John 10:1-42, Jesus Christ is our Shepherd, the Father is in Him.

"Mark 16:15 preach the gospel to every creature. Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe (do) all things whatsoever I (Jesus Christ) have commanded: Revelation 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega,... 14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, ... have right to the tree of life, and... enter ... the city."

 

I am a retired pastor of the Church of God (Tennessee).
My name is Isaac Livingston. I am from Neyyoor India.

"John 10:2 He that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. 11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. 30 I and my Father are one."

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Parables are for disciples to understand

Let us study the gospel of John, the entire tenth chapter. Here, Jesus tells a parable. What is a parable? A parable is a short fiction story that illustrates a moral principle. We always think that a parable is to explain the principle in the form of a story, so that we all may easily understand it. It may be so. But when Jesus tells a parable, he includes a spiritual expertise in it. Jesus explains it here. "Matthew 13:10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given." So, Jesus tells his mysteries in parables so that people may not understand them, if they are not his disciples. It has double purpose that are diametrically opposite. It is spiritual genius. So, in order to understand the parable in the proper way, we must decide to become his disciples. Otherwise, the spirit will not reveal the mysteries to us, and it will block our understanding. So, let us try to understand the parable with godly mind to receive him as our master.

Jesus Christ is the Shepherd and the Door

A few characters take part in the parable. If we know about them beforehand, it may be easier to understand the subject. There is a sheepfold surrounded by walls, it has one door, and it has sheep. A shepherd owns the sheep. A porter keeps the door. He opens it for the shepherd. There are thieves and robbers, and they climb over the wall. Jesus Christ says that he is the shepherd as well as he is the door. The door is his word or doctrine, in a way he is the door. His sheep will enter through the door, which is his doctrine. Jesus is the shepherd, and he died on the cross to save his sheep. His sheep will know him and his voice. They will follow only the shepherd, but not another Jesus, or false Christ, or anti-Christ. These are the characters and the basic facts in the parable. Now let us study the parable.

Good Shepherd leads to pasture and water

"6 This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them." They did not understand the parable, since they are not his disciples and so it was not revealed to them. Verses 1-5 say, the people of God, that is the ideal church, is the sheepfold of Jesus Christ. He owns the sheepfold and he is the shepherd. The porter is an ideal pastor, who is a true servant of God. Every false preacher is of the devil. So, they are all enemies to God. The pastor opens the sheepfold, or the church to Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ have fellowship with the sheep, takes the sheep in and out through the door, which is his doctrine. Jesus feeds them the word and waters them with the spirit. The shepherd knows every sheep by name and every sheep knows the shepherd and his voice. They love each other. Jesus walks before the sheep, and the sheep follows the shepherd. But, if a stranger comes, the sheep will flee form him, because they are not familiar with the voice of the stranger. This is up to verse 5. Then, Jesus continues to explain the parable in the next verses.

Door is the Word; Shepherd is the Savior.

His sheep will enter in through the door, which is his word or doctrine. So, if we are his sheep; his word or doctrine is our door way. If we go through it, we shall be saved. "8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. 10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." Here, the thieves and robbers were the scribes and Pharisees, but now they are false preachers. They were in the temple, now they are in the churches. Jesus will teach us his word and gives us his spirit. We will have abundant life here as well in eternity. But false preachers did jump over the wall and are in the fold. They will not have the doctrine of Jesus Christ, since they did not come through the door. They have come to steal, to kill, and to destroy. In Christianity there are many peace lovers. They say that we must not find fault with another preacher, we must not judge or criticize, we must love each other, and so on. Jesus Christ is the great lover; he laid his life for his love. So, listen to him first. Jesus Christ says that only those who enter through the door into the sheepfold shall be saved. That is, we must follow his doctrine. Whoever turns you from his doctrine is taking you to hell with them. They have nice language, but they deceive and plunder you with enticing words.

Paid shepherd saves himself, not the sheep.

Jesus Christ says, those who do the work of God in a paid position, will not risk their lives to save you from those, who will take you to hell. They may preach and do a good job, but they will not save you from hell. "11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. 12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. 13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep." So many kinds of preachers enter the church, using the name of Jesus and plunder you, the believers; not only they rob your money, but they will turn you from the doctrine of Jesus, lead you astray from the kingdom of heaven and take your soul to hell. Your hireling pastors will not prevent them because they are part of them. "14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. 15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: (Here he talks about the other sheep, which are gentiles. He did not do it when he was a man, because then, his mission was to become the author of salvation, by laying down his life. Then, after he became God; as the savior, he began to include the gentiles, first with apostle Peter in the house of Cornelius. From then on, the gentiles are in the fold. Every disciple followed that, including apostle Paul, when he came on the board.) them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. 17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father." Jesus and the Father were one when he was a man, by abiding. Now they are in one omnipotent Spirit body. So, they are one. He laid his life down and became the author of salvation. His sheep will inherit the kingdom of God and will be with him forever in his kingdom.

Sheep outside His fold won't believe Him.

Verses 19-22 says, that people had split opinion about him. "23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch. 24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly." It is ridiculous. He is telling about God and him all the time. The thing is, they were asking him not to know, but they want him to say it directly, to catch him, accuse blasphemy, and to kill him. It was politics. They were trying to set him up to kill him. They were plain evil and demonic. "25 Jesus answered 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." Jesus tells them that they do not believe him because they were not his sheep. I used to spend time with my fellow pastors, or with some enthusiastic Christians, to explain something very simple, but got stuck in the mud, going in circles, and end up nowhere. I used to get frustrated; one day my wife very quietly said; "they are not his sheep, don't worry about them." How true that is. So, don't waste your time, if they are not his sheep. God has rejected them and closed their understanding. What can we do? "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." These three verses are golden. Here we see that the shepherd and the sheep are synchronized. They are together and they are one. It is the response from the sheep; it is so quick and spontaneous. They are in sync. I hear many preachers quote these verses for themselves and for their people. But they live like the devil in sin, but chanting grace and power. So, these verse are not for them. Jesus Christ has rejected them, and they are with the devil.

God the Father abode on the Man Jesus.

When Jesus was a man, he told the Jews in verse 30, "I and my Father are one." In John 14, Jesus told Philip this verse, when he asked him to show the Father; "10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake." This was the abiding of God the Father in Jesus, when he was a man. Now, as God, they are together in one Spirit body. "31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. 32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I showed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? 33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God." Good works by God is to show that the man is one with God. They have accepted his good works. Then, how is it a blasphemy? It doesn't make sense. Then, there was a squabble in verses 34-38. "39 Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand," They tried to kill him many times, but they could not do it until God's time. "40 And went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John at first baptized; and there he abode. 41 And many resorted unto him, and said, John did no miracle: but all things that John spake of this man were true. 42 And many believed on him there." So, the common people believed on him. But the priests, Pharisees, and scribes have authority and power in their hands. So, most of the common people were afraid of them and did not voice their opinion. Here, the chapter ends.

What are the take away Points

Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd and Master for the sheep. The door is his word, that is his doctrine. The devil and his servants will not accept his doctrine but climbed over the wall. Paid servants in churches will not risk their lives to save the sheep. That is, they will not prevent false doctrine enter the church, because they are part of it. The sheep of Jesus Christ will believe his doctrine, but others will not believe it. God the Father was abiding in the Man Jesus and was doing his work. They were one. We can also abide with God and be one with God. God may even manifest his work through us also.

God Bless You

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