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By Edward O’Hara ,
In a parable Jesus told found in John10 Jesus said,
“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.
But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.
And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.
This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.” John10:1-6
Here Jesus has told them a parable to show them how to discern truth from error. How to know a false teacher who is only there for their own benefit and enrichment, from the good shepherd whose sole purpose is to give you good pasture where you can be fed what you need for life abundantly.
But, since the disciples were natural men they could not understand the spiritual principles Jesus was speaking about in this parable or any other. So in the next few verses Jesus explains the parable to these natural men so that they might be able to understand at least partly what He was telling them.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep”.
So now they know Jesus is the door in the parable.
“All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.”
All who came to Israel before Jesus who claimed to be messiah were thieves who taught things out of self interest. Things that only benefited them.
“I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
Here Jesus repeats that He is the door to drive the point home for them. So they would not make the mistake others had about who Jesus is. He plainly says they can only be saved through Him, the door. And that if they will come in through Him they will be saved. They will freely have the good things of God that He has intended for their benefit.
Jesus then says,
“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.”
Here Jesus shows the intent of the false teacher who only tells them things for his own benefit. And has no desire to benefit them. If he did he would desire the truth and would not keep the truth from them.
In contrast Jesus says,
“I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.”
Now Jesus shows us that He is also the shepherd is in His parable. So He is both the shepherd and the door. And that the main characteristic of the good shepherd is that He lays His life down for the sheep. John tells us that Jesus showed God’s love by giving Himself for us because God is love. So His main characteristic is love. Love that brought Jesus to the cross because His death would give power to a New Covenant for them. Taking away the first to establish the second as Heb.10:9 says.
He Adds that when,
“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.The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.”
A hireling is introduced here. He is the “thief” and “robber” that “climbs in some other way” Jesus spoke of in the parable. He teaches the sheep falsely for his own enrichment. But, when a wolf comes who is obviously someone more powerful than the thief, someone like a tyrannical oppressive gov’t, he flees. And because the sheep have been deceived by the hireling, making them vulnerable, the wolf is able to scatter them.
From this we see that the thief and the hireling who come to steal, kill, and destroy, are not satan as many have said. Satan is the power behind these. Much like the power elite behind the faces we are allowed to see in the different oppressive gov’ts around the world and down through the ages.
But, in contrast again Jesus says,
“I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.”
Jesus says He knows His people. And that they know Him. Jesus shows us the importance of Him knowing His sheep in Mt.7 where He said “away from me for I never knew you”. So it’s imperative that He knows us. Made possible when we trust in Him. Jesus gives His life for us. Showing that it was necessary for Him to join with us in death so that we can join with Him in “life abundantly”.
Jesus then concludes His explanation to these Israelites saying,
“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.”
In this He shares with them what Paul revealed to the church about “a mystery hid from ages past”. Something that remained hidden to the disciples until Paul began to preach his gospel. The mystery that God would send the gospel of a New Covenant to the Gentiles as well as the Jews. Which is why God showed Peter in a vision the reptiles God said were made clean. Telling Peter after he refused to eat them, “Do not call unclean what I have made clean”. A reference to the Gentiles as Peter and the rest of the apostles would learn.
This New Covenant was given power when Jesus gave His life for the sheep. Paul shows us how this would make the Jews and Gentiles one in Eph.2:12-15. Saying that the Gentiles who were never in Israel’s 1st covenant with God would now be brought into covenant with Jesus just as Israel would be when they believe the gospel. By this the two, Jew and Gentile, would be made “one new man”. Showing also that Gentiles do not join with Israelites under their covenant. But, that together these would both become God’s children by being joined with Jesus by faith because even though they have different starting points, they must both enter into eternal life through the same door. They become one, both feeding in God’s pasture of eternal life. The “life more abundantly” that Jesus tells them here that He came to provide.
Here’s the main thing Jesus wanted them to know in the telling of this parable. That if these Israelites were truly His sheep they would know His voice. They would see that Jesus is their messiah. And they would immediately recognize that the false teachers that come only to steal, kill, and destroy is not the voice of their shepherd. And they would not listen to them.
So I will ask this question of you. Whose voice are you listening to? Is it a pastor, preacher, reverend, priest, or whatever the one you’re listening to calls himself? Or is it Jesus? Is he a hireling who came in another way? Or is he one who has also come in through the door that opens to the life abundantly that Jesus gives?
You will only know by believing and putting into practice the word of God. Because it is His word that says how we are to test the spirit whether it is of God or not. One big test is given by John in 1John4:1-3. If the spirit says Jesus came in the same flesh all men have it is of God. If the spirit denies that Jesus came in the same flesh all men have it is not of God. So search the scriptures as Paul commended the Bereans for doing to see whether what he is saying is consistent with them.
And if you have found that you have been deceived by the hireling and you want to go through the door to live in God’s pasture. Then turn to Jesus and He will open for you the way to life abundantly. Pray confessing Him as Lord. And believing in your heart that He has raised from the dead. And you will have eternal life. Because with the heart we believe unto righteousness. And with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Rom.10:9,10
See you there or in the air!
This message can also be heard at: Rumble
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