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On The Book of John
The Gospel of John Chapter 10
I will do the Gospel of John
Commentary similar to my other Commentaries . . . in that
I will bring the verse or verses in the KJV, followed by what
it is saying to me. What I write will be a personal comment,
it is NOT Scripture.
Jesus, the Good Shepherd, Gathering His Flock
Jesus contrasts Himself, the Good Shepherd, with the Pharisees, whom He classifies with the evil shepherds of Ezekiel 34. The Pharisees scattered the sheep that Christ came to gather. The Pharisees consider Jesus estranged from official Judaism when He calls people to follow Him rather than the leaders of Israel. Jesus contrasts the Good Shepherd with the thieves and robbers (Jn.10:1-6). Jesus used divine language when He speaks of Himself. John 8:58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. (KJV) He revealed Himself as the means of Creation (Jn.1:3,10; Gen.1:1,26; Ps.33:6; 102:25; Isa.45:12,18; Eph.3:9; Col.1:16-17; Heb.1:2-3,10-12; 3:3-4; Rev.4:11).
When Jesus refers to Himself as the Shepherd of the flock, He refers to the Old Testament, for the leaders of the people were called shepherds (Ps 77:20; 78:70-72; Eze.34:23). But, God (JESUS) is the Greatest Shepherd (Ps.80:1).
Jeremiah and Ezekiel convey how God cares for His people and His condemnation of false and evil rulers. God SHALL condemn the false shepherds (Jer. 23:1-2; Eze.34:1-10) and appoint faithful shepherds to tend His flock after the manner of His own heart (Jer.3:15; 23:4). Without a doubt, the coming Davidic Messiah will be God's Shepherd for His flock (Eze.34:23-24), a prophecy given in the context of God's announcement that He Himself will come to shepherd His flock. He will search for His scattered flock, He will gather them from the nations and lead them to good pasture on the mountains of Israel. He will care for the weak and injured but will judge those sheep who only look after themselves and harm the others (Eze.34:11-22).
Jesus claims this role for Himself, making clear claims to divinity and Messiahship, which will be repeated in (Jn.10:22-39). When He claims to be the Shepherd, He is claiming that Messiah has come and in Him, God Himself has come to shepherd His people. Jesus IS God! http://www.hisservants.org/is_jesus_god_h_s.htm
Jesus' call is a fulfillment of wisdom crying out in the streets to see if anyone hears and responds (Pro.1:20-21). The focus is not on a general call, for He calls his own sheep by name (v. 3). Each particular sheep is known by this awesome Shepherd. They are not just parts of a flock. Jesus refers to bringing out all his own (v. 4). This is a picture of the Shepherd who leads them out (v. 3) to find pasture and water. Jesus goes ahead of His sheep, and they follow him because they know his voice (v. 4). They do NOT follow strangers; in fact, they flee from them, because they do not recognize a stranger's voice (v. 5). Following Jesus means refusing to follow others who claim to be shepherds. Jesus' sheep will actually run away from strangers.
Before revealing more about His death, Jesus states that He has other sheep not of this sheep fold who must be brought also, so there shall be one flock and one shepherd (v. 16). Jesus is referring to sheep from outside of Judaism. There are Gentiles who will listen to His voice and be joined to His flock. Jesus speaks of one of the greatest points of controversy in the early church.
Jesus' sheep are already His sheep because they have been given to Him by the Father (v. 16; 10:29; 6:37-39; 17:2, 6, 24), BUT . . . they must hear His call and respond.
But HOW will He bring the Gentiles? When Gentiles do come to Him it signals His hour has finally arrived (Jn.12:20, 23). Jesus Himself does not go to the Gentiles. He will bring the Gentiles into the flock by the ministry of His apostles, whom He will send (Jn.20:21). Jesus will continue His own ministry through His people, which will be accomplished through the Presence of the Holy Spirit. They are the ones who will bring in the Gentiles, but what Jesus is really saying is, it is He Himself who is in control. This reveals the oneness between the Shepherd and His flock.
Gospel of John Chapter 10
Jesus is the Good Shepherd. Humanity: Christ in the form of a Servant; deity: Christ equal to God.
Humanity: Christ In The Form Of A Servant (John 10:1-21)
The ancient sheepfold of Jesus' day still exists today in many towns in that land. It was a public sheepfold. In the evening all the shepherds who lived in that area would bring their sheep to the sheepfold for safety in for the night. They would entrust them to the gatekeeper who kept the sheep; then they would go to their homes for the night. The next morning the shepherds would identify themselves to the gatekeeper, and he would let them in to get their sheep.
John 10:1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. (KJV)
Verily, verily, I say unto you . . . Jesus is speaking to the Scribes and Pharisees, who were offended that Jesus called them blind, when they had cast out the man that Christ had cured of blindness. They had spoken of Him as an impostor and a deceiver, and set themselves up to be the shepherds of the flock, and guides and rulers of the people. What follows is Jesus' parable; the propose of which is to show, that Christ is the true and only Shepherd, who was appointed, called, and sent by God, and who the sheep belong to, whose voice they hear, and know, and follow. The Scribes and Pharisees, were thieves and robbers, and NOT shepherds of the flock; for they were NOT sent by God, did NOT come in through the right door, but by another way, and seized a power that did not belong to them.
He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold . . . the sheepfold was an enclosure, sometimes a building made of stone, sometimes was a fenced area with reeds, with a large door, where the shepherd went in and out when he led in or brought out the sheep. The TRUE church can be compared to a sheepfold, because it is separated from the world, where the people of God, and sheep of Christ are gathered. "The door" into it, is Christ Himself (Jn.10:7,9), meaning faith in Him, a profession of Him, and authority from Him. God the Father will NOT accept into the sheepfold anyone who comes by any other way!
