Last week, Jesus healed a blind man. This miracle began to cause division among the Jews as they were not sure what to make of it. Jesus kept pushing the people in charge, telling them that they did not know as much as they thought they did. Jesus pointed out how they were missing out on seeing him for who he is. This week, Jesus continues to teach the Pharisees the truth.
Following the teaching Jesus gave at the end of the previous chapter, he says “he who does not enter the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber” (John 10:1, NASB). The person in charge of the sheep will recognize the person who is responsible for them. If you feel the need to go another way, then through the door, clearly you have a nefarious purpose and seek to either steal or kill the sheep. Jesus says, “I am the door of the sheep” (John 10:7, NASB), meaning that the only true path (teaching or living) for people to follow is through him. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10, NASB).
“The biblical concept is that all life, whether physical or spiritual, resides in God and flows from God — so that the life of all living things, including ourselves, is derivate from His”
— Dr Edgar Andrews
“I am the good shepherd;” (John 10:11) many know these words of Jesus. Jesus is using them here to point to his future death and resurrection, while continuing the contrast between himself and the Pharisees. His “hired hand” in this passage is someone who flees for their own safety when danger comes, while the “good shepherd” is someone who will stand and fight the wolf when it comes to eat the sheep (“I lay down My life for the sheep” John 10:15). Jesus is pointing to the tendency for the Pharisees to look out for their own interests and hide from conflict. We will see this behavior come more into play as we reach Jesus’ final days.
“The cross is not a mere event in history; it’s a way of life! Take up your cross DAILY, Jesus said!”
— John Piper
Days later, Jesus was in the Temple when the Jews asked him to simply star if he was the Messiah or not. The last couple of chapters Jesus had been stating his claim of who he was by pointing the testimonies of others and by Scripture and by the works he was able to perform. Now, being asked the same question again, he says, “I told you, and you do not believe” (John 10:25, NASB). Jesus states again the claim he has been making of himself. The Jews then decided to pick up stones to throw at him, because to them Jesus was commuting blasphemy which is to be punished in the manner (Leviticus 24:16). His response was, “Has it not been written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’? If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and Scripture cannot be broken), do you say of Him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe me; but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.” (John 10:34-38, NASB).
“We believe in on God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father…”
— Nicene Creed
As I read through this chapter I could not help but think of the way that Jesus cares for us. He says that he is the Good Shepherd. I have heard countless times this part of Scripture linked with Psalm 23. But what I am most interested in today is how the Good Shepherd cares for his flock. We often cause ourselves trouble. Left to our own devices, I believe, humanity will always be attracted to what causes us the most damage. This is why we need a leader who can show us the way we need to go. Jesus tells us that he is God, and God (along with Jesus as in chapter 1) is the one that created us. I would think that the Creator knows what we were created for, and therefore, knows what is best for us.
We should pay attention to the words of Jesus. In many modern Bibles this is easy because Jesus’ words are in red. There are many studies that focus on the words of Jesus. There are four books of the Bible that are essentially dedicated to the words of Jesus. They are easy to find, but not so easy to follow. God knows what He wants for you. Take a few minutes and reread today’s chapter. Jesus cares for you. He looks out for you. He tells us that he will even die in order to keep you safe from sin.