John 10

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This chapter is divided into 3 sections: the good shepherd discourse (10:1-21), the discourse with the new (22-38) and a closing section (39-42) The chapter is unified by the themes that Jesus is Lord, Israel’s shepherd, that He is one with the Father and that His saving activity absolutely secures the protection of the who are His. 

So let\’s focus on 10:1-21 first.

So we have a lot to talk about tonight. I\’m gonna throw a couple different topics around like perseverance of the Saints, a bit about how to properly read scripture and also apologetics AND I think we may see John’s first use of fully intentional use of contrast in this chapter and we’ll talk about how that the Hebrews loved to really use it to drive home the story. So just ask to stop me and ask questions if Y\’all need answers. 

So, how many of y’all have worked on a farm? With sheep?

Ok. So we now know that our way of shepherding is way different than Israel’s way of shepherding. For starters, there\’s no sheepdog in this story. 

So for this chapter context is crucial, especially cultural context, in order to properly understand what Jesus is saying.

Let\’s start with defining our terms: 

Sheepfold: A fenced enclosure with one entrance where a whole community (town) would keep their sheep when they weren’t gracing. Thieves and predators could climb over the fence to steal or kill the sheep if left unguarded. 

“enters by the door” The shepherd doesn’t need to climb over but is admitted by the watchman, if there was a guard, or by merely opening the pin and then calling out each individual sheep to attend to them. 

Since we talked about Israel dirt last time lets talk about something way more interesting. Let\’s talk about Israel trees.

Sheep pens would’ve been made out of thorns, from thorn bushes, and Cypress and hardwood. So the sheep pen here represents the world/fallen humanity. But it also points back to Jesus in that Jesus took the sin of the world and the curse of sin (His crown of thorns) on His shoulders upon His death.

As an early Catholic put it, \”An old legend makes out that the Cross was made of “Palm of Victory,” “Cedar of Incorruption,” and “Olive for Royal and Priestly Unction.” And in a Latin verse, we are told: The foot of the Cross is Cedar, The Palm holds back the hands, Th’ tall Cypress holds the body, The Olive in joy is inscribed.”

I just thought was super cool and wanted to share that symbolizes with Y\’all. Never stop asking questions about the word/always hunger for God.

So now that we got our basic terms down let\’s dig into this a little more.

10:3 What\’s this verse mean? (the shepherd knows his sheep by name and the sheep recognize their shepherd’s voice and come to him. This is a vivid image of how God has marked some ppl to be his in the midst of fallen humanity). 

Jesus, the shepherd, called out to us, His sheep, by our name and led us out the world (Because that\’s what I think the sheepfold represents). 

Do y’all know what the word “Church” means in Greek? It means called out ones. 

That\’s what the Church really is; those that have been called out and believe in Jesus. 

Now Jesus here says that He “leads [his sheep] out” in what way does Jesus lead us? He is our leader by example. He set the perfect example of righteousness/right living in the everyday presence of God. 

So the shepherd: 1) enters by the door 2) the sheep hear his voice 3) He calls them out by name 4) the sheep follow him because we know His voice. 

Sheep: Their shepherd enters by the door 2) hear his voice 3) The shepherd calls the sheep and they follow him because they know his voice. 4) the sheep won\’t follow a stranger but flee because they don’t know the voice of a stranger. 

(10:4

Electing grace is also effective grace: Jesus, who knows the sheep, reveals himself to them in such a way that they will respond. He doesn\’t force them to follow Him but through the work of regeneration He makes them willing).

10:5

This comforting promise doesn’t exclude the need to warn believers against false/deceitful teachers.

10:7

Jesus changes the metaphor from shepherd to door. Jesus is the one through whom eternal life is received. This “I am” phrase here continues the series of 7 such expressions in this gospel. 

10:8

This doesn’t refer to OT prophets sent by God but to the long ling of Israel\’s corrupt leaders (kings, priests and now the Pharisees) who God indicted as negligent and explosive shepherds in Jer. 23. 

10:7-10

So here, Jesus is being to explain this figure of speech by saying how he is the door and the shepherd. 

Now, this is a little hard text to interrupt because the question is who is the thief? And that\’s the question I present now who do y’all think the thief of 10:10 is?

Our interruption can go one of two ways 1) the thieves could be the Pharisees Which I think it is. 2) we could go w modern orthodoxy and say the thief is Satan. 

I think its the Pharisees given the near context of Ch. 9 and the Pharisees were there teaching the ppl before Jesus and we know from 9:41 that the Pharisees failed in their job of teaching the ppl about God and His Messiah because Jesus they’re guilty of a failure of duty remains on them. So given that Jesus just condemned the Pharisees for their failure in duty I think 10:10 is about them and NOT satan given the context. Moreover, the Pharisees wanted to steal Jesus\’ glory for themselves/or steal His following, they wanted to kill Jesus because of His ministry and they wanted to destroy His work. 

(10:9

‘go in and out” sheep come into the fold for safety and go out under their shepherd’s guidance for pasture. Jesus invokes imagery of ps 23.) 

10:11

In what way did Jesus lay down his life for his sheep?

The Christ Himself was sent by God to pay for the just punishment of the sin of mankind so that we could know and be with God once again all because He loved His sheep. 

Jesus GAVE His life. He didn’t risk his life. He gives His life, enduring death on behalf of the sinner. This is intimated in the name “lamb of God” declared by the Baptist and other statements of Jesus as well. 

(for the sheep

this sacrifice is for the sheep. It\’s for those whom the Father has given him/the elect. it is they who through the death of Jesus on their behalf will be justified and enjoy fellowship w, God.) 

Notice in this chapter how Jesus describes us/His followers as “sheep”. What do y’all think the implications for that are?