But climbeth up some other way . . . by hypocrisy and deceit, or like the prophets of old, who were not sent by God; prophesied when they were not spoken to, but took their place and post on their own . . . like SO many false teachers today! (Mat.7:15; Lk.6:26; Rom.16:18).
The same is a thief and a robber . . . meaning those who steal into the church, or an office in it, and robs God or Christ of their power and authority; like SO many cults today. Such were the Scribes and Pharisees. The Jews believed that a "thief" takes away a man's property privately, a robber takes it away openly. The Messiah was foretold to come as that of a shepherd (Ecc.12:11; Isa.40:11; Jer.23:3-6; Eze.34:23; 37:24; Mic.5:2-5; Zec.13:7). The Old Testament prophecies were full of declarations that false shepherds would arise to the injure God's flock (Jer.2:8,26; 22:22; 23:1-2,11-15; 25:34-36; 50:6; Isa.59:9-12; Eze.13:3; 22:25-29; 34:2-10,21; Mic.3:11-12; Zep.3:3-4; Zec.11:5-7,15-17),
John 10:2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. (KJV)
But he that entereth in by the door . . . Jesus came by divine authority, NOT on His own! He was sent and does not take the honor to Himself, or assume an office to Himself, but is called to it, and invested Himself in it.
Is the shepherd of the sheep . . . Jesus means Himself (Jn.10:11,14). The sheep are His, and He who takes care of them, feeds them, just as as a shepherd does his flock. The sheepfolds of the East are usually without rooves, made of loose stone, possibly surrounded by thorn bushes. They have just one door. Jesus, the TRUE Shepherd, came in the proper and appointed way (and was the proper and appointed Way), thus indicating his office as Shepherd.
John 10:3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. (KJV)
To him the porter openeth . . . WHO is the Porter? The porter is the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God came upon Jesus, and everything that Jesus did or said, He did by the power of the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit opens the ears of Jesus' sheep to hear His voice. His sheep respond. This ties in to the preceding chapter. Those religious rulers were spiritually blind and were also spiritually deaf. They did NOT hear His voice. Jesus calls His own sheep by name and leads them out. The blind man heard Him call. Simon heard His call, and Jesus changed his name to Peter, which means a stone. He called James and John, Nathanael and Philip. He stopped under a tree in Jericho and called Zacchaeus. He calls His sheep by name. I think that when the Lord Jesus calls His own out of the world at the Rapture (1 Thes.4:13-18), every believer will hear Him call their name. He knows my name, and yours, if you are one of His sheep. You will hear your name when He shouts!
And the sheep hear his voice . . . the sheep of the Shepherd hear His voice . . . meaning the Gospel! It is none other than the voice of love, mercy and grace, and proclaims peace, pardon, liberty, life, righteousness and salvation. This Gospel quickens the soul, attracting, delighting, refreshing and comforting us. The people of Christ are made to hear this Gospel, not only externally, but internally. We hear it, we understand it and we delight in it . . . and we are well able to tell the difference from another gospel that is false (2 Cor.11:4), because the Holy Spirit is within us to discern Truth from error.
And he calleth his own sheep by name . . . because He loves them. These are Christ's own, purchased by His own Blood, and by the power of His grace. He looks for them, finds them and brings them home. He takes care of them for they are His own, and feeds them as a shepherd does his flock.
And leadeth them out . . . away from the world's goats, away from the folds of sin, and barren pastures with no water. He leads them away from their own righteousness and from their dependence on self. He leads them to the fullness of His grace, into His Father's Presence and fellowship with Him. He leads in the paths of righteousness and truth, and into the green pastures of the Holy Word of God, and beside the still waters of His sovereign love and grace. Please read Psalm 23, slowly and carefully.
John 10:4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. (KJV)
And when he putteth forth his own sheep . . . He puts them into proper pastures.
He goeth before them . . . referring to the eastern shepherds, who when they put out their flocks, did not drive them and follow after them, but went ahead of them. So too Christ, the Great Shepherd, goes before His flock, not only to provide for them, but to be an example to them. He does not force us with brutality, but instead leads us with love.
And the sheep follow him . . . we willingly follow Him in humility, love, patience, self-denial, and resign our will to the will of God.
For they know his voice . . . the Gospel directs and encourages us to exercise obedience to Him, and to walk in the path of responsibility. The TRUE sheep know His Voice and are glad He is near. Jesus’ disciples are led. There is no rough road or thorny place that the feet of Jesus’ had not first walked upon.
John 10:5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. (KJV)
And a stranger will they not follow . . . someone that does not know Christ, is not sent by Him, and who does not preach Him, is a stranger.
But will flee from him . . . run away from “another” Jesus (2 Cor.11:4) and their ministry. These “other” Jesus’ should be considered as not only disagreeable, but extremely dangerous.
For they know not the voice of strangers . . . God’s TRUE flock do not approve of false gospels, do not take any delight in them, nor receive any profit from them.
John 10:6 This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them. (KJV)
This parable spake Jesus unto them . . . to the Pharisees, who were with Him (Jn.9:40).
But they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them . . . Jesus spoke in parables, and the Pharisees did not understand what He meant (Mat.13:13-15).
John 10:7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. (KJV)
Then said Jesus unto them again . . . by way of explaining of the above parable, since they did not understand it:
Verily, verily, I say unto you . . . only John uses the term “verily, verily” . . . the other writers use only the singular “verily.” What it means is that what Jesus is saying is truth and can be depended on as such, whether it will be believed or not.
I am the door of the sheep . . . Jesus clearly states that HE is the Door, the only Door of the sheep, NO goats, dogs or swine can enter, only sheep! (Eph.2:18).
John 10:8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. (KJV)
All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers . . . this does not refer to the prophets, but to those who came pretending to be the pastors or guides of the people. It is quite possible that He refers to the scribes and Pharisees, who claimed to be instructors of the people, who claimed the right to control the affairs of religion, and whose only aim was to enhance themselves and to oppress the people. When the Saviour says that "all" were thieves, He might mean the vast majority. Thieves and robbers: (Jn.10:1; Jer.23:1; Eze.24:2-3).
But the sheep did not hear them . . . the “sheep” are the elect of God, Jews and Gentiles, in all ages, though their number is few, they did not listen to the false prophets, and false teachers, and idol shepherds. They did NOT receive their false doctrines, nor follow their practices. It continues on today!
John 10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. (KJV)
I am the door . . . all those who come for salvation to God, through Christ, shall absolutely obtain it. He shall be saved (Jn.5:24). He shall have his sins blotted out, his soul purified, and he shall be preserved unto eternal life. The scribes and Pharisees could NOT promise or convey any such thing. Neither can any cult or false teacher of today! The Door is a symbol of entrance into protection and shelter, and an exit from suppression and insufficiency.
By me if any man enter in . . . by me . . . by His instruction and merits, shall enter into the sheepfold, the church.
He shall be saved . . . being in a church, and having submitted to ordinances, will NOT save any. A person MUST enter at the right Door, through faith in Christ. Only then shall they be saved (Mk.16:16).
And shall go in and out . . . meaning the sheep going in and out of the fold. I think this means they exercise faith in Christ, and act upon Him, in the outward confession of Him, in performing good works; in going to Him, accepting His precious Blood, His righteousness and His Sacrifice for us.
And find pasture . . . good pasture, pasture for their souls. ”Pasture” for God’s sheep is the Gospel, the words of faith, true and good doctrine. It is Christ Himself, whose flesh is meat indeed, and whose blood is drink indeed (Jn.6:55).
John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (KJV)
The thief cometh not but for to steal . . . a thief’s main intent is to steal, invade, seize and carry away another's property. ALL false teachers that do NOT come in by the right door, and come with an ungodly commission, seek to deceive, and carry away the sheep of Christ from Him. These false ones, these thieves, try to steal away the sheep’s hearts from Christ. They try to lord it over them, and make a property of them, as the Pharisees did, who, under a counterfeit pretence of long prayers, devoured widows' houses.
And to kill and to destroy . . . these thieves attempt to enter the souls of men by their false doctrines. Their “damnable heresies” (2 Pet.2:1), eat away as a cancer, and poison the minds of men, remove those souls from Christ and undermine the faith of supposed professors. These thieves CANNOT destroy any of the TRUE sheep of Christ, by their oppression, tyranny and persecution. But through the years, many were killed all the day long for the sake of Christ, and are accounted as sheep for the slaughter (Ps.44:22; Jer.12:3; Rom.8:36).
I am come that they might have life . . . they are the sheep, the elect of God. Christ came that we might have life, both spiritual and eternal. According to God’s Holy Word, the rest of mankind are by nature dead in trespasses and sins (Eph.2:1), and answerable to an eternal death (Jn.3:18,36; 8:24). Christ came into this world in human nature, to give His Flesh, His Body, His whole human nature, soul and body, for the life of these people who believe God (1 Jn.5:10-13). All these live spiritually here, and eternally hereafter. This “life to come" which is ONLY in Christ, and is the gift of God through Him; and which He gives to all His sheep, has a power to give to as many as the Father has given Him. Gift of God: Jn.4:10; Acts 8:20; Rom.5:15; 6:23; 11:29; 1 Cor.7:7; Eph.2:8; 2 Tim.1:6).
And that they might have it more abundantly . . . life more abundant (Jn.10:10; Rom.5:13-21; Heb.6:17; 7:25). Meaning that the sheep might have an abundance of grace from Christ, all spiritual blessings in Him now, and all fullness of joy, glory, and happiness hereafter. Only through the life of Jesus, can we ever have innumerable privileges and liberties.
John 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. (KJV)
I am the good shepherd . . . Christ Jesus was THE Shepherd of His Father's appointing and calling, to whom the care of all His sheep, or chosen ones, was committed. Christ was set up as a Shepherd over them by the Father and was entrusted with them. His being called, assumed responsibility to care for them. Christ, being promised, was sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Isa.53:6; Jer.50:6-7; Eze.34:5-6,16,23; Mat.9:36; 10:5-6; 15:24); under the personality of a Shepherd. He died for them, rose again, and is accountable to His Father for every one of them. The Shepherd, the Great and Chief Shepherd, is the One so often spoken of and prophesied of (Gen.49:24; Ps.23:1; Isa.40:11; Eze.34:23; 37:24; Zec.13:7; Jn.10:11; Heb.13:20; 1 Pet.2:25; 5:2). He is the Good Shepherd, for He provides good pasture, and a good fold for His sheep. He protects them from their enemies; He restores their souls. He watches over them.
The good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep . . . He not only exposed His life to extreme danger, as David did, for the sake of His Father's flock, but He gave it away freely and voluntarily, for the sake of the sheep . . . in their place . . . as a ransom for them, that they may be delivered from death, and might have eternal life. This description agrees totally with Christ, the Good Shepherd; and so the Lord is said to be , "the good shepherd" and merciful, and there is NONE else like Him.
John 10:12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. (KJV)
But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd . . . a hireling isa man employed to take care of the sheep, to whom wages is paid. Since he does not own the sheep, he guards them only for money. He would not risk his life for the sheep, he would quickly leave the flock to the destruction of wild beasts, if it meant his life. “Hireling” is sometimes used in a good way (Mal.3:5), but here it means one who is unfaithful to his trust; and especially those ministers who preach only for money . . . like SO many greedy preachers today. They are unwilling to encounter any danger or to practice any self-denial for the welfare of the church of God. They have NO boldness, NO steadfastness in the cause of their Master. (Jer.22:1; Eze.13:3; 34:2-6; Zec.11:17; Mat.23:13,16).
Whose own the sheep are not . . . who do not have an affection for them, and so cares not what becomes of them. These are those that "seeth the wolf coming" but do nothing to stop the destruction. ALL false prophets and teachers are ravenous wolves; although many times appear in sheep's clothing (Mat.7:15). BEWARE!!!
And leaveth the sheep . . . just like the idol shepherd, against whom a woe is pronounced (Zec.11:17).
And fleeth . . . not being willing to tolerate any reproach or persecution, for the sake of Christ. They are NOT like David, who went after the lion and the bear (1 Sam.17:34-37), and when they rose up against him, he did NOT flee, but caught them by the beard and slew them. Neither are they like the Apostle Paul, who fought with beasts at Ephesus (1 Cor.15:32), not turning his back on them.
And the wolf catcheth them . . . I do not think this is the devil, as some say, but in general whoever comes upon the flock with hostile intent, in whatever form . . . even though the wicked one, is no doubt, at the bottom of all such movements. I believe that there are many in the folds that are NOT God’s TRUE sheep. There are many who PROFESS to be “Christians” but who simply do not POSSESS Christ in their hearts and lives. I think it is these that the wolves “catch.”
And scattereth the sheep . . . some the wolves catch, while many sheep are scattered. The sheep of Christ are sometimes scattered by persecution raised against them (Acts 8:1,4).
John 10:13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. (KJV)
The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling . . . a hireling does not care about the sheep. He loves his wages, not the flock. He will not defend them, he will not expose himself to any danger, but runs away and leaves them.
And careth not for the sheep . . . a hireling does not care about the sheep, only for his own safety. But a shepherd that feeds his own flock, has much compassion because it is his own flock, therefore he saith, "behold his reward is with him" (Isa.40:10; 62:11), for he does not seek a reward from another; "and his work is before him" . . . for he feeds what is his own, and therefore his eyes and his heart are with them.
John 10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. (KJV)
I am the good shepherd . . . see verse 11.
And know my sheep . . .so well that He calls them by name. Christ has a special, distinct, and exact knowledge of all His sheep (Mat.10:30; Lk.12:7), for they are the choice of His Father, as His Father's gift to Him (Jn.10:29). And as His own purchase, He holds an affectionate love for them, and takes special care of them; and has a close fellowship with them Himself. He owns and acknowledges them as His, both now (Jn.5:24) and hereafter (Jn.3:15-16).
And I am known of mine . . . NOT the way devils (Lk.4:41) and external professors know Him, but with a special, spiritual and saving knowledge. Christ's own approve of Him as their Shepherd and their Saviour. They desire NO other; they love Him above all, with the sincerity of their souls, with a love as strong as death. They trust Him as their Shepherd, believing they shall not want; and keep Him to themselves as their own. They care for Him, His cause, His interest, His Gospel, His ordinances and are not ashamed to own Him as theirs, in the most public manner (Mat.10:33).
John 10:15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. (KJV)
As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father. . . these words are in connection with verse 14, and the basis is, that the mutual knowledge of Christ, and His sheep, is like that which His Father and He have of each other. The Father knows Christ as His own Son, and loves Him as such, in a very strong and affectionate manner; and has entrusted Him with the persons, grace and glory of all His people.
And I lay down my life for the sheep . . . proof that Jesus is the Good Shepherd (verse 11), of the sheep which were His, by the Father's gift, and for no other has He laid down His life. The knowledge existing between disciple and Master comes from mutual relationship and love.
John 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. (KJV)
And other sheep I have . . . other sheep . . .there are others who shall be members of Christ’s redeemed church. Sheep, other: (Jn.11:52; Ps.86:9; 98:2-3; Isa.11:10; 43:6; 49:6; 52:10; 56:8; Hos.1:10; Zec.2:11; Zec.8:20-23; Acts 18:10; Rom.9:23-24; 15:9-13; Eph.2:14; 1Pet.2:10)
Which are not of this fold . . . not of this fold, not Jews. This is a distinct indication that the Gospel was to be preached to the Gentiles . . . and this doctrine was/is extremely offensive to the Jews. This prediction of the Saviour has been strikingly confirmed in the conversion of millions of the Gentiles to the Gospel.
Them also I must bring . . . out of the wilderness of the world, from among men’s former sinful selfishnesses, from the folds of sin and Satan and the pastures of their own self-righteousness. Christ would bring them close to Himself, and into His Father's Presence . . . to a good and safe fold and green pastures, and one day to His heavenly Kingdom and glory. This, partly because of His Father's will and pleasure, purposes and decrees, who had determined it; and partly because of His own commitment, who had obligated Himself to do it. And last but not least . . . because of the love of both the Father and the Son, the condition of these sheep, who otherwise would have perished eternally (Jn.3:15-18).
And they shall hear my voice . . . the “voice” of Christ IS the Gospel! It is the Gospel that the sheep hear not only externally, but internally . . . which is owed to His powerful and effective grace, that quickens them, and causes them to hear and live in obedience. It is the grace of God that unstops deaf ears, and allows them to hear Truth. It is the grace of God that opens hearts, to focus on His Word, and allows them to understand it.
