THE LIFE OF CHRIST
last lesson, we finished up John 9. Chapter 10 picks up where chapter 9 leaves
off. After Jesus told the Pharisees, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you
say, 'We see.' Therefore your sin remains” (Jn 9:41), He continued speaking to
them through verse 21. The phrase “Most assuredly (NKJV)” or “Verily Verily
(KJV)” in verse 1 proves this because this phrase is not used to introduce a
new topic. Jesus was about to teach these Pharisees that He is the true
assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but
climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 "But he who enters by the
door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3
"To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls
his own sheep by name and leads them out.
4 "And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before
them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 "Yet they will by no means
follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of
strangers." 6 Jesus used
this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to
gospel of John does not contain any parables. However, some consider our text
to be a parable and they call it, “The parable of the shepherd and the sheep.”
Even the KJV calls this a parable in verse 6. However, the Greek word used here
is “paroimia” (part-ah-row-me-uh) which means a wise saying, proverb, maxim, or
allegory, so it is not a parable. In comparison, the synoptic Gospels never use
the word “paroimia” to describe a parable. They use the Greek word “parabole,” (puh-ar-buh-lay)
which means “something that serves as a
model or example pointing beyond itself for later realization” (BDAG). This saying of Jesus was used to
describe the role of a shepherd and to symbolically show that He is the true
shepherd was a man who would protect and lead his sheep to safety. There were
many dangers he would face, but he was willing to give his life to protect his
sheep. At nighttime, if he could find a cave to put the sheep in, he would lay
at the entrance making himself a door to the sheep. Any animal that wanted to
eat the sheep would have to go through him first. If there was not a cave
available, he would build a protective wall from stones or thorns and lay at
the entrance of it as well.
shepherd brought the sheep back into the village, he would put them into the
sheepfold. A sheepfold was a place build in the village to hold the sheep, but
it did not have a roof, and a guard would be hired to watch the gate of the
sheepfold. However, those who wanted to steal sheep would climb over the wall
and take them.
gave an accurate description of what is involved in being a shepherd, but at
the same time, He was calling these Pharisees thieves and robbers because they
were not the true shepherds. Throughout the history of the Jews, they had
deviated from God’s plan over and over. As time went on, the Scribes and
Pharisees had been leading the people astray by all their manmade regulations.
In essences, this made them thieves and robbers because they did not gain their
followers by entering through the door of truth.
shepherds spend a lot of time with their sheep, they learn to trust their
shepherd and follow their lead. The shepherd can call them by name and they
will follow. Sometimes in these sheepfolds there would be different sheep from
different shepherds, but when a shepherd came to gather his sheep, all he had
to do was call them, and they would follow him. The sheep that did not belong
to him would stay in the pen.
symbolically calling Himself the Shepherd and calling these Pharisees the
strangers. Back in our example of the blind man in John 9, he heard the voice
of Jesus and after he received his sight, he would only follow the voice of
Jesus. Even though the Pharisees tried to get him to listen to their voice, he
would not because he trusted in Jesus’ voice. Verse 6 tells us that the
Pharisees did not understand what Jesus was talking about.
John 10:7 Then Jesus
said to them again, "Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the
sheep. 8 "All who ever
came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear
them. 9 "I am the door.
If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find
pasture. 10 "The thief
does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that
they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
verses 7 and 9, we have our third “I am” statement in John. Jesus
metaphorically calls Himself a door, which gives us two different thoughts.
First, this means the only way to have salvation is through Jesus, which is
taught elsewhere such as:
John 14:6 Jesus said
to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father
except through Me.
Acts 4:12 "Nor is
there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given
among men by which we must be saved."
way a person can go through Jesus is by obeying His Word (Jn. 14:15). Second,
if a person wants to have spiritual fellowship with the sheep, they must go
through Jesus and abide by His authority.
Those who do not enter the flock through the
door are considered thieves. These thieves are only interested in themselves,
and they do not care if the flock is killed or destroyed, which is exactly what
the Jewish leaders were guilty of. They did not care about anyone but
themselves. There is a great example of this in
Ezekiel 34:1 And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2 "Son of man, prophesy
against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord
GOD to the shepherds: "Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves!
Should not the shepherds feed the flocks?
