Calvary Road Baptist Church

“THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST: ITS METAPHORS (flock)”

 

Earl Radmacher wrote,

 

“The figure of the flock is one of the broadest in application of any of the figures used of the church. In the Old Testament, Israel is called ‘the Lord’s flock’ (Jer 13:17; cf. Zech 10:3). Jesus referred to his small circle of disciples as the ‘little flock’ (Luke 12:32). Again, the term is used of the church on several occasions (cf. Acts 20:28; 1 Pet 5:3). In addition to these are the repeated references to the sheep that compose the flock (cf. John 10:16; 21:15-17) and to the Shepherd of the flock (John 10:2-16; 1 Pet 2:25; 5:4; Heb 13:20). Although this figure is rich with potential for application, there are a few things that deserve special note, for this figure is used to speak of relationships within the church.” [1]

 

Except for his misunderstanding the church to mean everyone who is a Christian while I am convinced the church refers to a congregation, I concur with his comment above. Jeremiah 13.17 reads,

 

“But if ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride; and mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because the LORD’s flock is carried away captive.”

 

Next, Zechariah 10.3:

 

“Mine anger was kindled against the shepherds, and I punished the goats: for the LORD of hosts hath visited his flock the house of Judah, and hath made them as his goodly horse in the battle.”

 

Jeremiah writing at the beginning of the Babylonian captivity and Zechariah writing after the Babylonian captivity, we see in the words of both prophets that the house of Judah is identified as “the LORD’s flock” by Jeremiah and “the LORD of hosts hath visited his flock the house of Judah” by Zechariah.

Let us be careful to recognize that because the house of Judah is characterized as the LORD’s flock in the Old Testament, by use of a figure of speech, does not therefore mean that using the same figure of speech in the New Testament necessarily means that the same entity is being referred to in both testaments. I contend that the use of the flock metaphor in the Old Testament and in the New Testament speaks more to the kind of relationship the LORD exercises than it does to the actual identity of each flock referred to. This will become obvious as we proceed.

A challenging consideration arises when thought is given to the Lord Jesus Christ’s description of His men as the “little flock” in Luke 12.32. Of course, this takes place after the Lord Jesus Christ has called the twelve to be apostles, Luke 6.13. This leads me to conclude, since the Lord Jesus Christ founded the church during His earthly ministry, and since the first members of the church of Jesus Christ were the apostles,[2] that the phrase “little flock” is a fair representation of the church of Jesus Christ when it was comprised of but twelve men recently selected. Does the Lord Jesus Christ by His use of the word flock when He addressed His apostles mean that they are “the Lord’s flock” in the same sense as the house of Judah when so labeled by the prophets Jeremiah and Zechariah? Keep in mind that the church in Ephesus was identified as “the flock” by the Apostle Paul in Acts 20.28-29, though they were undoubtedly a mostly Gentile Christian congregation:

 

28    Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

29    For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

 

Consider as well the Apostle Peter’s uses of the term in First Peter 5.1-3:

 

1      The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:

2      Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

3      Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

 

How can Peter’s comments not be in reference to a particular congregation of Christians, since practical reality means that elders cannot feed all of Christianity, and because Peter refers to that “which is among you”? How can elders be examples to the flock if the flock is everywhere and not rather a local congregation? As well, how can elders take oversight over all who are Christians? No, this concept of the flock is meaningful only when referring to a congregation or congregations and not to all sheep everywhere. All sheep everywhere is not a flock in anyone’s thinking. Therefore, congregations are rightly understood to be flocks of God and a church is the flock of God.

The question, remember, is whether “the LORD’s flock” in Jeremiah and “his flock” in Zechariah, though using the same figure of speech is referring to the same thing in the New Testament. Is the house of Judah in the Hebrew scriptures the same entity as a New Testament church congregation? Granting that the same figure of speech is used with both, the notion of the flock, is the Old Testament usage and the New Testament usage of that figure of speech therefore necessarily a reference to the same entity? To help us answer the question I would like to compare and contrast the nation of Israel and the church of Jesus Christ:

 

The distinctions between Israel and the church.

 

J. Dwight Pentecost has summarized in his classic work Things To Come what Lewis Sperry Chafer set forth in his famous Systematic Theology, listing twenty-four contrasts between Israel and the church of Jesus Christ which show us conclusively that these two entities cannot be united into one, but that they must be distinguished as two separate entities with whom God is dealing in a special program. These contrasts may be outlined as follows:

(1)    The extent of Biblical revelation: Israel is dealt with in nearly four-fifths of the Bible; the church of Jesus Christ is dealt with in about one-fifth of the Bible.

(2)    The Divine purpose: Israel is the beneficiary of the earthly promises of the Abrahamic, the Palestinian, the Davidic, the New, and the Mosaic covenants; the church of Jesus Christ is the beneficiary of the heavenly promises in the gospel.

(3)    The seed of Abraham: With respect to Israel the seed of Abraham is his physical seed, of whom some become a spiritual seed; whereas with the church of Jesus Christ a spiritual seed is in view.

(4)    Birth: With respect to Israel a physical birth occurs that produces a blood kin relationship with those descendants of Abraham who are also in covenant with God; whereas with respect to the church of Jesus Christ a spiritual birth occurs that establishes a relationship with Christ as a precursor to church membership.

(5)    Headship: With Israel father Abraham is the patriarchal head of the covenant nation; in the church of Jesus Christ it is the Lord Jesus who is the head of the church.

(6)    Covenants: Israel is in covenant with God through the Abrahamic and all the subsequent covenants; the church of Jesus Christ is indirectly related to the Abrahamic and the New covenants.

(7)    Nationality: Israel is one nation; the church of Jesus Christ is comprised of members from all nations.

(8)    Divine dealing: Israel is dealt with by God on both a national and an individual basis; the church of Jesus Christ is dealt with by God on a congregational and an individual basis.

(9)    Dispensations: Israel is seen in scripture in all ages from the time of Abraham; the church of Jesus Christ is seen in scripture only in this present age.

(10)  Ministry: Israel has been engaged in no missionary activity and has been given no overt gospel to preach; the church of Jesus Christ has been charged with the Great Commission to fulfill and has been given the gospel to proclaim.

(11)  The death of Christ: Israel bears national guilt for rejecting Christ and will someday be saved by Him; the church of Jesus Christ is comprised of those now saved on the merits of Christ’s sacrifice.

(12)  God the Father: Israel is related by a peculiar relationship with God as the rejected Father to the nation;[3] those who are members of the church of Jesus Christ are related individually to God the Father through faith in His Son Jesus Christ.

(13)  Christ: Toward Israel the Lord Jesus is as yet the unrecognized Messiah, Immanuel, and King;[4] the church of Jesus Christ owns Jesus Christ as Savior, Lord, Bridegroom, and Head.

(14)  The Holy Spirit: Several men in Israel had some experience with the Spirit when He came upon them temporarily; those in the church of Jesus Christ are continually indwelt by the Spirit.[5]

(15)  Governing principle: Israelites beginning with Moses were under the Mosaic Law system until Christ’s crucifixion;[6] the church of Jesus Christ is guided by the principle of grace.[7]

(16)  Divine enablement: The nation of Israel was provided with no ongoing and usual supernatural enablement but was commanded to keep the Law; the church of Jesus Christ is enabled by the indwelling Holy Spirit.

(17)  Two farewell discourses: The nation of Israel was given the rejected Savior’s Olivet discourse; the church of Jesus Christ comprised of the apostles was given the upper room discourse.

(18)  The promise of Christ’s return: The Lamb of God who was slain will visibly return to Israel in power and glory as the Lion of the tribe of Judah and as the King of kings and Lord of lords for judgment at the time of His second coming; the church of Jesus Christ will be caught up to meet the Lord Jesus Christ in the air seven years before His Second Advent in the Rapture.[8]

(19)  Position: Israel occupies the position of a servant; the church of Jesus Christ occupies the position of members of the family.

(20)  Christ’s earthly reign: Israel will be His subjects during the millennial kingdom; the church of Jesus Christ will be co-reigners with Him during His millennial kingdom reign.

(21)  Priesthood: Israel had a priesthood; the church of Jesus Christ is a priesthood.

(22)  Marriage: Israel is the LORD’s unfaithful wife; the church of Jesus Christ is our Lord’s bride.

(23)  Judgments: Israel must face judgment; the church of Jesus Christ has been delivered from all judgments, with the Judgment Seat of Christ being a time of rewards.

(24)  Positions in eternity: Israel is comprised of the spirits of just men made perfect in the new earth; the church of Jesus Christ will be the church of the firstborn in the new heavens.

 

These clear contrasts, which show the distinction between Israel and the church, make it impossible to identify the two in one program. Therefore, the flock figure of speech in the New Testament does not refer to the same entity as the flock figure of speech in the Old Testament.[9]

In our study of the church of Jesus Christ we observe that use is made of metaphors and other figures of speech for the purpose of providing a greater and more thorough understanding of the nature and function of the church of Jesus Christ. We know the church of Jesus Christ is the body of Christ.[10] We know the church of Jesus Christ is the temple of God.[11] We know the church of Jesus Christ is a priesthood.[12] We are at present exploring the metaphor of the flock in connection with the church of Jesus Christ. The challenge arises when it becomes apparent that the nation of Israel, specifically the kingdom of Judah (which would include those from the north tribes of Israel who had migrated to the kingdom of Judah region over the years), is described as “the LORD’s flock” by the prophet Jeremiah and the prophet Zechariah, while the metaphor “the flock” is also found in the New Testament as a label for churches of Jesus Christ.

Obviously, the two flocks are not the same. Israel is not the church and the church is not Israel, though the flock metaphor is used in both testaments. The flock in the Old Testament refers to the nation of Israel, an entity bound to God by covenant into which mostly unregenerate physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were physically born and circumcised. The church of Jesus Christ, on the other hand, is comprised of saved individuals from every kindred, tongue, and tribe, both Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians who have been baptized by immersion following their conversion to Christ. Though it is comparatively easy to correlate passages in the New Testament related to the church that are written to churches or that contain the word translated church in them, too often passages intimately related to the church of Jesus Christ are completed dismissed as instructive about the church of Jesus Christ because use is made of a metaphor that goes unrecognized. Such is the case in John 10.1-21 where the Lord Jesus Christ speaks after having just restored the sight of the man born blind in John chapter 9. He speaks to false shepherds (Pharisees) who have no care for the sheep. However, it must be understood that He speaks for the benefit of His apostles who will serve as His undershepherds. Keep five things in mind as we make our way through the passage; Jesus Christ as the Door, the sheep of Israel as a flock in the sheepfold, then the Lord Jesus Christ as the Good Shepherd, His calling of His sheep out from the sheepfold, and the other sheep He has that are not of the sheepfold initially referred to.

 

1      Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.

2      But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.

3      To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.

4      And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.

5      And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.

6      This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.

7      Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.

8      All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.

9      I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

10    The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

11    I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

12    But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.

13    The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.

14    I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

15    As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

16    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

17    Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.

18    No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

19    There was a division therefore again among the Jews for these sayings.

20    And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him?

21    Others said, These are not the words of him that hath a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind?

 

This passage is easily recognizable as falling into four parts: In the first five verses our Lord rehearses important facts known to anyone of that era about sheep and shepherding. In verse 6 the apostle provides a brief explanation to his readers. In verses 7-10 the Lord Jesus Christ identifies Himself with the declaration “I am the door of the sheep.” Verses 11-18 are built upon the Lord Jesus Christ’s statement “I am the good shepherd.” Verses 19-21 conclude the passage by rehearsing the dispute among those the Savior was speaking to. I propose to deal with each of these five unequally-sized portions of the passage separately:

 

First, OUR LORD REVIEWS THE EXPERIENCES OF THE FLOCK

 

Allow me to first provide a bit of background from Arthur W. Pink before we read verses 1-5:

 

“It will probably be of some help to the reader if we describe briefly the character of the ‘sheepfold’ which obtains in Eastern lands. In Palestine, which in the pastoral sections was infested with wild beasts, there was in each village a large sheepfold, which was the common property of the native farmers. This sheepfold was protected by a wall some ten or twelve feet high. When night fell, a number of different shepherds would lead their flocks up to the door of the fold, through which they passed, leaving them in the care of the porter, while they went home or sought lodging. At the door, the porter lay on guard through the night, ready to protect the sheep against thieves and robbers, or against wild animals which might scale the walls. In the morning the different shepherds returned. The porter would allow each one to enter through the door, calling by name the sheep which belonged to his flock. The sheep would respond to his voice, and he would lead them out to pasture.”[13]

 

John 10.1-5:

 

1      Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.

2      But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.

3      To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.

4      And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.

5      And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.

 

Verses 1-5 is a literary device that is unique to the New Testament, which I will explain in greater detail after we have carefully considered the passage:

 

Verse 1: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.”

 

“Verily, verily, I say unto you,” or “Amen, amen, I say unto you,”

 

should be recognized as signifying a very important statement or declaration made by the Lord. However, there is something else about double amen statements in John’s gospel to take note of. John writes in such a way that none of the Lord’s discourses ever begins in this gospel with a double amen statement.[14] That suggests that what we have here is very definitely a continuation of what was begun in John chapter 9. In other words, the Lord Jesus Christ is in the middle of a serious comparison of Himself to the Pharisees, showing that by contrast He is the legitimate shepherd and they are frauds.

 

“. . . He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.”

 

Who of those familiar with the care of sheep in that culture would argue with this rehearsal of truth? There is only one way into the sheepfold and one way out of the sheepfold, and only thieves and robbers seek to gain entrance any other way than by the door of the sheepfold.

 

Verse 2: “But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.”

 

There are only two types of men who would seek to gain entrance to the sheepfold, the shepherd of the sheep being legitimately authorized to enter in, with the thief and the robber being illegitimate and seeking entrance by other means. Simple. Indisputable.

 

Verse 3: “To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.”

 

Of course, the porter is the fellow charged with the responsibility of guarding the sheep at night once they have been brought into the sheepfold. It is his job to open the door to the sheepfold and to close the door to the sheepfold, as well as to allow only shepherds to come in to call his sheep to follow him out to pasturage for the day.

 

“and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.”

 

Shepherds in the East tend to their flocks differently than shepherds in Europe. The Basques of Northern Spain and shepherds throughout Europe in the British Isles use sheep dogs to drive their flocks. In the Middle East, however, shepherds are far more intimate with their flocks, giving each sheep a name and each sheep of the flock recognizing and responding to the voice of the shepherd. Thus, in this picture painted with words our Lord shows the shepherd to be the leader of the flock rather than one who merely herds the flock. Implicit in this concept of a sheepfold is the idea that more than one flock would be penned inside at night and that a sheep would respond only to his shepherd’s voice. Important to point out here is that each sheep is called individually by the shepherd, the flock was not called in or out as a group. That, I am convinced, is an important feature of this entire passage.

 

Verse 4: “And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.”

 

Thus, the common pattern of shepherding is known to one and all. Even those who do not make their living as shepherds recognize from the culture they have grown up in that shepherds lead their sheep and do not drive them, that sheep follow their own shepherd and no one else, because they recognize the voice of their shepherd.

