March 9, 2014
In our last study we saw that Jesus spoke a parable to the unbelieving Pharisees about a shepherd and his sheep. The shepherd comes to the door to lead his sheep away, and, because he is legitimate, the porter opens the door for him. But there are others who want to steal the sheep and abuse them and kill them. The porter won
t open to them so they have to climb over a wall to get to the sheep. The sheep willingly follow their shepherd because they know his voice and they know he is good, but they won
t follow the thieves and robbers because they don
t trust them. They are afraid of strangers. Now, all the things in this parable (or allegory) have meanings that the unbelieving Pharisees don
t understand. Now we come to verse seven where Jesus begins to explain it to them:
Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.
All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.
The first thing Jesus does is show that He is the door of the sheep. The door is the point of passage to and from the green pasture. We
ll talk more about that in a minute, but for now we should focus on the fact that others have already come and tried to convince the sheep to follow but the sheep wouldn
t listen. Who could those people be? Remember we
ve already said that there are men who want to lead God
s flock, but they have no legitimate right to do so. These Pharisees are included in this group so they are thieves and robbers. But this was a problem for Israel all throughout its history. In Jeremiah 23 we read:
Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the L
Therefore thus saith the L
God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the L
And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.
And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the L
Behold, the days come, saith the L
, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.
In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE L