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Joh 10:1-21. THE GOOD SHEPHERD.
This discourse seems plainly to be a continuation of the closing verses of the ninth chapter. The figure was familiar to the Jewish ear (from Jer 23:1-40; Eze 34:1-31; Zec 11:1-17, &c.). "This simple creature [the sheep] has this special note among all animals, that it quickly hears the voice of the shepherd, follows no one else, depends entirely on him, and seeks help from him alone--cannot help itself, but is shut up to another's aid" [LUTHER in STIER].
1, 2. He that entereth not by the door--the legitimate way (without
saying what that was, as yet).
2. he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep--a true, divinely recognized shepherd.
3. To him the porter openeth--that is, right of free access is
given, by order of Him to whom the sheep belong; for it is better not to
give the allusion a more specific interpretation [CALVIN,
8. All that ever came before me--the false prophets; not as claiming
the prerogatives of Messiah, but as perverters of the people from the
way of life, all pointing to Him [OLSHAUSEN].
9. by me if any man enter in--whether shepherd or sheep.
10. I am come that they might have life, and . . . more abundantly--not merely to preserve but impart LIFE, and communicate it in rich and unfailing exuberance. What a claim! Yet it is only an echo of all His teaching; and He who uttered these and like words must be either a blasphemer, all worthy of the death He died, or "God with us"--there can be no middle course.
11. I am the good shepherd--emphatically, and, in the sense intended,
Eze 34:23; 37:24;
12. an hireling . . . whose own the sheep are not--who
has no property, in them. By this He points to His own peculiar
relation to the sheep, the same as His Father's, the great Proprietor
and Lord of the flock, who styles Him "My Shepherd, the Man that is
and though faithful under-shepherds are so in their Master's interest,
that they feel a measure of His own concern for their charge, the
language is strictly applicable only to "the Son over His own house"
14. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep--in the peculiar sense
15-18. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father--What
claim to absolute equality with the Father could exceed this? (See on
16. other sheep I have . . . not of this fold: them also I must
bring--He means the perishing Gentiles, already His "sheep" in the love of
His heart and the purpose of His grace to "bring them" in due time.
17. Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life,
&c.--As the highest act of the Son's love to the Father was the laying
down of His life for the sheep at His "commandment," so the Father's
love to Him as His incarnate Son reaches its consummation, and finds
its highest justification, in that sublimest and most affecting of all
18. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down myself: I have power to
lay it down, and I have power to take it again--It is impossible for
language more plainly and emphatically to express the
absolute voluntariness of Christ's death, such a voluntariness as it
would be manifest presumption in any mere creature to affirm of his
own death. It is beyond all doubt the language of One who was conscious
that His life was His own (which no creature's is), and therefore
His to surrender or retain at will. Here lay the glory of His
sacrifice, that it was purely voluntary. The claim of "power to take
it again" is no less important, as showing that His resurrection, though
ascribed to the Father, in the sense we shall presently see, was
nevertheless His own assertion of His own right to life as soon as
the purposes of His voluntary death were accomplished.
19-21. There was a division . . . again among the Jews for these sayings--the light and the darkness revealing themselves with increasing clearness in the separation of the teachable from the obstinately prejudiced. The one saw in Him only "a devil and a madman"; the other revolted at the thought that such words could come from one possessed, and sight be given to the blind by a demoniac; showing clearly that a deeper impression had been made upon them than their words expressed.
Joh 10:22-42. DISCOURSE AT THE FEAST OF DEDICATION--FROM THE FURY OF HIS ENEMIES JESUS ESCAPES BEYOND JORDAN, WHERE MANY BELIEVE ON HIM.
22, 23. it was . . . the feast of the dedication--celebrated rather
more than two months after the feast of tabernacles, during which
intermediate period our Lord seems to have remained in the neighborhood
of Jerusalem. It was instituted by Jude Maccabeus, to commemorate the
purification of the temple from the profanations to which it had been
subjected by Antiochus Epiphanes 165 B.C., and kept for eight days, from
the twenty-fifth Chisleu (December), the day on which Judas began the
first joyous celebration of it (1 Maccabees 4:52,56,59; and
JOSEPHUS, Antiquities, 7.7.7).
24. Then came the Jews--the rulers. (See on
25, 26. Jesus answered them, I told you--that is, in substance, what I am (for example Joh 7:37, 38; 8:12, 35, 36, 58).
29. My Father, which gave them me--(See on
30. I and my Father are one--Our language admits not of the precision of the original in this great saying. "Are" is in the masculine gender--"we (two persons) are"; while "one" is neuter--"one thing." Perhaps "one interest" expresses, as nearly as may be, the purport of the saying. There seemed to be some contradiction between His saying they had been given by His Father into His own hands, out of which they could not be plucked, and then saying that none could pluck them out of His Father's hands, as if they had not been given out of them. "Neither have they," says He; "though He has given them to Me, they are as much in His own almighty hands as ever--they cannot be, and when given to Me they are not, given away from Himself; for HE AND I HAVE ALL IN COMMON." Thus it will be seen, that, though oneness of essence is not the precise thing here affirmed, that truth is the basis of what is affirmed, without which it would not be true. And AUGUSTINE was right in saying the "We are" condemns the Sabellians (who denied the distinction of Persons in the GOTO NEXT CHAPTER - D. J-F-B INDEX & SEARCH