I want to continue the story about the Door and the Shepherd in this post. We’ve been busy in John 10, and today I want to look at verse 10 specifically.
“The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).” John 10:10
In this verse Jesus clearly sets himself apart from stealing, killing and destroying. This is such an important part of His character that we need to grasp and solidify in our hearts. We must know the heart of God towards His flock. Jesus also refers to Himself as the good shepherd in the next verse (John 10:11). There are a few more verses in the Bible regarding God’s flock and His heart towards them:
“The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, guide, and shield me], I shall not lack. He makes me lie down in [fresh, tender] green pastures; He leads me beside the still and restful waters.” Ps 23:1-2
“I will feed them with good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be; there shall they lie down in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel.” Ezekiel 34:14
“And I will make them and the places round about My hill a blessing, and I will cause the showers to come down in their season; there shall be showers of blessing [of good insured by Gods favor].” Ezekiel 34:26
As God’s sheep we can expect life in abundance – so much life that it overflows! We can expect provision, rest and peace in God. We can expect goodness and showers of blessings and favor. I don’t see any reflection of a bad shepherd in the verses above – just amazing kindness and goodness.
In the previous post I spoke about Jesus being the only door through which preachers should approach their church. In this same chapter (John 10), Jesus refers to Himself both as the Door, and the Shepherd (John 10:11). This means we are part of His flock. We belong to Him, not a specific denomination. He is the only truly committed Shepherd and we are under His protection. He has fully dedicated himself to us – He does not flee when danger approaches. He defended us even to the point of laying down His own life. No other earthly shepherd can compare with Him.
The verses I want to focus on is 3 and 5:
“The watchman opens the door for this man, and the sheep listen to his voice and heed it; and he calls his own sheep by name and brings (leads) them out.” John 10:3
“They will never [on any account] follow a stranger, but will run away from him because they do not know the voice of strangers or recognize their call.” John 10:5
We have a built-in voice recognition system which only responds to the voice of Jesus. It is only His voice that will resound in our hearts – any other voice will be of an intruder. This means I don’t have to fear succombing to a lie or being mislead by any other doctrine. As part of Jesus’ flock I will know the true voice of Truth, the voice which confirms every good thing I have heard about the work of the cross and testifies about the love of God.
I am safe and secure.
We are told quite a few incredible things in John 10. It communicates basic principles about churches today, and what we need to keep in mind about them. The first verse reads as follows:
“I ASSURE you, most solemnly I tell you, he who does not enter by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up some other way (elsewhere, from some other quarter) is a thief and a robber.” John 10:1
Later on in the chapter Jesus refers to Himself as the Door, so I want to use that declaration when explaining verse 1:
“So Jesus said again, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that I Myself am the Door for the sheep.” John 10:7
I want to apply these two verses to churches today. If a preacher approaches his flock from any angle other than Jesus (and what He accomplished/represents), he is a thief and a robber. That means any teaching that does not reflect Jesus and what He has accomplished is false. That means you cannot read a verse from the Old Testament without first putting it into context with the death and resurrection of Jesus.
Jesus came to change a whole bunch of things – we simply cannot exclude what He has done from any teaching. That is also why Paul said the following:
“For I resolved to know nothing (to be acquainted with nothing, to make a display of the knowledge of nothing, and to be conscious of nothing) among you except Jesus Christ (the Messiah) and Him crucified.” 1 Cor 2:2