And there shall be one fold, and one shepherd . . . one church, one fold, consisting of both Jews and Gentiles; the middle wall of partition being broke down, these two unite in one, become one new flock, members of the same body. Even though there may be several visible Gospel churches, yet there is just one TRUE church, one flock! There are NO denominations in Heaven! One Shepherd: (Jn.10:2, 11; Ecc.12:11; Eze.34:23; Heb.13:20; 1Pet.2:25; 5:4)
John 10:17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. (KJV)
Therefore doth my Father love me . . . as the highest act of the Son's love to the Father was the laying down of His life for the sheep at His "commandment," so the Father's love to Him as His incarnate Son reaches its peak, and finds its highest justification, in that awe-inspiring and most affecting of all acts.
Because I lay down my life . . . Jesus laid down His life for the sheep . . . to ransom them from sin and Satan, the law, its curse and condemnation, and from eternal death and a fiery Hell, God’s holy wrath, ruin and destruction. Laying down His life on this account, was not only well pleasing to His Father, but also was done for a greater reason . . . as follows.
That I might take it again . . . as He did! Christ Jesus, the Son of God, God Himself, raised Himself from the dead, by which He proved to be the Son of God. Christ Jesus made full satisfaction to divine justice, for the sins of His people, and as a result, rose again for their justification; and to be the victorious conqueror over death (1 Cor.15:54-57), and having in His Hands the power of the grave. (Gen.15:6; Isa.45:25; Lk.18:14; Acts 13:39; Rom.3:22,24,28; 4:5,11; 5:1,9,18; 8:30,33; 9:30; 10:4; 1 Cor.4:4; 6:11; 2 Cor.5:21; Gal.2:16,21; 3:6,11,24; 5:5; Phil.3:9; Tit.3:7; Heb.11:7; Jam,2:23)
Christ Jesus, God’s one and only begotten Son (Jn.3:16) was/is the Object of His Father's love from eternity past to eternity to come. Jesus was loved by the Father in different ways: #1. first and mainly, as His own Son, being of the same nature with Him, and equal to Him (Phil.2:5-11); #2. also as Mediator, on behalf of His chosen people (Jer.18:20; Jn.14:6; Eph.2:18; 1 Tim.2:5; Heb.8:6; 9:15,24; 12:24; 1 Jn.2:1); #3. as He was clothed with human nature, and even in His state of humiliation; and not only as subject to His ordinances, and obedient to His will, and doing what was pleasing in His sight, but also suffering in their room and stead, and He loved Him on this account (Jn.3:16).
John 10:18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father. (KJV)
No man taketh it from me . . . since Jesus was/is God, NO man could take His life if He did not want it that way. It was indeed taken away, starting with the Jews hatred of Him, and by the order of Pilate, and carried out by the Roman soldiers, who crucified Him (Mat.27:54).
Yet NO man could, or did take it away, without His Father's will, and determinate counsel and knowledge (Acts 2:23), by which he was delivered up into the hands of the above persons; otherwise they could have had absolutely NO power over Him; nor could any man take away His life from Him, without His own consent. He willingly and voluntarily surrendered Himself, or He could NEVER have been taken. He went freely to the cross, because of His love for us. He was our only chance to avoid the Lake of Fire (Rev.19:20; 20:10,14-15) and eternal death. See: Death, Then What? http://www.hisservants.org/death_then_what_1.htm
But I lay it down of myself . . . Jesus gave His life for us, freely and willingly because of His love for us!
I have power to lay it down . . . since God cannot die, the life He gave was that as the Son of Man (Jn.1:51; 3:13-14; 5:27; 6;53; 6:62; 8:28; 12:23,34; 13:31). It was the life of His individual human nature. Christ, the Prince of Life, had the power of laying down His life on His own accord, as a ransom price for His sheep.
And I have power to take it again . . . I have power means authority. It includes all necessary power in the case, and authority of His Father to do it. Since He was/is the Son of God, and truly God, and was the surety of His people; having satisfied law and justice, by His obedience, sufferings, and death.
This commandment have I received of my Father . . . My Father has appointed this, and commissioned Me to do it.
John 10:19 There was a division therefore again among the Jews for these sayings. (KJV)
There was a division therefore again among the Jews . . . as there had been before (Jn.9:16).
For these sayings . . . concerning His being the Good Shepherd, and laying down His life for the sheep, and having both a power to lay it down, and take it up again.
John 10:20 And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him? (KJV)
And many of them said, he hath a devil, and is mad . . . the Jews thought that madness or diversion was from the devil, here these two are joined together, having a devil, and being mad.
Why hear ye him? . . . He is crazy, He is troubled, He is a madman. How can you stand to hear such raving blasphemy, which no man in his right senses would ever say? They said that nothing Jesus says should be regarded, since He is not in His right mind.
John 10:21 Others said, These are not the words of him that hath a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind? (KJV)
Others said, these are not the words of him that hath a devil . . . some wiser ones disagreed and said that no madman or one possessed with a devil and under the influence of Satan, would ever talk in such a divine manner, and speak words of truth and soberness.
Can a devil open the eyes of the blind? . . . referring to Christ's curing a man that was blind from his birth. A devil could not do such a miracle. Yet these wiser ones failed to make a positive confession of faith in Jesus.
