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Email: WoodyOliver@dtgrev.org

19 April 2021

John 10 - Part II

The Good Shepherd


Characteristics of sheep: ‘Foolish/dumb/irrational’ - A person can know little and still have common sense. Not a sheep: it will see that it cannot cross a swift stream, and jump in anyway; ‘Slow to learn’ - encounter a painful lesson, then do the same thing again and again; ‘Always hungry’ - not satisfied very long; ‘Stubborn’; ‘Strong’; ‘Lost or Straying’; ‘Unpredictable’; ‘Copycats’ - if one runs, they all run; ‘Restless’; ‘Dependent’ - need close supervision; ‘Fearful” - in order for a sheep to rest, it must be totally without fear. Seeing the characteristics of sheep, it requires great patience to bring them to a place of comfort and rest. One big difference between sheep and goats - a sheep only wants to feed on grass, while a goat will eat anything edible that it can reach.

Job 12:7: But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach you; and the fowls of the air, and they will tell you: Indeed, mother nature is an excellent teacher. We just need to look at the characteristics of the animals to see the attributes of mankind.

John 10:14-15: 14. I am the good (g2570) shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. 15. As the Father knows me, even so I know the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. The proper meaning of the Greek word, kalos (g2570), is beautiful, and figurative of good, genuine, excellent in character. Jesus proved his character when he lay down his life. Have you ever considered that the Father lay down His life for humanity? Looking at these two verses together implies that the Father, in a figure, lay down His life also. 2Corinthians 5:19: To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself...

John 10:17-18: 17. Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take (g2983) it again. 18. No man takes (g142) it from me, but I lay it down [from] myself. I have power (g1849) to lay it down, and I have power (g1849) to take (g2983) it again. This commandment have I received (g2983) [from] my Father. Those who teach the Trinity doctrine use these verses to prove that Jesus resurrected himself from the dead, and ignore the 22 verses that prove their interpretation to be wrong; additionally, they have Jesus receiving a command from himself. Here is the definition of three of the words in these verses:
Power (exousia g1849): power of choice, permission, doing as one pleases; from g1832 in the sense of ability.
Take (airo g142): properly to life, raise, take away (simple, nothing implied).
Take (lambano g2983): To take or receive (by self-prompting). (cf Matthew 10:41, where dechomai g1209 is to take deliberately)
Jesus said that he was given all authority (Matthew 28:8) in heaven and earth. He was given the authority to choose whether or not he would follow the Father’s will and go to the cross. He was prompted to do the Father’s will and receive spiritual life by learning through his human experience, and physical life being resurrected by the Father (Galatians 1:1).

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. “This fold” = Jewish church; “other sheep” = Gentiles. Jesus encountered Gentile believers during his ministry. However, the gospel was not seriously distributed to the Gentiles until was called Saul of Tarsus. Ephesians 2:11-14: 11. Wherefore remember, that once ye, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called Circumcision, in the flesh, made by hands; 12. that ye were at that time separate from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of the promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13. But now in Christ Jesus ye that once were far off are made nigh in the blood of Christ. 14. For he is our peace, who made both one, and brake down the middle wall of partition, 15. having abolished in the flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; that he might create in himself of the two one new man, so making peace; 16. and might reconcile them both in one body unto God through the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: (ASV)

John 10:19-21: 19. There was a division therefore again among the Jews for these sayings. 20. And many of them said, He hath a [demon], and is mad; why hear ye him? 21. Others said, These are not the words of him that has a [demon]. Can a [demon] open the eyes of the blind? Here it can be ascertained that the first 21 verses of this chapter really belong to chapter 9. In verse 9 it says that the people were not understanding the parable, and it is here noted that there was a division. While none understood, some were considering that there must be something good revealed by the parable because of the good deed of opening the eyes of the blind, which the church leaders (Pharisees) could not deny, but would not accept the teachings of Jesus. We should always share our faith and never judge what a person will do with what they hear. It may appear to be hopeless, but another may water the seed you planted and it be enough to convict them of the truth.

Ezekiel 34:14: I will feed them with good pasture; and upon the mountains of the height of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie down in a good fold; and on fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel. One of the characteristics of a sheep, mentioned above, is that before a sheep will rest, it must be totally without fear. To be totally without fear is the only way we will ever be able to rest in Christ or to lay down our lives for the sheep of God’s pasture. Psalms 23:2, 4: 2. He makes me to lie down in green pastures... 4. Yea, tho I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for you are with me ... 1John 4:18: There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear hath torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love. Amen.

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