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10/3 John 10

John 10 is about Jesus as the Good Shepherd.  Jesus explains to those listening that he is the gate.  In his book “They Smell Like Sheep”, Lynn Anderson tells how the shepherd would build a make shift pen at night and once all the sheep were inside, he would lay down across the opening.  He would block anything from getting in and he would allow the sheep to come and go.   I think that Jesus here states two truths.  One, in order to get to heaven we have to go through him and second, that he is there to protect us.

7Therefore Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. 8All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

He came that they may have life, and have it to the full.  That is an amazing promise for all Christians.  One that many seem to forget about from time to time.  In the next few verses, Jesus states that he is the good shepherd.

11“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns 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. 13The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

Anderson in his book also states that many times people would come across sheep scattered and on closer examination find the shepherd badly injured by animals or even dead.  They would die defending their sheep.  Jesus tells us that since he is our shepherd, he is willing to lay down his life for his sheep.

14“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16I 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. 17The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18No 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.”

Jesus to this point had pretty much remained focused on the Jews with the message of salvation.  But in verse 16 he talks about other sheep not in this pen.  One would have to think that Jesus is talking about the Gentiles.  In verse 18 he explains that by his own choice he will lay down his life, that no one is taking his life, but that he is freely and willing going to lay it down.  He also has the power to take it up again.  Meaning the resurrection.  How well do we know our good shepherd and how well does he know us?

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October 3, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , ,

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