Deity: Christ Equal to God the Father (John 10:22-42)
John 10:22 And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. (KJV)
And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication . . . this feast was appointed by Judas Maccabaeus to commemorate the purification of the temple after it had been defiled by Antiochus Epiphanes in late Chisleu (December), about 164 B.C. He offered a sow on the altar and polluted the temple by making broth and sprinkling it all around the temple (1 Mac.4:36-59). It lasted 2 days (then later 8 days) and could be celebrated elsewhere. It was about 3 1/2 months after the feast of tabernacles in John 7:2, and about 4 months before the Passover and the crucifixion. The apostle John mentions 5 feasts that Christ Jesus attended (Jn.2:13; 5:1; 7:2,10; 10:22; 12:1; 13:1).
And it was winter . . . meaning that it was stormy or rainy weather. This could be the reason why our Lord is represented as walking in Solomon's porch (Jn.10:23).
John 10:23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch. (KJV)
And Jesus walked in the temple . . . to keep Himself warm, and to have a better place from the bad weather.
In Solomon's porch . . . which was covered over, the outside of it was enclosed with a wall, which made it very convenient for bad weather. This was on the outside of the temple eastward, and was a magnificent structure. Josephus says this: “there was a porch without the temple, overlooking a deep valley, supported by walls of four hundred cubits, made of four square stone, very white; the length of each stone was twenty cubits, and the breadth six; the work of king Solomon, who first founded the whole temple.” This was not the porch that was built by Solomon, but as it was built on the same spot, and in imitation of it, it bore his name; mention is made of it in (Acts 3:11; 5:12).
John 10:24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. (KJV)
Then came the Jews round about him . . . these Jews might have been walking on Solomon’s Porch too, and seeing Jesus, took the opportunity to get around Him in great numbers, hemming Him in; having a plan to trap Him, if possible. The Jews . . . the ruling class, came not for information, but to obtain facts to accuse Him.
And said unto him, how long dost thou make us doubt? . . . how long will You hold us in suspense, stirring our expectations? They really wanted Him to declare Himself as King of the Jews so they could then accuse Him to Pilate.
If thou be the Christ. . . tell us, freely, openly and in plain words . . . this they said, not wanting to know Who He was, but trying to trap Him. Now they had Him by Himself, hemmed in. It would lower His credit among the people if He said He was not the Messiah; and should He say He was the Messiah, they could accuse Him to the Roman governor as an enemy to Caesar, as One that was set up as King of the Jews.
Tell us plainly . . . the Messiah was predicted as a Shepherd. Jesus had applied that prediction to Himself. They believed that was evidence that He claimed to be the Messiah. He also did miracles, which they considered evidence that He was the Messiah (Jn.7:31). The rulers assumed that He was from Galilee, and that the Messiah could not come from there (Jn.7:52). Jesus was poor and despised. He came opposite to the common expectation, for they were looking for a fabulous prince and conqueror.
John 10:25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me. (KJV)
Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not . . . He often had said in His ministry and doctrine, that God was His Father, that He was the Light of the world and the Good Shepherd, but they paid no attention to His Words . . . even though He had told them, that unless they believed that He was this Person, they should die in their sins (Jn.8:21,24). Ye believed not: (Jn.5:19; 8:36,56,58; 9:36).
The works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me . . . healing the sick, casting out demons, cleansing lepers, giving sight to the blind, making the deaf to hear, the dumb to speak, the lame to walk and raising the dead to life. Besides His Words, His doctrine and ministry, they had His miracles clearly before them, proving Who He was.
John 10:26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. (KJV)
But ye believe not . . . in Me, as the Messiah.
Because ye are not of my sheep . . . they were not among the sheep given to Him by His Father . . . had they been, they would have come to Jesus . . . meaning that they would have believed in Him (Jn.6:37). They were not the chosen of God, not predestinated unto eternal life; for all those who are ordained of God to eternal happiness, DO believe God (Acts 13:48). There are millions in the world today that are NOT the elect of God. WHY??? Because they refuse to believe God (1 Jn.5:10-13), and what He states about His only begotten Son (Jn.3:16), they do not have the faith of God's elect (Heb.11:6).
I personally, truly feel that God chooses EVERYONE! I do not think that God predestines anyone to Hell. It is up to the person what they do with their life. I believe we are given this life on Earth to decide where we shall spend eternity. And I believe there are only two roads that lead to two entirely different destinations: Heaven and Hell. God gives us a free will and it is our decision which road we choose. Choosing the wide road (Mat.7:13), which most people choose, will lead to Hell and eternal death. Choosing the narrow road (Mat.7:14) leads to Heaven and eternal life. I truly do pray that you have chosen the narrow road and are walking with Jesus. Christ is the omniscient God, and knows all things. He knew those that were not God’s sheep, then and now, and therefore they were left to their hardness and unbelief.
As l said unto you . . . which seems to refer to what follows, since He had said before, that the sheep hear the voice of the Shepherd, and follow Him, and that He knows them (Jn.10:4,14).
John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: (KJV)
My sheep hear my voice . . . the Voice of Christ is the Gospel! His sheep hear His Voice both externally and internally (Jn.10:4,16). Since these Jews did not hear, they did not obey, so it was quite clear that they were not His sheep.
And I know them . . . (Jn.10:14). Christ did not know these as the elect of God, or the Father's gift to Him, therefore they could not be His sheep.
And they follow me . . . the TRUE sheep of God, follow the Shepherd, both in grace and obedience, and where ever the Good Shepherd leads them (Jn.10:3-4). These Jews did not follow Jesus, but turned their backs on Him and rejected Him, proving that they were not His sheep. But happy and safe are those persons that are the sheep of Christ, as appears from what is said next of them.
