I Am the Good Shepherd:
(Read John 10:1-30)
The tenth chapter of John's Gospel begins with a warning. Jesus says he is the promised shepherd (Zech 13:7-9). The imagery of sheep and shepherd was familiar to Israel. Jesus warned Jews about false shepherds. They are thieves and robbers. They abandon and abuse the sheep. They are greedy and illegitimate leaders. They claim revelation from God but do not give any evidence of it. They are trying to lead people while avoiding the door. True leader enters by the door. In this chapter Jesus claimed that He is the door and the good shepherd. He saw the people like sheep, fainted and scattered abroad and without shepherd (Matt 9:36). Sheep usually get lost and prone to follow strangers. Without shepherd they are in danger. Shepherding is hard work. Shepherds have unique relationship with the sheep. When sheep enters the sheepfold he would hold a rode low at the entrance and allow the sheep to pass under the rode. He makes sure whether the sheep needs attention or not. In fact Jesus is the only door into the sheepfold (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). Those who enter by Him will be saved. David said "The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want" (Psalms 23:1). Jacob knew the Lord as the one who has been his shepherd all his life (Gen 48: 15). Jesus said, "I am the Good shepherd who gives his life for the sheep". What a glorious act of love! He died to take away our sin. Christ gave His life as a voluntary act of sacrifice. He has the power to lay it down and take it back. He enters the sheepfold by the authorized gate. He came to do the will of the Father. He knows his sheep by their name (10:14). Good shepherd goes ahead of his sheep and leads them to pastures. His fold includes both Jews and Gentiles. Jesus warned Jews that their religious leaders are hired shepherds. They have no love for the sheep and run away in danger. But Jews did not believe Christ because they were not His sheep. But His sheep hear His voice; He knows them and they follow Him. Jesus said "I will give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father who has given them is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one” (10:27-30).
Jesus gives Eternal Life:
(Read John 10:31-42)
This passage explains believer's eternal security and assurance of salvation. Eternal security is based on the finished work of Christ on the cross. Salvation is always by grace and not by works (Ephesians 2:8-10). Man does not initiate salvation. It is not man reaching out to God but God reaching out to man (Rom 5:6-8). Also salvation is not an afterthought of God. It was His eternal plan (1 Pet 1:18-20; 2 Tim 1:9). Eternal security is not assurance of salvation. Someone has said, “Security is God-ward and assurance is man- ward. God promised to give eternal life (10:28-3). Assurance is the confident realization that we have eternal life. Sheep hears the voice of shepherd and follow him Living in obedience to Christ gives assurance of salvation (10:27). Once a person is saved, he is saved forever. No one can snatch believers from Jesus' hand or from the Father (10:28). Why? Because Jesus and the Father are one (10:30). God the Father and God the Son are in agreement in believer's eternal security. Jesus held them secure by the grip of his grace. Jesus Claiming equality with the Father angered the Jews. They picked up stones to stone Jesus. They failed to recognize Jesus as their Messiah. He challenged them by saying, "For which of my good works are you stoning me”? They said "You have made yourself equal with God”. Christ asked them to consider His works and believe on Him. They sought to arrest him, but Jesus escaped from their hands. Yet many believed in him. Do you know Jesus as your Lord and savior? Do you have the assurance of salvation? Do you acknowledge him as your God and Savior?