His resurrection followed in demonstration of his messiahship and deity (Rom. 1:4).  His death and resurrection resulted in his ultimate glorification (John 12:23; 17:5) and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (7:37-39; cf. Acts 2:16-39)."

"10:26-27  This clearly indicates that God has chosen his sheep and it is they who believe and follow (see notes on vv. 3, 16; cf. 6:37-40, 44, 65)."

"10:28-29 The security of Jesus' sheep rests with him as the good shepherd, who has the power to keep them safe.  Neither thieves and robbers (vv. 1, 8) nor the wolf (v. 12) can harm them.  Verse 29 makes clear that the Father ultimately stands behind the sheep's security, for no one is able to steal from God, who is in sovereign control of all things (Col. 3:3).  See notes on Rom. 8:31-39.  No stronger passage in the OT or NT exists for the absolute, eternal security of every true Christian."

"10:30 I and the Father are one.  Both Father and Son are committted to the perfect protection and preservation of Jesus' sheep.  The sentence, stressing the united purpose and action of both in the security and safety of the flock, presupposes unity of nature and essence (see 5:17-23; 17:22)."

"10:34-36  Quoted from Ps. 82:6 where God calls some unjust judges "gods" and pronounces clamity against them.  Jesus' argument is that this psalm proves that the word "god" can be legitmately used to refer to others than God himself.  His reasoning is that if there are others whom God can address as "god" or "sons of the Most High," why then should the Jews object to Jesus' statement that he is "the Son of God" (John 10:36)?"

"10:35 Scripture cannot be broken.  An affirmation of the absolute accuracy and authority of Scripture (see notes on Matt. 5:17-19)."

"10:38 believe in works.  Jesus did not expect to be believed merely on his own assertions.  Since he did the same things that the Father does (see notes on 5:19), his enemies should consider this in their evaluation of him.  The implication is, however, that they were so ignorant of God that they could not recognize the works of the Father or the One whom the Father sent (see also 14:10-11)."

Let's pray:  Dear Lord Jesus, Thank You for being our good shepherd and for protecting Your flock.  I pray that those reading Your words would see the truth.  I pray that You would reveal Yourself to them.  I say these things in Jesus' name.  Amen.

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