3 "You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool;
you slaughter the fatlings, but you do not feed the flock. 4 "The weak you have not
strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken,
nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost; but with force
and cruelty you have ruled them. 5
"So they were scattered because there was no shepherd; and they
became food for all the beasts of the field when they were scattered. 6 "My sheep wandered through
all the mountains, and on every high hill; yes, My flock was scattered over the
whole face of the earth, and no one was seeking or searching for them." 7 ' Therefore, you shepherds,
hear the word of the LORD: 8
"as I live," says the Lord GOD, "surely because My flock
became a prey, and My flock became food for every beast of the field, because there
was no shepherd, nor did My shepherds search for My flock, but the
shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock" -- 9 'therefore, O shepherds, hear
the word of the LORD! 10
'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I
will require My flock at their hand; I will cause them to cease feeding the
sheep, and the shepherds shall feed themselves no more; for I will deliver My
flock from their mouths, that they may no longer be food for them."
though these Pharisees did not have the peoples’ best interest at heart, Jesus
did. He came to the earth, so we could have life more abundantly.
are many nonChristians who think the life of a Christian is boring, depressing,
and restricted. However, this is untrue because the life of a Christian is
exciting and it is full of joy and happiness because we know we have a God that
loves us and has promised us eternal life in heaven. The life of a Christian is
far from being boring. While it is true that a Christian is restricted from
living in sin, the rewards that we receive as Christians far out weighs sinful living.
Paul understood this idea as we can see in:
Philippians 3:7 But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for
Christ. 8 Yet indeed I also
count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my
Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as
rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9
and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the
law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which
is from God by faith; 10 that
I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His
sufferings, being conformed to His death,
11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from
everything a worldly person would want. He was popular and those like him
looked up to him, and he was no doubt well off, but once he learned the truth
about Jesus, he knew all these things he enjoyed were not worth anything
compared to being in Christ.
John 10:11 "I am
the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. 12 "But a hireling, he who
is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming
and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters
them. 13 "The hireling
flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. 14 "I am the good shepherd;
and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.
Jesus says, “I am the good Shepherd”
is His fourth “I am” statement in the Book of John. Not only is Jesus the door,
He is the true Shepherd. Jesus is the fulfillment of Ezekiel’s prophecy in:
Ezekiel 34:23 "I will establish one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them --
My servant David. He shall feed them and be their shepherd. 24 "And I, the LORD, will be
their God, and My servant David a prince among them; I, the LORD, have spoken.
These verses in Ezekiel are not talking about
David himself because he was already dead when this was written. He is talking
about a future son, which is Jesus because He is in David’s lineage. Even the
opposing Pharisees knew that Christ was the son of David as can be seen in:
Matthew 22:41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 saying, "What do you think
about the Christ? Whose Son is He?" They said to Him, "The Son of
Jesus is the good Shepherd, it also proves He is God because God was considered
the only Shepherd of the Jews (Ps. 23:1; 79:13; 80:1; 95:7). Jesus is the good
Shepherd because He was willing to give His life for ours because He loves us.
However, the hireling was someone that was paid to watch the sheep, and they
did not love the sheep. They were not that concerned about them because they
did not belong to them. So, if danger, came along, they would flee for their lives
and leave the flock defenseless.
hireling represents the Pharisees because they were not willing to put their lives
on the line for the people because they were only concerned about themselves.
Sometimes we can find hireling in the church. For example, an elder can be a hireling
if he only took the position for power or to feel important. Preachers can
become hirelings if they do not preach all God’s truth because they do not want
to lose their jobs.
14, Jesus confirms again that He is the good Shepherd and He knows His sheep
and is known by His sheep. It should be comforting to every Christian to know
that Jesus knows who we are and even knows our names. As His sheep we must know
who He is by studying God’s Word.
reason many thieves have been able to steal from God’s flock is because the
sheep are not making an effort to know Jesus. Many today have lost their desire
to learn about Jesus’ authority in the Scriptures. When this happens, it allows
a person to be “tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of
doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful
plotting” (Eph. 4:14). Jesus said that those who know Him will not follow a
stranger’s voice, but those who neglect the Scriptures will.
John 10:15 "As
the Father knows Me, even so I know 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 will
hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.
shows Jesus close relationship with the Father. No human knows the Father like
Jesus does. However, we can know the Father through Jesus. Jesus makes it clear
that He is going to give His life for the sheep. There is no greater love that
can be shown than for Jesus to willingly give His life for us. As Paul said:
Romans 5:6 For when we
were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man
will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own
love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Jesus talked about there being other sheep that are not of this fold, He is
talking about the Gentiles. When Jesus died for us, He died for all. Both Jews
and Gentiles would be able to become part of the one flock with one Shepherd,
which is Jesus. Paul taught the Ephesians about this starting in:
Ephesians 2:11 Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh -- who are called
Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands
-- 12 that at that time you
were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers
from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the
world. 13 But now in Christ
Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of
Christ. 14 For He Himself is
our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of
separation, 15 having
abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained
in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus
making peace, 16 and that
He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby
putting to death the enmity. 17
And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were
near. 18 For through Him we
both have access by one Spirit to the Father.
