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Good Shepherd - John 10:7-10
Lesson # Good Shepherd - John 10:7-10
Study Material - Good Shepherd - John 10:7-10
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Good Shepherd John 10:7-10 7 Then [oun] said [epo] Jesus [Iesous] unto them [autos] again [palin] , Verily [amen] , verily [amen] , I say [lego] unto you [humin] , [hoti] I [ego] am [eimi] the door [thura] of the sheep [probaton] . 8 All [pas] that ever [hosos] came [erchomai] before [pro] me [emou] are [eisi] thieves [kleptes] and [kai] robbers [lestes] : but [alla] the sheep [probaton] did [akouo] not [ou] hear [akouo] them [autos] . 9 I [ego] am [eimi] the door [thura] : by [dia] me [emou] if [ean] any man [tis] enter in [eiserchomai] , he shall be saved [sozo] , and [kai] shall go in [eiserchomai] and [kai] out [exerchomai] , and [kai] find [heurisko] pasture [nome] . 10 The thief [kleptes] cometh [erchomai] not [ou] , but [ei me] for to [hina] steal [klepto] , and [kai] to kill [thuo] , and [kai] to destroy [apollumi] : I [ego] am come [erchomai] that [hina] they might have [echo] life [zoe] , and [kai] that they might have [echo] it more abundantly [perissos] . KJV-Interlinear 7 Jesus therefore said to them again, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 'All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 'I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. 10 'The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly. NASB
The parable refers to true and false teachers, leaders of the people, and to just and unjust claims intended to be conferred upon the sheep (people) of Gods pasture, safe and sure access to God which they imply, and all proposed privileges of the spiritual life, or life in general. These would be leaders (false ones) of people can be identified by the pattern of life they live and demonstrate - their thoughts, motives, words, and actions as compared to the standards of the Word of God.
We have already studied the four great, and false (I might add), religions of human history. Hinduism, which is the oldest, followed by Buddhism, then Judaism which evolved from the superimposition of man made regulations upon the scriptures, and finally Islam, possibly the most evil of the four. Islam began with the scriptures recognizing God, but rejects Jesus Christ and substitutes an alternate prophet, along with an endless list of alternate sets of moral rules for mans day to day conduct. Promoting violence and class distinctions, it imposes extreme hardship and cruelty on those who are caught up in its philosophy.
Now Jesus is addressing the Pharisees who happen to be present at the moment. He clarifies just who is the true shepherd, and by what means access to God is granted.
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. NASB
6 Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me. 7 'If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.' NASB
Since time began, there has been only one God. There has been only three personalities (the Father, the Son, and the Spirit). All three are used to teach us the plan of God and how access to Him may be obtained.
Jesus Christ is the living Word. The scriptures are the written Word. They are one and the same. They have been around since eternity past. They have never changed, and never will.
Jesus declares that He is the door, the only door, the only legitimate door to the deity of God the Father. Access into the sheep (the fold) is through Him and Him alone. There is no other means of getting into the exclusive club (if you will) of this sheep fold. One cannot invent an alternate religion (all religions are invented by man). One cannot invent an alternate spiritual life (all human systems of philosophy recognizing God in some compromised form from the Bible, or rejecting God, are false systems of thought).
The Word of God (Logos), both written and living, Jesus Christ, is the Angel of the covenant, the Rock in the wilderness, the great High Priest, the propitiatory Sacrifice, the Prophet, the King. He is the one and only method, agency, reality, by which both shepherds (those who would teach legitimately), and sheep (all believers in Christ), can gain access to God, and the spiritual life.
All who come, or have come in the past, in their own strength or wisdom, and would be or would make themselves 'doors' to truth, or to God, or to the answers that people seek, are in effect thieves, liars, and robbers. They pursue approbation, they pursue riches obtained through illegitimate and deceitful means, they pursue power or leadership roles where they are neither qualified nor have any concern for those over whom they would lead. The masses are merely pawns to be taken advantage of in the eyes of the false or illegitimate leaders.
Now note what Jesus states here. These would be doors, or false prophets, are ultimately unsuccessful in deceiving those who will ultimately become saved. True sheep, anyone who will believe in Christ, are not and will not be fooled by the false teachers. If a person is going to believe in Christ, then he will regardless of the environment, regardless of the miserable environment in which he lives.
Those who live inside the darkest portions of Africa, those who live in the most evil of communist philosophies, those who are subjected to the most severe or social settings, if they are positive toward God, then God will either bring them out of their predicament so that they will hear the gospel, or God will bring the gospel to them in some fashion.
Throughout history, God has brought people out of their misery into blessing in many ways. For example, a war can drive people to refugee camps where they might meet missionaries and thus hear the gospel and be saved. People can be captured and sold into slavery, and be brought out of their old homes across the world and thus hear the gospel. Though life throws many miseries at people, God can overcome all human circumstances and bring the gospel to them or them to the gospel. Thus a bad thing can be turned into something good. 'All things work together for good.' The world, no nation, no government, no philosophy, can prevent the Word of God from getting to those who would be positive.
The teaching of the Pharisees did not prevail over those who would be saved. The blind man of the preceding chapter is but one example. Why was he blind? To glorify God. Why does so much disaster befall people throughout history? To glorify God.
Man and the world would take advantage of and even destroy itself, but God is able to rise above mans ineptness and work good in the face of evil.
Once saved, and while maintaining a positive attitude toward God and doctrine, then sheep (believers) can 'come and go' as it were, within the sphere of their own private spiritual life. Man may be able to rape, and pillage, and kill the body, but the soul which is the real you, is beyond the reach of the human realm.
He who would be a thief is a thief of souls. The thief's pretension is just that - pretense. It is based on no inward or eternal reality. It is divorced from truth and bears no facts which might support it. He comes for no other reason than to make the sheep his victims, to sacrifice their better good for his own selfish ends, to use them for his own self centered purposes.
When their usefulness no longer exists, then they are merely discarded. The false leader, the false philosophy and those who subscribe to it, willingly sacrifice the opportunities of their victims in order to secure their own positions, wants, and desires in life.
God on the other hand, comes to give abundantly, and abundantly here means, to make more available than could ever possibly be used. He gives from overflowing stores, Titus 3:6. God does not come to take, but to give.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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