Summary: Message 21 from our journey through John's gospel. The focus of this message is on Jesus as the Good Shepherd.
Chico Alliance Church
Pastor David Welch
“The Only Door and Good Shepherd”
I. FALSE SHEPHERDS
Jesus describes the false shepherds by their character, actions, and motivations.
• They are thieves and robbers 1,8
"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber.
"All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them.
In the context of this passage Jesus most likely has the Pharisees in mind here as the false shepherds. He often exposed the evil character and wicked motives of the Pharisees of the day. Here he calls them thieves and robbers because they continually took from the people.
Jesus uses the present tense “are” in verse 8 and indicates that they were there before Him.
• They are strangers to the sheep
He also calls them strangers to the sheep in verse 5 because they had no real personal relationship with the sheep.
"And a stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers."
• They have no concern for the sheep
In fact in verse 13 they had no real concern about sheep at all.
"He flees because he is a hireling, and is not concerned about the sheep.
The Pharisees demonstrate the callous regard for the flock over and over again.
Woman caught in adultery -- Man lame for 38 years -- Just recently the blind man who they cast out of the synagogue
• They were only hired hands
The reason they had no concern is because they had no ownership or sense of personal responsibility but only saw their relationship to the sheep as a job and opportunity for personal gain. When their personal profit and comfort became threatened they took a hike.
• Didn’t enter by the door but tried to come by other means
On the one hand, these false shepherds had no intention of entering through the God-ordained door. On the other hand they advocated entrance to the fold by other ways other than Jesus.
Even though the Pharisees knew the prophecies about the coming Shepherd, they refused to recognize Jesus as the fulfillment of that prophecy and thus steered people away from the only entrance. Enter the fold by some religious rite or act. Today, false shepherds are no different advocating eternal life comes through any other means but genuine trust and obedience to the true shepherd.
Motivation vs 10
• They had self-centered motives
As opposed the admirable motives of the good shepherd, the ultimate motive of these false shepherds is destruction.
"The thief comes only to steal, and kill (sacrifice), and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly.
Paul warned Timothy of such false shepherds. 2 Tim. 3:1-9
False shepherds today are no different in their motives. There is no shortage of people out to fleece the flock for their own ends. In contrast to the false shepherds who do not lead through the authorized door to the fold and have no personal relationship to the sheep or even care about them, Jesus reveals Himself as the good shepherd and only door to the sheep.
II. THE ONLY DOOR AND GOOD SHEPHERD
Jesus came as the fulfillment of all the Good Shepherd promises in the Old Testament.
• Jesus is the only door to the heavenly fold
Jesus first claims to be not just the shepherd but also the very door to the fold.
Jesus therefore said to them again, "Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. "All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. "I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. John 10:7-9
As I mentioned before, one single analogy cannot fully express the full dimensions of Christ’s relationship with his people. Here, he clearly explains that he alone is the one and only door to the safety and magnificence of the heavenly fold. Later (John 14)Jesus will claim to be the way, the truth and the life.
• Jesus lovingly names all his sheep vs 3
"To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name,
Names are important to us. When someone remembers our name we get the feeling they are truly interested in us. God often renames people at significant life changes. One day we will all get a new name given especially by Jesus.
• Jesus gently leads his sheep vs 3