10:12

So here Jesus contrasts his good shepherding with a hired hand, someone who isn’t a good shepherd because he is afraid of the wolves. But Jesus the good shepherd died to protect his sheep from the wolves. 

Here He contrasts His sacrificial service with the cowardly abandonment of the sheep by those controlled by self-interest. Thieves steal the sheep, hirelings abandon the sheep, but Jesus lays down His life for the sheep. 

Who do yall think the hired hand might be? Peter/disciples probably. 

Who does y’all think the wolves might be? An enemy of God, at least. Probably the Pharisees because they wanted to kill Jesus. Also “the thief” and “the wolf” seems to correlate to one another. 

10:13

I think John here many be using contrast to speak on how much Jesus loves His sheep/followers. “cares nothing” the implication being that Jesus defended His sheep and therefore loved/cared for them absolutely and eternally. 

10:14

This is placed in parallel with the intimacy between the Father and the Son. It\’s clear that “know” here, as so often in scripture, means more than having a mental grasp; it includes personal understanding and a commitment of will. 

10:16

Who are these other sheep not of this fold? 

Gentiles. Because “not of this fold” meaning He speaks to Jews. So what\’s a “not Jew”? A gentile. Thus, Jesus is the savior of the whole world, not just the jews. 

1:18

Often in theological circles the topic of “who killed Jesus the Jews or Romans?” Here, and elsewhere Jesus claims that He laid His own life down and therefore picked it back up again. Why does it matter if Jesus rose again or not?

Resurrection is what comforts Jesus as the Christ because that\’s what He said he would do, it also affirmed that His word/teaching is true. Moreover, His resurrect is symbolic of us being raised to life, that is given new life, by God as well. If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead then we have no eternal life. But he did and therefore we do and we know that He is true. 

read 10:22-42

10:24

This is funny because He has been telling them that He is the Christ all along. Have y’all read ps 23? It states the Lord is my shepherd. Here is another case where Jesus proves himself, God and Messiah. But, again, He was not the Christ they expected and maybe didn’t even want. 

There is a thread of thought with “cultural Christians”, if you will, that they can have some of Christ but not all of Jesus. As Paul states later “they knew God but didn’t honor Him as God for they were futile in their thinking”. It is absolutely necessary to have and desire all of Christ for salvation. You must have all of Christ or you will have none of Him. 

10:26

They have closed their eyes to clear evidence. “Because…not my sheep” only those who are Jesus\’, whom the Father has given Him, come to faith. Others are so blinded by their sinful prejudice that they refuse to believe. only the regenerate who have been “born again” believe. 

10:27

His sheep listen to Jesus, they follow him. These believers show renewal in the new direction and commitment of their lives. 

10:28

The Lord gives his sheep the endless life of fellowship with God. He protects them from pressing according to the infallibility of divine grace and He allows no one to snatch them from His hand. The saints persevere because God preserves them. The sheep are not able to snatch themselves out of God’s hand because the divine shepherd will keep all of His true sheep from eternally straying. 

10:29

Whats this verse mean?

Here we have what is referred to have the doctrine of Perseverance of the Saints; in essence, it means that God redeemed us and therefore keeps us to the end. Once one has saving faith/salvation it will not be lost because it is an eternal life/salvation. Nothing can change that, not you or your sin can nullify your salvation because it is God who is responsible for it from start to finish. The hand of the Shepherd is also the father’s hand, and the supreme power of God is the inmate guarantee of the sheep’s safety. 

Do y’all agree with this? Why or why not?

10:30 

This doctrine is held up by the Trinity; if Jesus were not divine then we have no salvation but He is God in flesh, therefore, He did secure our salvation. This is also why doctrine/the teachings we believe matters; Jesus has shared the same being, essence, and mission of God. 

And I only bring that because in past history certain ppl have tried to use this verse to say that Jesus is not a separate person/2nd member of God but simply God. and even in modern times the Mormons and JWs try to proclaim the same thing even the Jews of whom Jesus was speaking to knew this well as we are about to see. 

10:33

Given this verse even they knew that Jesus was equating Himself with God and there was not a Mormon insight. 

And here\’s the sad part about this episode right here: The Jews, here, have all the right puzzle pieces they just put them in the wrong order. It wasn’t a man making Himself like God but God making Himself like a man. As St. Augustine put it “God made Himself man so that Man could be like God” That is like God in his action, His holiness and righteousness, and true love. 

Now, before we continue and I think we’ve discussed this once before but what does it mean to be made in the image of God (Gen 2)?

We are made in the image of God. That is we have the ability to act like God much, in the same way, has He reasons or executes judgment or lives righteously. 

and I only bring that up because of the next few verses. 

10:34-39

Ok. What do y’all think this passage might mean?

Let look at the scripture Jesus is referring to Ps 82:6.

Ok. so given the original context to that verse what do y’all think Jesus is talking about?

In essence, Jesus is saying that given the “judges/gods” of old and how they could be called ‘gods” then how much more is it ok for the Son of God to be called God. 

So He makes an agreement form the lessor to the greater. 

I only bring up all of that because “new agers” will take this text outta context and say that their belief is the same as Jesus/is justified. 

“new agers” are those who believe that God is within us and we need to use certain magic and rituals to unlock this god within and that if everyone did unlock god then a new age of peace would come. They are nothing more than Satanic tyrants masked as lovers of peace and goodwill. 

10:40-42

The Baptist didn\’t see many of the fruits of his ministry but his ministry still had a great impact. We must do likewise because that\’s what we\’re called to do by God and He will supply our needs. We don\’t need to see the fruit of our ministry but only of our walk with God. 

Application: 

How do we apply this text to our lives?

study the NT intently to defend it. 

peace in the faith knowing that God bought us and kept us.

#JohnBibleStudy

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