 

Verse 5: “And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.”

 

What is stated here needed to be said, though it was already understood by everyone who originally heard the Savior’s words. Sheep will not follow a stranger. Sheep will run away from a stranger. And this is because sheep do not recognize the voice of a stranger.

 

Next, THE APOSTLE OBSERVES THE PHARISEE’S FAILURE TO UNDERSTAND

 

Verse 6: “This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.”

 

Please take note of the word that is translated parable. What we understand to be parables are actually found only in Matthew, Mark, and Luke in the gospels, not the gospel according to John. The word used here is not the Greek word parabolh, but the word paroimian, which is a specific kind of parable known as an allegory.[15] Allegories typically have more points of comparison between the reality that is being described and the word picture used to portray it than do parables. Thus, it should have been easier for the Pharisees to understand what the Lord Jesus Christ said in verses 1-5 than if He had uttered a parable, yet they still did not understand what things He said to them.

Go back and read John chapter 9 when you get home and you will see that the Pharisees are the thieves and robbers, the blind man is the sheep, and the Lord Jesus Christ is the legitimate shepherd of the kind referred to in John 10.1-5. The sheep hear the Savior’s voice and follows Him, while the Pharisees responded to the undeniable miracle of his newly given eyesight by casting him out of the synagogue.[16] Yet the Pharisees failed to grasp what our Lord had said. Of course, they could not understand His words, since they were not His sheep and did not recognize the sound of His voice.

 

Third, THE LORD JESUS CHRIST IS THE DOOR

 

At this point the Lord Jesus Christ begins to declare to His obstinate audience the first of His two great metaphors within this metaphor by pointing out specifically where He is to be found in the allegory of verses 1-5, and He does this in verses 7-10:

 

7      Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.

8      All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.

9      I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

10    The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

 

Verse 7: “Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.”

 

Again grabbing His audience’s attention by saying “Verily, verily, I say unto you,” the Lord Jesus Christ utters for the third time one of His important “I am” statements:[17] “I am the door of the sheep.” These “I am” declarations hearken back to the burning bush and God’s declaration to Moses in Exodus 3.14,

 

“I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.”

 

It is important for us to understand at this point what the Lord Jesus Christ means by the declaration “I am the door of the sheep.” In addition to the obvious assertion of His deity by use of the “I am” phrase, the door here referred to should not be understood to be the door to the sheepfold. After all, no one referred to here became a part of the flock of the nation of Israel by entering in through the door which is Jesus Christ. Important to remember is that the sheep to whom the Lord is presently referring are all Jewish and that they are already penned in the sheepfold of the covenant nation of Israel under the authority of the Law of Moses. That said, most of the Jews who are in the sheepfold of Israel are not sheep as evidenced by the fact that they do not hear His voice and follow Him. When the Lord Jesus Christ declares Himself to be the Door of the sheep it must be that a different sheepfold is in mind than the one He calls His sheep out from.

 

Verse 8: “All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.”

 

This is obviously not a reference to prophets sent by the LORD, men such as Samuel and Elijah, Isaiah and Jeremiah. The Lord is here referring to unauthorized men who did not represent God while claiming to speak for Him.

 

Verse 9: “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

 

Again, our Lord declares “I am the door.” However, in this verse He explicitly claims to be the exclusive door by which any man entering in shall be saved. These two claims, He declares in verses 7 and 9, may echo Psalm 118.20, where we read,

 

“This gate of the LORD, into which the righteous shall enter.”

