In John 10 Jesus begins with a parable. A parable is a story with a moral lesson, and Jesus used parables a lot during his teachings here on earth. Jesus used parables to explain the world as it was, our place in it, and his.
In Matthew 13:10-17, His disciples asked him why he spoke this way, and his response is intriguing.
He basically said it was to confuse people who weren’t listening and to bless the people who were. Keep in mind that I don’t think this was done to be cruel. By seeing the error of your ways you’ll turn your life to him, and I think his hope was that it would open the Pharisee’s eyes.
I don’t know if it ever happened, but I hope and pray that for someone it worked.
John 10: The Good Shepherd and His Sheep
10 “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! 2 But the one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 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. 4 After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. 5 They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t know his voice.”
6 Those who heard Jesus use this illustration didn’t understand what he meant, 7 so he explained it to them: “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who came before me were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them. 9 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. 10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.John 10:1-10
Jesus Wants To Give Us A Rich And Satisfying Life
Let’s Break down these last 10 verses. Jesus is painting a picture for us here. Sheep don’t know a lot about what’s going on. They move around, they eat, but they know who takes care of them. Believe it or not the same can be said about people here on earth.
In simple terms we are sheep, and the physical world is nothing compared to the spiritual world that God lives in. if we understood who Jesus really is, and what the world around us was like. I think we’d see ourselves as sheep.
We know nothing, except the voice of the shepherd, and the scary part about that is when you realize some people don’t have that. Hearing the voice of God is how I get through the day, and it’s scary to think people live without it.
What Jesus is telling us here is very similar to when Jesus says he’s the way. He’s saying there is only one shepherd, his voice, and his flock. People will try to jump in and trick his sheep, but if they know his voice, then they’ll realize that they’re being lied to.
How Do We Know If We’re Being Lied to?
I think knowing God’s voice is helped by reading the bible. You might be reading this post and asking yourself. Does God Really Listen To Us
Yes, Yes he does.
I think he’s always listening, the hard part is for us to shut down and hear his voice. In order to hear God’s voice, and know that it’s him. We need to be reading the bible. This gives you the first line of defense from things that pop up in your head.
I’d even say it’s a way to teach yourself how God speaks. You can take what you’re hearing and compare it to the word of God. If it’s going against it, well you know God isn’t speaking to you.
- Would God ever say to cheat on your husband/wife?
- Does Jesus tell people to steal?
- Will Coveting ever help you get farther in life?
We tend to justify these things, but in reality, God hasn’t told us to pursue any of this. He’s asked us to pursue him, and he will give us life more abundant than we can imagine.
It’s all up to us.
John 10: The Good Shepherd Will Give Their Life To Protect The Sheep
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. 12 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. 13 The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep.
14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, 15 just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. 16 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.John 10:11-14
Jesus Foreshadows His Death On The Cross:
I don’t know how many times Jesus foreshadowed his own death. But his death on the cross was gruesome, terrible, and painful. but he did it for you and me. We tend to forget what an awful experience it was for him.
I’m not just talking about his physical death, he was perfect, and the son of God. But while he was on that cross, God’s back turned on him. Think about that moment. He was without sin, but the sins of the entire world were placed upon him, and his father turned his back.
I’m only realizing the gravity right now as I type, and I still can’t grasp the entire thing. Probably will never be able to.
Just thinking about that wants me to become a better person, and I feel guilty about everything I’ve ever done because I’m not worthy of his love…None of us are, yet for some reason he still loves us.
The Crucifixion of Jesus and his subsequent resurrection, are love letters to us. They’re telling us that someone is coming to free us, it’s saying that there is a way.
Haven’t you ever sat and wondered why life is the way it is? Doesn’t it seem messed up, and confusing? It’s not that randomized particles have fallen into place and you are you because of it.
It’s because you were created for a higher calling. This world was created for a higher calling, but we’ve fallen short. Now we live in a shadow world, where we can only catch a glimpse of God’s Glory.
John 10: The Father Loves Jesus
17 “The Father loves me because I sacrifice my life so I may take it back again. 18 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.”
19 When he said these things, the people were again divided in their opinions about him. 20 Some said, “He’s demon-possessed and out of his mind. Why listen to a man like that?” 21 Others said, “This doesn’t sound like a man possessed by a demon! Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”John 10:17-21
Jesus goes into a deep explanation here. He states that the father loves him because he is giving up his life to take it back up again. Only Jesus has the authority to lay it down, and the father commanded him to do it, but he also chooses to give it up.
It’s a bit confusing, but I’d like to remind you of John 15:13-14. There’s no greater love than he who lays down his life for his friends.
If this was the ultimate form of love. Jesus is trying to make us all understand it.
John 10: Jesus Claims to Be the Son of God
22 It was now winter, and Jesus was in Jerusalem at the time of Hanukkah, the Festival of Dedication. 23 He was in the Temple, walking through the section known as Solomon’s Colonnade. 24 The people surrounded him and asked, “How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”
25 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. 26 But you don’t believe me because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, 29 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. 30 The Father and I are one.”John 10:22-30
Jesus Starts Talking About Sheep Again:
This would happen with each and every one of us, but I’d hope our eyes would open sooner rather than later. I’d like to think if I was there seeing Jesus perform miracles and teach in the temple. That I’d be one of his first followers and I’d proclaim the Gospel all over the world.
However if I’m not doing it now, what makes me think I’d do it then…
I know that’s a harsh thought, but all these people were questioning Jesus when they should have been seeking the voice of God. They should have been praying and asking God if he was the one. The more you pray, the better you hear, the better you hear, the more familiar you become.
This is how you hear the voice of God. It’s familiar, welcoming, and you hear it daily.
John 10: The People Try To Kill Jesus For Blasphemy
31 Once again the people picked up stones to kill him. 32 Jesus said, “At my Father’s direction I have done many good works. For which one are you going to stone me?”
33 They replied, “We’re stoning you not for any good work, but for blasphemy! You, a mere man, claim to be God.”
34 Jesus replied, “It is written in your own Scriptures that God said to certain leaders of the people, ‘I say, you are gods!’ 35 And you know that the Scriptures cannot be altered. So if those people who received God’s message were called ‘gods,’ 36 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. 37 Don’t believe me unless I carry out my Father’s work. 38 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.”
39 Once again they tried to arrest him, but he got away and left them. 40 He went beyond the Jordan River near the place where John was first baptizing and stayed there awhile. 41 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.” 42 And many who were there believed in Jesus.John 10:31-42
Believing In Jesus Can Cause Problems
Rest assured that believing in Jesus can be divisive. Following him won’t bring you down an easy path in life. In fact, you’re probably guaranteed pain, heartache, and betrayal.
However, Jesus is the way To true reconciliation with God. A lot of people think that Heaven is a boring place full of harps and clouds, (which is kind of cool to me in some ways).
Heaven is much more than that. Heaven is the paradise that we lost when we sinned. It’s the place where we can use our talents and abilities to their highest potential.
John 10: My Conclusion
I can never believe that heaven is an eternal church service. in fact, that sounds like hell. What kind of just and loving God would create us in a world so beautiful and magnificent. That he’d doom us to sit in a boring auditorium for eternity without exploring his epic creation.
I think he’s creating more as we speak, and our minds are going to be blown. I believe that worship is giving our best talents abilities and creations to God, and passing the glory of them onto him.
John 10 is a glimpse of the world we live in, and the world we don’t see. When Jesus gave his life on the cross, it opened a connection for all of us. Once we give our lives to Christ, we are reconnected with God and we’re free to explore that.
Life is hard, don’t live it without Christ. He is the way.