Read John 9 -- 10
When Jesus said: I am the Good Shepherd: the Good Shepherd gives His Life for the sheep. But he that is a 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), Jesus identified Himself with the prophecy of Ezekiel.
The religious authorities in Israel were known as the shepherds of Israel; but they were false, self-centered prophets, as Ezekiel foretold: Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks? (Ezekiel 34:2). Ezekiel then portrayed the True 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 foretold: When the chief Shepherd shall appear, you shall receive a crown of glory (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 (John 10:4-5).
Jesus also said: I give to 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 (10:28-29). Jesus reveals Himself as coequal and coeternal with God the Father. Sheep are not as sly as the fox nor as powerful as a lion. They need a shepherd to guide and protect them. How comforting it is to be assured that we have the Good Shepherd caring for us.
The religious leaders became hostile when Jesus claimed equality with the Heavenly Father, which would make Him also God. So they took up stones again to stone Him (10:31). Their hostility reminds us of the hatred of Cain for his brother Abel: Because his own works were evil, and his brother´s 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 Christian is a recognition of the need for guidance and a desire to follow the shepherd. His own sheep . . . follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him (John 10:4-5).
Word Studies: 10:3 porter means doorkeeper; 10:41 resorted means came.
For John 10:34: See Psa. 82:6.
Pray for Bible Pathway Distributors · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio Broadcast in memory of Oliver · Country: Equatorial Guinea (466,000) in western Africa · Major language: Spanish · Freedom for churches at this time · 71% Roman Catholic; 19% ancestral spirit worship and medicine men; 6% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Husbands, give honor to your wives, or else your prayers will be obstructed (I Peter 3:7).
Memory Verse for the Week: John 10:5