Well, today we are in John 10
where Jesus begins talking in realms of sheep and the shepherd. If you look at the beginning of this scripture Jesus begins with “verily verily” or “truly” or even “very truly” (depends on translation) you need to tune in and listen because HE is saying “I know firsthand” or “What I am about to say is the truth”- whatever version it is important. Let us start with Jesus speaking
John10 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.
After Jesus spoke these words some did not understand what HE was saying. In these times, at night the sheep were gathered in an area- a cave, sheds, open areas with walls of rock or branches and the shepherd would sleep in the entrance. This was to protect the animals from thieves or predators. A shepherd cares for his flock just as Jesus cares for you and me. This was spoken of in Ezekiel 34:23
. Again, some did not understand and Jesus, in verse 7-18
Jesus explains what HE just said. Verse 7 begins with VERILY VERILY – meaning you better listen.
Some people resent what Jesus is saying, that HE is GOD’s son, that HE is the gate, the only means of access to God. In these verses Jesus speaks of the thieves and robbers who come to take life; whereas Jesus gives life. Verses 11-12 tells us a hired hand only tends the flock for money but the shepherd does it out of LOVE. The shepherd is committed to the sheep, will protect and lay down his life for the sheep – THIS IS JESUS!!!
Verse 16 Jesus is talking about you and me – the gentiles :
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.
Jesus tells us in 17-18 that no one can take HIS life, but HE is willingly laying it down and will take it up again. But why? The end of 18: This commandment have I received of my Father.
How is your commitment to Christ? To the Father in Heaven? Once he said these things, as usual, the people around were divided some saying he is demon-possessed and others saying he is not. Yes, Jesus stirred up conversation among them all. His miracles should have removed the doubt of his claim to be God’s son, but oh, the short memory of many.
Verse 22 says it was now winter, making me believe time had passed since the above verses were recorded. Now it is winter, Hanukkah, the Festival of Dedication and Jesus was in the temple. Hanukkah was a cleansing of the temple which began under Judas Maccabeus in 164 B.C. after Antiochus Epiphanes had defiled it by sacrificing a pig on the altar of burnt offering.
People gathered around Jesus and asked, “ How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ,(Messiah) tell us plainly.” Here comes Jesus rebuttal: Starting with verse 25 Jesus said to 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.
What Jesus said to them really angered many. Some as they did not wish to give up their leadership role, HE was a threat to their career, some did not wish to submit to HIS leadership, many doubted and believed HE could not be who HE says HE is. And then blaspheme saying I and my Father are one. So at this point some were picking up stones to kill him. In Leviticus 24:16 deals with blaspheme, the claim to be God.
Once again, Jesus speaks in verse 34-36 and is referring to Psalm 82:6 where the Israelite rulers and judges are called “gods”. If God called them “gods” because they were agents of God’s revelation and will, how could it be blasphemy for Jesus to call himself the Son of God? Yes, Jesus is rebuking the religious leaders.
They tried to arrest Him (Jesus) but HE got away and left them. He removed himself past the Jordan River, past where John was first baptizing, and stayed there a while. Many saw His miracles and believed HE was the man of whom John the Baptist spoke and they followed him and believed. Wow! A great lesson today.