The good shepherd - by Jeff Byerley

The Study - John 9:35-10:21 Jesus the Good Shepherd.

9:35-41 Revelation of God's True Shepherd.

The healed blind man had been excommunicated.
Jesus sought him out and revealed to him as the Son of God (Dan.7;13).
We noted that when a witness suffers, Jesus gives greater revelation of Himself.
This man had testified of Jesus' goodness when he had not actually seen him.
So it is true for us also, though we do see Jesus through the eye of faith.

39 Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world,
that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.”

Jesus was not only referring to physical blindness but spiritual blindness.
Jesus warned the Pharisees who believed they saw everything perfectly.
Their pride and failure to see who Jesus was, would make them blind indeed (see v.41).
Jesus is God's touchstone; to reject him is to bring judgment upon oneself.

10.1-21 True Shepherd, Door to God, Unity and Abundant Life.

Throughout Jesus described himself as the Good Shepherd (Cf Psalm 23).
The analogy he describes is of course true of shepherds of that day.
A good shepherd cared, guided and protected the sheep.
The true shepherd would risk his life for the sheep (Cf David in 1 Sam.17:34-36).
The shepherd's rod was more of a crook for directing the sheep.
His staff was a short defensive club with a lumpy end that often had nails.
Shepherds with their slings were often sent in to disperse marauding lions.

V.7-9 Jesus described himself as the door of the sheep pen.  (Cf Eph 2:18, Heb 2:20).
In the country sheep were put in a walled enclosure at night.
The "door" was literally the shepherd himself who guarded the entrance.
In the towns there was a community sheep enclosure at night.
Only the gate keeper had a key to the locked door.

V.8 All who came before Jesus were thieves and robbers.
This refers to the risings of insurrectionists and zealots.
They claimed to be saviors but were only after their own glory.

V.16 "And I have other sheep, not of this fold;
I will bring them also, and they will heed my voice.
So there will be one flock, one shepherd."
Clearly this heralds the calling of the Gentiles.

V.17-18 Jesus has the power to lay down his life for the sheep.
He also has power to take it up again from the tomb.
He laid down his life willingly for our sake.
His resurrection proves all he claimed was true.
Because Jesus rose, so will we also.

V.19-21 Blindness divides the Pharisees.

21 Others said, “These are not the sayings of one who has a demon.
Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?

This was the argument of the healed blind man yet he was cast out for it!

Food for thought that our eyes may be made wide open!