John 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. (KJV)
And I give unto them eternal life . . . Jesus gives eternal life to His sheep now (Jn.5:24); He gives them a spiritual life, or a life of grace, which ends in eternal life. He gives them Himself, Who is the true God and Eternal Life (Jn.17:3; 1 Jn.5:20), and whosoever has Him has life! He gives them His righteousness (1 Cor.1:30), which is their justification of life (Rom.5:1,18), for this is what entitles them to eternal life. He gives them the foretastes of it, in faith, hope and His love, giving them the earnest and pledge of it with His own Spirit (Jn.14:16). This life in Him is hid with Him in God (Col.3:1-7), and is safe and secure.
And they shall never perish . . . although they were lost in Adam, and in a perishing condition in themselves, during their state of disobedience; they were convinced by the Spirit of God; and come as persons ready to submit to Christ, as Saviour. They are subject to many spiritual backslides and downfalls, they may lose their peace, joy and comfort, and think their strength and hope are gone, but they shall NEVER lose the eternal life Jesus has promised to them. http://www.hisservants.org/OSAS_1_eternal_security_h_s.html Once a person is truly saved, they are saved FOREVER! Eternal is everlasting, no stopping!
To perish here means to be destroyed, or to be punished in Hell (Mat.10:28). Whosoever believes in Christ shall not perish (Jn.3:15).
Neither shall any pluck them out of my hand . . . Christ's sheep are in His Hands, put there by God His Father, as a proof of His love to Christ and the sheep. Shall any . . . no man or no devil with all his malice, power, cunning shall be able to pluck them from His Hand. Pluck them . . . to rob, to seize and grab away as a robber does his prey. Jesus holds them so secure and so certainly that NO foe can surprise Him as a robber does, or overcome Him by force. My hand . . . is the Hand of Jesus by which He holds and secures an object. It means that Jesus has them safely in His own care and keeping (Rom.8:38-39).
John 10:29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. (KJV)
My Father which gave them me . . . (Jn.6:37-39).
Is greater than all . . . all other gods, all other creatures be they angels or men, or all the enemies of His people. The church (sheep fold) given to Him, and built upon Him, is stronger than all its enemies.
And none is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand . . . these sheep have a double security . . . they are in the Hands of Christ, and they are in the Hands of the Father of Christ. The souls of all these sheep are 100% safe and secure 24/7! If someone possibly thought they could be plucked out of Christ's Hands, which is NOT possible, they are still in the Hands of God the Father. There is no reason to think that the sheep can be plucked out of the Hands of the either One.
John 10:30 I and my Father are one. (KJV)
I and my Father are one . . . not in Person, for the Father is a distinct Person from the Son, and the Son a distinct Person from the Father. They are one in nature and spirit, perfections and power, since Christ Jesus is speaking of the impossibility of plucking away any of the sheep, out of His own and His Father's Hands.
It should be considered that Jesus is both the Son of God and the Son of Man. And as TRUE Christians believe; since He is the Son of God, He lay in the bosom of His Father (Jn.1:18), and had access to all His secrets, His thoughts, purposes and plans . . . and as such, He knew the day and hour of judgment, being God omniscient. In this respect, He is ONE with the Father, having the same perfections of power, knowledge and wisdom . . . but as the Son of Man, He is not of the same nature as the Father, and has not the same knowledge. His human knowledge of things was not infinite.
John 10:31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. (KJV)
Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him . . . as they had done before (Jn.8:59).
John 10:32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? (KJV)
Jesus answered them, many good works have I showed you from my Father . . . such as healing the sick, and all manner of diseases, casting out demons, cleansing lepers, giving sight to the blind, causing the dumb to speak, the deaf to hear, and the lame to walk . . . these were not only works of power, but of mercy, compassion and caring kindness. They were good works, but also they were great and miraculous works done by the Son of God,
done openly and publicly, and they could not be denied.
For which of these works do ye stone me? . . . His public life had been a continued series of such actions to the sons of men. Was that why they took up stones to stone Him? If so, it was a most ungrateful, cruel and barbarous reason.
John 10:33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. (KJV)
The Jews answered him, saying, for a good work we stone thee not . . . they could not deny that He had done many good works, but they did not want to admit them. They concealed their resentment at them, yet they were very much irritate and uneasy by them, and chose to give another reason for their stoning Him.
But for blasphemy . . . which required death by stoning, according to the Jews' oral law (Lev.24:16).
And because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God . . . this they concluded very rightly (Jn.10:30), that God was His Father, and that He and His Father were one, and therefore He must be God . . . BUT . . . this was NOT blasphemy, it was Truth.
John 10:34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? (KJV)
Jesus answered them, is it not written in your law . . . the law which was given unto them, and of which they boasted, and pretended to understand and interpret, even in (Ps.82:6); for the law includes not only the Pentateuch, but all the books of the Old Testament, for it is said: "Blessed are they that dwell in thy house, they will still praise thee, Selah; they do praise thee" (Ps.84:4).
I said, ye are gods? . . . which is spoken to civil magistrates, called “gods” because of their authority and power, and because they do, in some way, represent God in the government of nations and kingdoms.
John 10:35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; (KJV)
If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came . . . their accusation was that Christ Jesus as a Man, makes Himself God. He quotes Scripture to them: Psalm 82:6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. (KJV) Men are called to be the children of God, but Jesus is exceptional and unique because He is the Man "whom the Father hath sanctified." He is the only One who has been set apart. He is unlike any other man in the world because He is also God! He has been sent on an extraordinary mission by the Father to the world. He is in the Father and the Father is in Him. Jesus IS God! . . . http://www.hisservants.org/is_jesus_god_h_s.htm
And the Scripture cannot be broken . . . cannot be dissolved, rendered of no effect, cannot be contradicted, opposed or set aside. Every person must believe this, because it is thus declared by God. If those who were termed “gods,” were only earthly magistrates, fallible mortals, what greater reason then had Jesus to say that I am the Son of God, and one with God, when, as Messiah, I have been consecrated and set apart, sent into the world, to instruct and save men; and when, as God, I have done miracles which could be performed by no power less than that of God?
