The Good Shepherd, John 10

3271 words 14 pages
Jesus, Our One True Shepherd
Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Throughout the Gospel of John, Jesus offers to those around Him, most specifically His Disciples, metaphors to help them understand who He is and what His purposes are. Jesus uses common phrases to illustrate His point. He does this twenty-three times in the Gospel of John Repeating important. He begins seven of those important statements with two exceptional words, “I AM”. These words illustrate his world-saving purpose. For example in John 6, Jesus makes the profound statement “I am the bread of life” right after feeding a huge crowd and speaking of Moses and the manna God gave from Heaven. Without the manna, the nation of Israel would not have survived their time
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What Jesus does by introducing the rightful gatekeeper in the first 10 verses of John is to open the door to Him being the true Shepherd for the sheep, His people. When looking at the passages in Ezekiel and Jeremiah, it is easy to see how the idea of false or evil shepherds was standard in this time. Up until this point, Jesus’ greatest adversaries had been the Pharisees, the ones who claimed to be the most righteous and Godly men around. They were the ‘gatekeepers’ to religious law and practice. They held the mandates and seemed to ultimately decide who was right, or “in” with the Father. The people also listened to them. They paid heed to everything the Pharisees said and did. When Jesus, in the opening verses of John 10 describes thieves and robbers, He is speaking to these individuals, and all the other leaders of the past that had led Israel astray. John 10:3 details how the doorkeeper recognizes the shepherd, and how the sheep hear his voice and follow. This is such rich imagery. We may not value this as significant, because in the Western World most sheep are herded by a dog, or by the movement from a ranch hand from behind the flock. In the Near Eastern culture this is not the case. D. A. Carson describes it like this:
“The Sheep listen to the shepherd’s voice… Near-Eastern shepherds have been known to stand at different spots outside the enclosure and sound out their own peculiar calls, their own sheep


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