Bible Pathways 11/4/2000
John 9 -- 10
When Jesus said: I am the Good Shepherd: the good shepherd gives his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd . . . sees the wolf coming . . . leaves the sheep . . . and the wolf . . . scatters the sheep . . . I lay down My life for the sheep (John 10:11-15), He identified Himself with the prophecy of Ezekiel.
The Pharisees and the scribes were the religious authorities in Israel and were known as the shepherds of Israel, but they were false prophets, as Ezekiel had foretold: Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks? . . . but with force and with cruelty have they ruled them (Ezekiel 34:1-4).
Ezekiel went on to portray the True Shepherd of Israel, the Good Shepherd: I will set up One Shepherd over them, and He shall feed them, even my servant David. . . . And I the Lord will be their God, and My servant David a prince among them. . . . And I will make with them a covenant of peace (34:23-25).
The Holy Spirit led the Apostle Paul to write: Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever (Hebrews 13:20-21). The Apostle Peter wrote concerning the return of Christ: When the chief Shepherd shall appear, you shall receive a crown of glory which fades not away (I Peter 5:4). The evidence of His true sheep is that they follow Him: for they know His voice. And a stranger they will not follow, but will flee from him (John 10:4-5).
Jesus also said: I and My Father are One. . . . And I give unto them eternal life (10:28,30). He is making it clear that He is co-equal and co-eternal with the Father and that, as the Father is almighty, so likewise is the Son. Sheep are not as sly as the fox nor as powerful as a lion. They need a shepherd. How comforting it is to be assured by the "Good Shepherd": My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all. . . . I and My Father are One (10:27-30).
The religious leaders once again became hostile when Jesus claimed equality with the Heavenly Father; so they took up stones again to stone Him (10:31). Their hostility compares to the hatred of Cain for Abel: Because his own works were evil, and his brothers righteous (I John 3:12). The world loves those who conform to its spirit, accept its values, and worship its false gods. The distinguishing mark of the world is hate, but the distinguishing mark of the Christian is love. If a man love Me, he will keep My Words (John 14:23).
For John 10:34: See Psa. 82:6.
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