 

There are two very important though not at all obvious truths we need to grasp to benefit most from this verse, paying careful attention to the two middle phrases: “by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved.” First, notice that the Savior indicated salvation is the result of entering in by Him. This is important to note since no sinner can save himself. Not only must a sinner pass through the Door from death to life, from sin to salvation, but that passing through must be accomplished, according to the Savior, “by me.” That is, no one saves himself. Sinners are saved by the Savior. Second, Do not mistakenly think that the words “if any man enter in” refers to entering the sheepfold. It does not. The fact is, for those Jewish people to enter in they had to actually leave the sheepfold of Mosaic Law Judaism, something most of them would not do because so many in that sheepfold were not, in fact, sheep. Then, the final phrase about going in and out to find pasture is a frequent theme describing God’s relationship with His people in the Old Testament.[18] Before moving on to verse 10, let me read a summary of verse 9 written by a wonderful commentator:

 

“‘I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.’ Seven things are enumerated in this precious verse. First, ‘I am the door’: Christ the only Way to God. Second ‘By me if any man enter’: Christ the Imparter of power to enter. Third, ‘If any man enter’: Christ the Saviour for Jew and Gentile alike. Fourth, ‘If any man enter in’: Christ appropriated by a single act of faith. Fifth, ‘he shall be saved’: Christ the Deliverer from the penalty, power, and presence of sin. Sixth, ‘he shall go in and out’: Christ the Emancipator from all bondage. Seventh, ‘and find pasture’: Christ the Sustainer of His people.”[19]

 

Verse 10: “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

 

It is abundantly clear from John chapter 9 that the Lord Jesus Christ is addressing the Pharisees who were so opposed to His ministry. In John 10.5 He refers to them as strangers (plural). In John 10.6 we are told that He was speaking to them (again, plural). In verse 8 He refers to them as thieves and robbers (plural for the third time). In this verse, however, our Lord speaks in the singular by referring to “the thief.” Who do you suppose He is referring to? The Pharisees are described in verse 8 as “thieves and robbers,” but this individual is one who comes “for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” Stealing is usually done by stealth. Destruction is typically accomplished by violence. And this word kill may be related to slain offerings. Who is our Lord alluding to? Could it be our Lord is powerfully contrasting Himself not only with the Pharisees, but also with the “idol shepherd” of Zechariah 11.15-17:

 

15    And the LORD said unto me, Take unto thee yet the instruments of a foolish shepherd.

16    For, lo, I will raise up a shepherd in the land, which shall not visit those that be cut off, neither shall seek the young one, nor heal that that is broken, nor feed that that standeth still: but he shall eat the flesh of the fat, and tear their claws in pieces.

17    Woe to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock! the sword shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened.

 

I think this is likely the antichrist, with the Devil being the real genius who lies back of the Pharisee’s opposition to the Lord Jesus Christ. The Devil is back of the insane denials of the implications of our Lord’s great miracles, and His rightful claim to be the Messiah of Israel. Those who are false shepherds are, like the idol shepherd, unconcerned about the health and welfare of the flock. What a contrast there is, then, between the counterfeit and the True. The verse concludes with one of the most wonderfully comforting statements of our Lord’s mission found in the Bible:

 

“I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

 

What a comfort to the sheep is the voice of our Shepherd. His motives are pure. His strength is unsurpassed. His wisdom is unmatched. His sovereignty should be unquestioned.

It is my purpose to show the importance of John 10.1-21 in God’s plan for Christians during the age in which we live by showing our the Savior revealed to His apostles in this passage that His sheep must hear His voice and come out of the sheepfold of Israel, leaving behind those who are not His sheep and who do not hear His voice. As we consider His claim to be the Good Shepherd we will also see that He has other sheep not of this fold, which I understand to be sheep that come to Him from the Gentile nations. The Good Shepherd gives His life for His sheep, while the hireling flees in the face of danger. What is not stated in this passage, but what I think the Lord Jesus Christ establishes a foundation for, is the new flock into which His sheep called out of the nation of Israel and from the Gentile nations will be gathered.