19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and
foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of
God, 20 having been built on
the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the
chief cornerstone, 21
in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in
the Lord, 22 in whom you also
are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. (See
also Gal. 3:27-29).
teach that Jesus was referring to denominations with the term other sheep, but
that is twisting this Scripture because it is obviously talking about Gentiles.
Besides, the Word of God teaches against denominations in verses like:
1 Corinthians 1:10 Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that
you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you,
but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the
same judgment. 11 For it has
been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe's household,
that there are contentions among you.
12 Now I say this, that each of you says, "I am of
Paul," or "I am of Apollos," or "I am of Cephas," or
"I am of Christ." 13
Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name
makes it clear that there is no justification for dividing ourselves into
denominations and calling ourselves after other men. Jesus died for us. He is
the head of the church and prayed to the Father in John 17 that we all be one.
We are supposed to unified based on God’s Word. I personally think it reeks of
desperation to try and twist Jesus’ words to mean denominations because as I
said, He is clearly talking about the Gentiles.
I do not
care if people do not like what I say about this because God’s Word makes it
clear that there is only one church that Jesus’ built. Jesus told Peter:
Matthew 16:18 "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will
build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
common saying that many profess that one church is just as good as another is
as wrong as it can be. Let s never buy into the tactics of man or back down
from the truth found in God’s Word just because religious groups try to justify
certainly do not deny that there are many wonderful people in denominations who
do great deeds and make a difference in this ole world. I certainly appreciate
the good they do and even how they proclaim a lot of truth, but it is not good
enough to proclaim part of the truth or to separate yourself from the church
that Jesus built.
understand that this is not my opinion. No, Jesus makes this truth absolutely
Matthew 7:21" Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom
of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 "Many will say to Me in
that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in
Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?'
23 "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you;
depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'
Jesus asks a very important question in Luke’s account:
Luke 6:46 " But
why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do the things which I say?
it is not enough to say that Jesus is your Lord or that you are a spiritual
person. It is not enough to do good deeds and to follow some of God’s Word. No,
we must do our best to do the will of the Father. If we really love Jesus, then
we will obey all of His commands to the best of our abilities. We cannot keep
the ones we like, reject the others, and add on things that we like.
Denominations certainly fall into the category because they are an addition and
are not authorized in Scripture.
should never be ashamed to point that the Bible only speaks about there being
one church that Jesus purchased with His blood. The way you can know you are
part of that church is by simply obeying God’s plan of salvation and worshiping
Him in spirit and in truth.
"Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take
it again. 18 "No one
takes 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 command I have received from My Father."
was perfect at following the will of the Father. The Father loves everyone who
is obedient to His will. Jesus lets these Pharisees know that no one can take
His life until He chooses to give it. This statement was true because over and
over again the Jewish leaders sought Jesus’ life, and many times people picked
up stones to throw at Him, but nothing ever came of their attempts because it
was not His time to die.
verses, Jesus was speaking of His death and resurrection. He knew once He laid
down His life that He would be raised from the dead because it was the Father’s
John 10:19 Therefore
there was a division again among the Jews because of these sayings. 20 And many of them said, "He
has a demon and is mad. Why do you listen to Him?" 21 Others said, "These are
not the words of one who has a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the
Division was a common occurrence when Jesus taught the
people. Some would open their eyes to the truth and realize that Jesus was the
Son of God while others were too prideful to accept the truth. Some of them
tried to accuse Him of having a demon, but others made a valid argument that a
demon could not open the eyes of the blind. Since they talked about Him opening
the eyes of the blind, it implies that this event is a direct continuation of
chapter 9 because they are referring back to the blind man Jesus healed. Jesus
ability to heal the blind shows His Deity. As far as I know, this never
happened in the Old Testament, but Jesus was able to do it on several occasions,
therefore He is Lord. Those who were unwilling to open their eyes to the truth
would remain spiritually blind and would remain in their sins.
In conclusion, I hope you have learned from this lesson
how important it is for us to realize that Jesus is our Shepherd and that we
can only have salvation through Him. Like a good Shepherd, He knows us all by
name and He loves and care for each and every one of us. As sheep, we should
follow the instructions of our Shepherd knowing that His commands are exactly
what we need.
Jesus will never lead us astray. So, we can put our full
trust in Him. I want to close this lesson with the beautiful Psalm 23:
Psalm 23:1 The LORD is
my shepherd; I shall not want. 2
He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still
waters. 3 He restores my
soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake. 4 Yea, though I walk through the
valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my
enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall
follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD