The Good Shepherd

Jesus announced that he is the Good Shepherd. He describes how the Good Shepherd would die for the sheep because of the love He has for them, in contrast to the hired hand that would flee because he does not care about the sheep. “The hired man looks like a shepherd and sometimes even acts like a shepherd. But in times of danger, he cannot be relied upon. There is no protection or security for God’s flock apart from the protective presence of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, who loves the sheep.” 1 Jesus is the Good Shepherd that loves and cares for us. He came so people could have life more abundantly, by giving them a hope and a future because of the eternal life that can only come through Him.

John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.

J. Carl Laney, Moody Gospel John commentary (Chicago: Moody Press, 1992), 190.

Door of the Sheep

John 10:1-9 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber. “But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. “To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. “When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. “A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” This figure of speech Jesus spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things were which He had been saying to them. So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. “I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.

 

A ‘sheepfold’ is a walled enclosure where the sheep are put at night for protection. It was not uncommon for many shepherds to share a sheepfold. By doing this, their sheep would get mixed with other shepherds’ sheep. In the morning, the shepherd would walk through the only door of the sheepfold to call his sheep. Sheep knows their masters voice and they will follow only him. “Jesus gives this figure of speech to teach the people how this sheepfold represents Israel. “He will lead His sheep out of Judaism (the sheepfold) out from under a legalistic system.”1 He will call out to His sheep and they will hear Him and follow Him through the door. Jesus claims to be the door, declaring that ‘the sheep’ has to go through him to be saved. This is a build up to show the people that he is the Good Shepherd who enters through the door and calls His own sheep by name.

Again, we see here that we have to go through Jesus to be saved.

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

1. J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible Vol 4 (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1981), 431.

Light of the World

“The Feast of Tabernacles was over, but the memories of the celebration were fresh. In the court of the women in the Temple were four golden candelabra 1 that were lit in the evening during the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkah 5.2). It was said there was not a courtyard in Jerusalem that did not reflect the light (Sukkah 5.3).”2 With this image of the Shekinah glory still in the minds of Jews, Jesus walks into the temple and makes the statement in John 8:12, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”

The Pharisees did not like what Jesus had to say. He was testifying about Himself without the typical two or three witness that was needed in the Jewish court of law (Duet 19:15). Again, Jesus claims to come down from heaven and to have a special relationship with the Father. Jesus claimed equality with God the Father when He said, “His Father sent Him, and if anyone knows My Father, he would know Me.” If anyone follows Him, they will not walk in spiritual darkness, but will have the one who brings eternal life.

Jesus is the bright light in this dark world that brings eternal life to those who believe in him.

Acts 16:31 (nasb) They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

1. According to the Talmud, these candlesticks were 50 cubits (75 feet) high.

2. J. Carl Laney, Moody Gospel John Commentary (Chicago: Moody Press, 1992), 158.

Bread of Life

After the feeding of the five thousand (John 6), the crowds were going to try to make Jesus their king (v. 15). Jesus withdrew to a mountain and the disciples headed toward Capernaum. Jesus went to the boat later that night walking on the water (v. 19). Once in Capernaum, the crowd that followed was there at the feeding of the five thousand; they were seeking Jesus for more physical food. Jesus tells them that they should be seeking the spiritual food that comes down from God and gives eternal life. The crowd also wanted to know what kind of work they were supposes to do to get eternal life. “Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.’ (v. 29)” The only work they had to do was believe.

The crowds begin to boast how their fathers ate the manna the Moses provided. Jesus corrects them by reminding them that His Father was the one who provided the manna (v. 32). The true bread is the bread that comes down from heaven. Jesus now makes his first “I am” statement in John 6:35. He calls himself the “bread of life” who came down from heaven to do the Father’s will. Jesus said in verse forty, “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” The Jews grumbled about this statement because Jesus was claiming to come down from heaven. Also, Jesus was clearly claiming to have a unique relationship with God and claiming to have attributes of God by raising people up on the last day (v. 40).

The only access to God is through believing in Jesus and by doing this you will receive eternal life. Christ is the spiritual food that nourishes the soul like regular food is for the physical body. Jesus is the only bread that can satisfy your soul. Whenever you try to satisfy your soul with anything except Christ, it will leave you feeling empty and unsatisfied.