We must be careful not to demand too much from any parable or allegory. However, my own conviction is that this passage is important to show that the church of Jesus Christ is the flock of the Good Shepherd’s sheep. To review, we know the metaphor of the flock was used in the Old Testament by the prophets Jeremiah and Zechariah to refer to God’s covenant people. However, we also know the Lord Jesus Christ referred to the embryonic church as His “little flock,” with the flock metaphor also used by the Apostle Paul and the Apostle Peter. The flock metaphor, then, is used to identify God’s people in two entirely different economies in which those in those different economies enjoy completely different kinds of relationships with God. The covenant people of Israel are the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob who were governed by the Law of Moses, with the church of Jesus Christ being constituted on a completely different basis, the two flock metaphors not being at all the same.

It is with respect to these two economies in God’s program for the ages that we began to examine John 10.1-21 last Sunday night, getting as far as John 10.10. John 10.1-5, you may remember, is unique to the New Testament, a specific kind of parable found only there and forming the basis for our Lord’s remarks to continue from John chapter 9, where the miracle of giving sight to the man born blind is recorded and also forming the basis for the Savior contrasting Himself in John chapter 10 with the fraudulent shepherds known to us as Pharisees.

In John 10.6 we are informed by the Apostle John that our Lord’s audience did not understand His figure of speech in verses 1-5. No great surprises since only His sheep hear His voice and follow Him. Then, in John 10.7-10 the Lord Jesus Christ identifies Himself as the door by saying “I am the door of the sheep” in verse 7 and “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved” in verse 10. I mentioned last week that this was the third of our Lord’s dramatic “I am” statements in John’s gospel whereby He declared His deity. Recognizing that we cannot expect either a parable or an allegory to be a perfect fit for that which such figures of speech are used to describe, let me caution you that while the sheepfold the Savior made mention of is almost certainly to be identified with the Mosaic economy used by God to govern the lives of His covenant people from the time of Moses to the time of Christ’s crucifixion, it would be a mistake to conclude that the Lord Jesus Christ identifies Himself as the door to the sheepfold of Judaism (for lack of a better term). After all, the reality is that when His sheep heard His voice and followed Him they in fact left Judaism to follow Him, and His other sheep that will be mentioned in verse 16 (who are taken to be Gentiles) did not pass into Judaism when they passed through the door who is Jesus Christ. This brings us to the portion of John 10.1-21 in which the Lord Jesus Christ expands His self description.

 

Fourth, THE LORD JESUS CHRIST IS THE GOOD SHEPHERD

 

11    I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

12    But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.

13    The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.

14    I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

15    As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

16    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

17    Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.

18    No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

 

This is the fourth time in John’s gospel that the Lord Jesus Christ identifies Himself using the “I am” declaration, this time twice stating “I am the good shepherd.”

In verse 11 He tells His audience that the Good Shepherd dies for His sheep.

 

“I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.”

 

