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John 10:1-6

John 10:1-6

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Published by John Shearhart
Christ is the Shepherd who leads His sheep safely to pasture.
Christ is the Shepherd who leads His sheep safely to pasture.

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Published by: John Shearhart on Mar 03, 2014
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03/03/2014

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John 10:1-6
 March 2, 2014
UNFORTUNATELY THERE IS NO AUDIO RECORDING FOR THIS SERMON.
 John 10 can’t be separated from John 9. Jesus healed a blind man and many
people believed on Him as the Messiah. But the healing took place on a Sabbath so there were plenty of others who rejected Him and wanted to prosecute Him. They drove the healed man out of the synagogue because he admitted that Jesus was from God:
 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found  him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God?
36
 He answered and  said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him?
37 
 And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee.
38
 And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.
39
 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be  made blind.
40
 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?
41
 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye  should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth
 (Jn. 9:35-41). Now we continue with the rest of that conversation.
If you skip down to verse six you’ll see that verses 1
-5 are a parable or an allegory.
There’s a flock of sheep kept behind a fence and they’re brought out through the
door by their shepherd so that they can graze in the pasture.
It’s good to remember
the 23
rd
 Psalm as we read through this. But there are also thieves and robbers who come to steal the sheep. T
hey don’t care about the sheep; they want to make a
profit.
This parable builds on what we’ve already seen in John. The Pharisees are
religionists. Th
ey love to say they’re from God (and that they’re legitimate
shepherds) but in reality they do the works of their father the devil.
But God’s flock isn’t in any danger from them at all as we shall see:
 
Verily, verily, I say unto you,
He uses the Hebrew
“amen, amen” to let them know this is serious and true.
They
don’t 
 believe He
s the Son of God or that they
re steeped in sin. They think they have everything necessary to please God, so Jesus is warning them:
 He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
 
 
Now, I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself here, but if we skip down to verse seven we see that Jesus says, “I am the door.” We’ll talk more abou
t that when we get there, but for now I want to focus on what it means that thieves and robbers come some way other than the door. Thieves and robbers see the door but
refuse to go through it because they won’t
enter legitimately. How does this relate to the people listening? Well, Christ is the door. The Pharisees claimed to lead the flock of Israel but they also reject Christ. They say they are guides to the blind yet they reject the door! They want to give the pasture that only God can give, but they want to give it their own way. And so
the thieves and robbers aren’t just some abstract group of people: He’s talking
about the Pharisees! Now, why would they be called thieves and robbers? The Greek word for thief (
κλέπτης
,
 kleptes
) doesn’t just mean someone who steals.
It means someone who is dishonest and someone who cheats.
1
 These men are dishonest. As Paul says in Romans, they suppress the truth in unrighteousness (Rom. 1:18). They brag about the Law but dishonor God so that His name is blasphemed among the Gentiles (Rom. 3:17-24). They are the false prophets who disguise themselves as sheep but really are vicious wolves (Mt. 7:15). When Jesus rose again they paid the guards to change their story. When they know the truth they shut their ears to it because they are dishonest. Now, why would anyone do something like that? The answer, I suppose, is simple:
 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
2
 And  many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
3
 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make  merchandise of you
 (II Pt. 2:1-3).
There’s profit to be made in false religion and there’s a lot of power in it, so
naturally, it attracts thieves. They are also robbers (
λῃστής
, lestes). Another word we use to translate this is
“pirate.”
2
 
Look down to verse ten: “
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy 
.”
 How are they pirates? How do they steal, kill, and destroy? Think about what Jesus says of them in Matthew 23:
They bind heavy burdens and
1
 http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/morph?l=klepths&la=greek#lexicon
2
 http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/morph?l=lhsths&la=greek#lexicon
 
grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders
(v. 4). And again,
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one  proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
 (v. 15). Their trade is destruction, confusion, and hypocrisy. Their goal is bondage and death. But what does Jesus say about Himself? About the Shepherd and the Door? My yoke is easy and my burden is light (Mt. 11:30). If the Son shall set you free, you are free indeed (Jn. 8:36).
One seeks the sheep’s well
-being while everyone else seeks to abuse them. Therefore, anyone who approaches the sheep any way but the door is a thief and robber.
2
 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
Of course, Christ identifies Himself as the Shepherd too. The thieves want to exploit the sheep, but the shepherd has their welfare in mind.
It’s fitting that Chris
t
would symbolize us and Himself this way since “
the L
ORD
 is my shepherd; I shall  not want.
2
 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the  still waters.
3
 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for
 his name’s sake.
 
4
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5
Thou  preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my  head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the L
ORD
 for ever 
” (Ps. 23)
. Therefore:
3
To him the porter openeth;
Without trying to
subjectively assign meaning to the symbols of this allegory, let’s
 just note one thing: the porter is a doorkeeper. His responsibility is to ensure that only the legitimate shepherd of the flock is allowed to approach and lead them out. This could be the Father (and I think it probably is), but the main point is that the Shepherd comes with proper authority. The thieves and robbers sneak over a wall to get to the sheep, but the true shepherd comes in full view and legally leads them away.
and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and  leadeth them out.

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