Summary: Textual lesson from Matthew 10:1-18
Living On the Outskirts
Your Place Within the Sheepfold
Nathan Fritz – Milwaukee Avenue – Lubbock, TX
Scripture: John 10:1-18
Normally, when we think of parables, we start turning to Mt.; Mk, or Lk. Because these contain the biggest part of the parables. But It’s to the book of Jn. We want to turn our attention.
A) Each of the Gospels’ record parables Jesus told, wherein He compares Himself to “The Shepard” and His followers to “Sheep”.
B) But it’s only in Jn 10 that we read these 2 words so many times w/in one context… the word “Sheep” 15 times; the word “Shepard” 6 times, between v.1-18.
2) More than anything, what that alerts us to… is the fact that Jesus had something to say about Himself, as well as us.
Lets read the text: READ – Jn 10:1-18.
3) Notice v. 6, The text says, they didn’t understand what Jesus was talking about.
A) Why? Were they “unintelligent”, Did they not have enough experience w/ shepherding and sheep that the story could not be related to?
1) no, I suggest, they did not understand because they failed to make the connection of what Jesus was saying w/ themselves!
2) It may be the same problem we sometimes have, if we are not careful.
B) But we see @ v.19 . That some did understand by the time Jesus finished His discourse to them, Because it says, “there was a division again among the Jews because of these sayings. And many of them said, “He has a demon, and is mad. Why do you listen to Him?,’ others said, “these are not the words of one who has a demon, Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?’ (referring back to Ch.9 & the miracle of healing the blind man).
4) The obvious points can be seen in the parable.
A) Jesus is the Shepherd of v.1 & 11, the door, of v. 7,
B) The Sheepfold of v. 1; that beyond the door, in v 9 - represents the safety of the kingdom.
B) Those who believe & obey His teachings are His sheep…
C) & the point they were having difficulty w/ was the thief of v.1
1) the Door keep of v. 3;
2) The Stranger of v. 5;
3) The Hireling of v. 13… Who would have been the Majority of Religious Leaders of the day. As proven by 9:41, “If you were blind you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see’ Therefore your sin remains.”
Jesus says if they had recognized their blindness, the would have been willing to listen to him… but since they were to proud to see themselves as they were, they would remain in their sins, unwilling to listen.
D) One of the lessons that surface in ch. 10 is the undeniable problem of the leaders of Jesus day… & that is, they could not be told anything!
1) As a result, they could not fully see the way to have proper relations w/ God and those around them.
2) Therefore they found themselves fighting against God rather than for Him, they became as those described in our context, …who harm the sheep rather than help.
I) The Threat of Death
A) Noticing the parables again we see the “one who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs us some other way, the same is a thief & a robber.”
1) Regardless of who is uses to do this “dirty work”, @ the root of it all, Satan can be found.
B) The sheepfold was a permanent place w/ built walls, it would only have one opening where a tender (or protector) would guard the sheep and know of anything coming or going.
1) In the parable, the sheepfold is the kingdom, And yet, we see the possibility of Satan (or one of his servants) infiltrating the sheepfold, and doing damage to the sheep.
2) in v. 10 we see that possibility more clearly, “The thief does not come except to steal, & kill, and to destroy…”
3) & In vs. 11-13, we see the possibility of an attack being made upon the sheep as one watches them, to whom they do not belong.
C) The point is simply to say, the sheep are under attack! They are in constant danger & can be taken by thieves, attacked by predators, and left by hired servants.
1) Sheep are not stupid… they are simply unarmed by any natural means.
a) A snake can bite, a lion can attack, a porcupine can shoot it’s quills… But a sheep has no natural protection. It is dependent upon its protector, & the means the protector can provide!
2) Jesus points out, Even His sheep, (w/ all that He provides as a protector)…