Heavenly Father, we come before You in humility, brokenness, and with a contrite heart, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
John 10: 1- 21, The feast of Tabernacles, Part 9, the Good Shepherd Discourse.
VV 1-6, 1 Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” 6 Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.
The shepherd and sheep metaphor:
The shepherd represents Jesus, sheep represent Christian, the gatekeeper represents the Holy Spirit, a thief and a robber represent satan. Psalm 23 a, “’The Lord is my shepherd.’’ Isaiah 53:6, ‘’We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all”. The shepherd enters through the gate. A thief and a robber enter by climbing up the fence. When the gatekeeper opens the gate and the shepherd calls his sheep by name, the sheep who recognize the shepherd’s voice will follow the shepherd.
VV 7-10, 7 Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.[a] They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
John 10:7 and 10:9, ‘’I am the gate’’ is the third I AM statement. Jesus is the gate of the sheep pen, the gateway to salvation, provision, safety, and protection. Jesus came to give us abundant life. Satan came to steal, kill and destroy life.
VV 11- 13, 11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
John 10: 11 and 14, “’I am the good shepherd” is the fourth I AM Statement. ‘’Lays down His life’’ speaks of His crucifixion. Jesus cares, loves, protects, guides, comforts, provides for, and dies for us. John 15:13, ‘’Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.’’
VV 14-18,14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”
The other sheepfold speaks of the Gentiles. The Gospel started from Jerusalem to Judea, Samaria, and spread to the world, (Gentiles). Jesus united the Jews and the Gentiles into one flock, Ephesians 2:14, ‘’For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us.’’ Laying down His life and taking it up again, speaks of His death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and glorification.
VV 19- 21, 19 The Jews who heard these words were again divided. 20 Many of them said, “He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?” 21 But others said, “These are not the sayings of a man possessed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”
Many of the Jews said that Jesus was demon-possessed and mad, but other Jews disagreed with this opinion.
Heavenly Father, thank You that Jesus is our good shepherd, chief shepherd, great shepherd, and the shepherd of our souls who came to give us eternal life, in Jesus’ name, Amen.