There is a great contrast between Himself and all merely human representatives of God (gods). The One was sanctified by the Father and sent into the world, while the other to whom the Word of God, merely came. It is NEVER, not once said of Christ that "the word of the Lord came to Him" . . . although this is the well-known method by which the divine commission, even to the highest of mere men, is expressed, such as with John the Baptist (Lk.3:2). The contrast is between those "to whom the word of God came" . . . men of the Earth, earthy “gods” who were simply privileged to get a divine message to utter (if they were prophets) or a divine office to discharge (if they were judges) . . . and Him whom, not being of the Earth at all, the Father hath sanctified and sent into the world . . . an expression NEVER used of any merely human messenger of God, and used only of Christ Jesus.
John 10:36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? (KJV)
Say ye of him whom the Father hath sanctified . . . sanctify means to make holy; but that is not the meaning here, because the Son of God was ALWAYS holy because He is God! Here it means to set apart for a holy, sacred use; to assign to a holy, sacred purpose, and to choose, select or bless to a holy office. God has consecrated or appointed His Holy Son to be His Messenger or Messiah to mankind.
And sent into the world . . . in human nature (Jn.1:14), to obtain eternal redemption and salvation His people (Jn.3:16): to save them from sin, Satan, the world, law, Hell and death (1 Jn.5:10-13), which none but God could do (Jn.14:6).
Thou blasphemest, because I said, I am the Son of God . . . our Lord had not said, in so many words, that He was the Son of God on this particular occasion. But He had said what was beyond any doubt, words that amounted to it . . . to be precise, that He gave His sheep eternal life, and none could pluck them out of His Hand; and that He had gotten them from His Father, and in whose Hands, although given to Him, they still remained, and out of whose Hand none could pluck them away; and that the sheep were the property of both He and His Father, because "He and His Father were one." He spoke Truth, as He always did.
John 10:37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. (KJV)
If I do not the works of my Father . . . the very works that My Father does (Jn.5:17). The works of his Father are those which only God can do. And since Jesus did them, it shows that the Name "Son of God," implies equality with God, and was properly applied to Him. This shows without a doubt that He meant to be understood as claiming to be equal with God the Father. So the Jews naturally understood Him (Jn.10:39) and they were left with this impression on their minds. If I do not the works: (Jn.14:10; 15:24).
Believe me not . . . Christ appeals to His miracles as proofs of His deity, Son-ship, and Messiah-ship, and wants no other credit (Mat.11:3-5; Jn.5:36).
John 10:38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him. (KJV)
But if I do. . . Jesus did works that only Almighty God could do.
Though ye believe not me . . . they paid no attention to what Christ said in His doctrine and ministry, nor did they accept His testimony, as they should have done.
Believe the works . . . because they were true and real, not pretense and fantasy, proving that Christ IS the Son of God, and that He and His Father were one.
That ye may know and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him . . . that they are one in nature, distinct in Person, equal in power, and have a mutual place of dwelling and communion in the divine essence; all which is clear, by doing the same works, and which are out of the reach and power of any mere creature.
John 10:39 Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand, (KJV)
Therefore they sought again to take him . . . not to take His life by stoning Him, as the furious fanatics did (Jn.5:18), but to grab Him and take Him before the Sanhedrim. The charge of blasphemy they had brought against Him, they now thought they had sufficient evidence to convict Him as a blasphemer.
But he escaped out of their hands . . . John does not say how He escaped, but He did because the time was not right yet that they take Him. Jesus escaped His enemies: (Jn.7:30,44; 8:59; 10:39; Lk.4:29-30).
John 10:40 And went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John at first baptized; and there he abode. (KJV)
And went away again beyond Jordan . . . Jesus went where He had been before.
Into the place where John at first baptized . . . at Bethabara (Jn.1:28; 3:23), where He was baptized and where John bore testimony of Him.
And there he abode . . . how long is not certain, maybe until He went to Bethany, where He raised Lazarus from the dead.
John 10:41 And many resorted unto him, and said, John did no miracle: but all things that John spake of this man were true. (KJV)
And many resorted to him . . . from all nearby places, having heard of His being there, and of His reputation. Some of them no doubt personally knew Him; these came to Him, some to be healed by Him, others just to see Him and miracles, and others to hear Him preach.
And said, John did no miracle . . . although now three years had passed, His Name, His ministry, and baptism by John were remembered well there. What they were saying one to another, was not to diminish the character of John the Baptist, but to exalt Christ Jesus, and to give a reason why they should receive and embrace Him. If John, who did no miracle, and only taught and baptized, and directed men to the Messiah, was rightly considered a great person (Mat.11:11), and his doctrine was received, and his baptism was submitted to, then this well-known Person who did miracles must be listened to.
But all things that John spake of this man, were true . . . John the Baptist had said that Jesus was greater than he (Mat.3:11), that Jesus was the Lamb of God (Jn.1:29,36), the Son of God (Jn.1:34) the Saviour that takes away the sins of the world (Jn.1:29), and true Messiah, who should baptize men with the Holy Ghost and with fire (Mat.3:11-12).
John 10:42 And many believed on him there. (KJV)
And many believed on him there . . . they believed the doctrine He preached, the miracles He did, and by comparing these things with what John the Baptist had said about Him. These were some of the “other sheep” (Jn.10:16) that Jesus spoke of, that were to believe in His Name. This stands in direct contrast to Jerusalem, where He was rejected.
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