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Recognisably Safe

John 10:2-5

In a corrupt world, where we feel we cannot trust people completely, it is a relief to meet someone who is recognisably safe. Jesus had just described the religious leaders of the time as sheep-stealers. They were supposed to be the 'watchmen' of Israel, but instead had persecuted the prophets and would shortly send Him to the cross. So, He contrasted their behaviour with His own, by describing the relationship a shepherd has with the farm hands and the animals.

Recognisably Jesus

John 10:6-9

Jesus used parables to speak about Himself and God's kingdom. But, often, His hearers did not understand. Speaking about a shepherd had not provoked them to think about Jesus as the Good Shepherd. So Jesus told them plainly that He is the gate through which people come to the safety of God's kingdom. He claimed to be the only way to be welcomed by Father God.

Life Or Death

John 10:10

The souls of men and women are very valuable; rightly, they belong to God. Yet Satan wants to tear us away from our Maker; the Evil One is the thief of heaven's riches. His desire is to take away from God what belongs to Him (His power, His honour, His glory, His people and His kingdom). And Satan wants to destroy the life which God gives to human beings, who are made in His image; the physical human life in which we learn to trust the Lord, and the eternal life of divinely loved security which continues for ever.

Sacrifice Is The Fruit Of Love

John 10:11-13

Jesus proclaimed His identity: the Shepherd of Israel. This would have been understood as being the true King of Israel (because the Old Testament prophets rebuked the unfaithful kings for failing to be shepherds: as in Ezekiel chapter 34).

Known Through And Through

John 10:14-15

To 'know' has two meanings in English: to be aware of facts, or, to have an intimate experience of something or someone. The Greek word used here (the Greek has four meanings!) means 'a knowledge based on personal experience'. Jesus said He has an intimate understanding of those who follow Him. He also said that His 'sheep' interact with Him in a personal way.

Enlarging The Flock

John 10:16

Sheep, left to themselves, will wander. Although they like the security of the flock they are also independent animals; without a leader they easily forget where they are and get lost. Jesus said that His sheep (His people) were not just in Israel and that He was determined to bring them back under His leadership. He was claiming the Lordship over many people, Jews and Gentiles, who He would call into His kingdom.

Mad, Bad Or God

  John 10:17-21

Jesus did amazing miracles and preached great wisdom; but who was He? That question refused to go away. Every time Jesus spoke or acted with authority, He challenged the position of the religious leaders and made everybody wonder about His true identity. What He did was so compassionate and kind, so uniquely powerful; what He said was considered to be blasphemous because He claimed to be equal with God.

Ears That Refuse To Listen

John 10:22-26

They kept asking Jesus who He was. How much more evidence did the people need? They had witnessed blind people being able to see, paralysed people walking, sick people healed, demonised people released from Satan's bondage. They had heard Jesus speak about God in a way they had never previously understood, and they knew that He was good and kind. He had compassion on despised people and was willing to forgive sinful people. Yet they did not get the message that Jesus was God, the One who was promised to be the Saviour of the world.

No Success For Sheep Stealers

John 10:27-29

The shepherd's job is to lead the sheep to good pasture and to protect them. Jesus is the Shepherd and He guides everyone who listens to His words and obeys them. He leads them to live a spiritually healthy life, called 'eternal life' which starts when we are born again and continues through death into an eternity of provision and service. While He leads us, nobody (person, angel or demon) has authority to capture us, and take us away from Jesus or Father God.

Blasphemy Or The Truth

John 10:30-33

Although some people today have great difficulty in understanding that Jesus was God in a human body, these verses remind us that the people listening to Him understood exactly what He was saying. When they picked up stones to throw at Him (the Old Testament method of capital punishment) they were in no doubt that Jesus was claiming to be God. Jesus was not wrong in failing to rebuke them or correct them, for that was the truth. His miracles were direct expressions of God's power and compassion, which pointed towards His saving grace.