Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Cor. 15:58


Thursday, June 14, 2012

John 10 (day 360)

Blogging through the book of John

Chapter 10


(John 10:1-5)“I tell you the truth, anyone who sneaks over the wall of a sheepfold, rather than going through the gate, must surely be a thief and a robber! But the one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice.  They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t know his voice.”

Here, Jesus compares people to sheep, which isn't the most flattering of analogies. Sheep are followers. They go wherever one leads them, and are easily lead astray. They also know the voice of their shepherd and go toward it. 

At night, the sheep would go into the sheep fold and the shepherd would lay in front of the gate. No one could go in or out except through the shepherd. I think it's a very cool visual thing that Jesus did. I can picture it in my mind. Me, being safe in the sheep fold, and Jesus standing guard at the gate. It's comforting.

(John 10:6-10)Those who heard Jesus use this illustration didn’t understand what he meant,  so he explained it to them:“I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep.  All who came before me were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them. Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved.They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.

At this time, as well as other times in history, Jesus wasn't the only person claiming to be the Messiah. There were false Messiah's out there leading people astray. The 'thief' here also refers to the Devil, who's sole purpose in this world is to steal, kill, and destroy. 

That's not Jesus' purpose. His purpose is to make sure all of his sheep get back home. Unfortunately, that doesn't always happen.

(John 10:11-13)“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep.  A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep.

If something isn't yours, you don't take care of it as well as if it were. Jesus is saying that he's the good shepherd because all of the sheep are his and he takes care of them as such. Isn't that a great thought! A shepherd knows each and every one of his sheep and knows which are missing. Jesus knows the same, and desperately wants them back.

(John 10:14-16)“I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd.

This is what I said before, he knows his sheep. One day we will all be one flock, listening to our one shepherd, Jesus.

(John 10:17-21)“The Father loves me because I sacrifice my life so I may take it back again.  No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.”
 When he said these things, the people were again divided in their opinions about him.  Some said, “He’s demon possessed and out of his mind. Why listen to a man like that?”  Others said, “This doesn’t sound like a man possessed by a demon! Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”

As we've seen in previous chapters, no one could kill Jesus without his permission. People have tried in the last few chapters to stone him or arrest him, but it didn't happen because it wasn't time. To me, that makes his death even more special. He had to not only volunteer, but allow it to happen, to fight every urge he had to stop it and die for these people who spit on him. 

(John 10:1-24) It was now winter, and Jesus was in Jerusalem at the time of Hanukkah, the Festival of Dedication.  He was in the Temple, walking through the section known as Solomon’s Colonnade.  The people surrounded him and asked, “How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”

Personally, I thought he'd already told them plainly... on several occasions. But like we do now, we have to have lots of signs and confirmations to believe.

(John 10:25-30)Jesus replied, “I have already told you, and you don’t believe me. The proof is the work I do in my Father’s name. But you don’t believe me because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.”

No one can take you away from Jesus. Isn't that a comforting verse? No matter what you may be going through, you are still his, and you can always go home to him. Like the prodigal son's father, Jesus won't turn you away; no matter what you've done.

(John 10:31)Once again the people picked up stones to kill him.


(John 10:32-40) Jesus said, “At my Father’s direction I have done many good works. For which one are you going to stone me?”
 They replied, “We’re stoning you not for any good work, but for blasphemy! You, a mere man, claim to be God.”
Jesus replied, “It is written in your own Scriptures that God said to certain leaders of the people, ‘I say, you are gods!’ And you know that the Scriptures cannot be altered. So if those people who received God’s message were called ‘gods,’  why do you call it blasphemy when I say, ‘I am the Son of God’? After all, the Father set me apart and sent me into the world.  Don’t believe me unless I carry out my Father’s work. But if I do his work, believe in the evidence of the miraculous works I have done, even if you don’t believe me. Then you will know and understand that the Father is in me, and I am in the Father.”

No one ever disputed the miracles that Jesus did. They couldn't. He was condemned for performing them on the Sabbath AND for claiming to be God's son. Though they were looking for him, they weren't ready. It's a good thing some believed, though, or we'd be up a creek.

(John 10:39-42) Once again they tried to arrest him, but he got away and left them.He went beyond the Jordan River near the place where John was first baptizing and stayed there awhile.  And many followed him. “John didn’t perform miraculous signs,” they remarked to one another, “but everything he said about this man has come true.”  And many who were there believed in Jesus.

Yet again, they tried to arrest him, but he got away (I'd still loved to have seen that. Stealthy, James Bond Jesus :) ). He went over the Jordan River and stayed. There, the people believed. It must have been a nice change of pace for him. But he knew his time was running out. 

I hope you are enjoying this series on John. I'm enjoying writing it. 

Imperfectly Yours,


Please remember, I'm having a giveaway to celebrate the '365th Consecutive Post' (the reason for this blog). Please, please, please click HERE and enter to win one of the 4 great prizes. 

Also, if you like Christian Fiction, please head over to my newest blog, Faith Filled Fiction, and read this week's story: Packing and Praying.

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Other chapters in the John Series:

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