It is always beneficial to keep in mind when examining our Lord’s statements that since He is the fulfillment of numerous Old Testament predictions, it is needful to consider not only the backdrop of scripture but also the mindsets of those Jewish people that our Lord was speaking to who were steeped in Old Testament learning. This is especially true when considering the Lord Jesus Christ as the Good Shepherd. The Pharisees our Lord was speaking to on this occasion, as well as His apostles whose benefit He was speaking for, were well aware that in the Old Testament God repeatedly contrasted Himself with unfaithful shepherds who because of their dereliction of duty were subject to His judgment.[20] As well, David (or the Davidic messiah) is spoken of as a good shepherd.[21] Moses is also portrayed as the “shepherd of his flock.”[22] By once more using the “I am” phrase to identify Himself, the Lord Jesus Christ is again declaring in no uncertain terms His absolute deity. He is God. He is the One who spoke to Moses from the burning bush. He is the God of Israel. By claiming “I am the good shepherd” He is more obviously contrasting Himself with the Pharisees than He had previously done. Remember that the Pharisees for the most part were not priests and certainly were not God-called prophets. They were self-anointed religious zealots fulfilling a self-appointed role as enforcers of the Law of Moses . . . as they understood it. Though there were exceptions among them, such as Nicodemus, for the most part they were religious nit pickers and intrusive hypocrites who imagined themselves to be spiritual shepherds of the Jewish people. They were not. Not authorized in any way in the Hebrew scriptures to fulfill the role they presumed to occupy, they are most known for their opposition to the Savior. Following the dispersion of the Jewish people in 70 AD it was the Pharisaic version of Judaism that has survived in their writings over the centuries to have by far the most influence on modern religious Judaism. However, that is not all the Lord accomplished when He declared “I am the good shepherd.” He declared Himself to be God. He identified with the Old Testament references to shepherds; God, Moses, and David. Then there are the types of Christ in the Old Testament who were shepherds; Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and David. So, our Lord accomplished a great deal by identifying Himself with the statement “I am the good shepherd.” However, when He goes so far as to say “the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep” He breaks new ground. God showed Himself as shepherd to His people in the Old Testament, yet He did not die for the sheep. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, and David were each shepherds, but they did not give their lives for the sheep. Certainly, David risked his life, but he did not actually give his life for the sheep. The Lord Jesus Christ hereby distinguishes Himself from all others described as shepherds in the Hebrew scriptures by first declaring that as the Good Shepherd He will die for His sheep, and then by actually dying for His sheep. He alone is the shepherd who dies for His sheep, with this Greek preposition translated for understood to mean that He dies for the benefit of His sheep and not merely as an example they are to follow.[23] This is an allusion to Christ’s substitutionary sacrifice on the cross of Calvary. One final observation pertinent to verse 11. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd, declares that “the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” That gives rise to a question. What can be said about the goats? Our Lord here refers only to the sheep, those who hear His voice and follow Him, which is to say believers. Nothing is here stated about goats and the Good Shepherd giving His life for goats, which is to say those who did not hear His voice and did not therefore follow Him.

The character and conduct of hirelings is set forth in verses 12-13:

 

12    But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.

13    The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.

 

If you will remember from John 10.1-2 the Lord Jesus Christ makes reference to sheep, to shepherds, and also to thieves and robbers. In this passage He introduces yet another type of character, who is neither as bad as a thief and a robber nor as good as a shepherd. This is a fellow who has charge for the welfare of the sheep, though he is only on the job for what he can get out of it by way of pay. Hence the label, hireling. We must be mindful that this type of fellow is not around to steal what is not his. He does not sneak into the sheepfold unawares. He apparently has no intention of harming the sheep. This is a fellow whose presence is very much known to the shepherd and who is in the shepherd’s employ. Notice what we learn of such a fellow from the Savior’s description of him. First, he is an hireling and not a shepherd. Our Lord said in verse 12, “But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd.” Thus, though you might observe two different kinds of men tending to a flock, it is a mistake confusing the two or taking the one for the other. No hireling is a shepherd by any definition. Next, the sheep cared for by the hireling are not his, he does not own them, and therefore his concern for them is very superficial. “whose own the sheep are not” When things are going well the hireling does not pose a problem of any kind. The problem with the hireling is that he is a guy you can depend upon until you need him. He is like a sunshine patriot, a fair weather friend, a guy who says nice words to you because they don’t cost anything, and who does things needful so long as they are easy tasks. Third, the hireling is someone you most definitely cannot depend upon when you need him, because he “seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.” So you see, this guy called a hireling might very well pass for reliable, and even think that he is a fellow with some integrity and character. However, when push comes to shove, when the crisis hits, when there is danger, he cuts and runs. Interesting is the Savior’s appraisal of the hireling, found in verse 13:

 

“The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.”

 

Notice the principle set forth by the Savior. The hireling flees because he is an hireling, and because he has no care for the sheep. In other words, he does what he does because he is what he is. One commentator wrote these observations of the principle stated here by our Lord:

 

“There is ever a rigid consistency between character and conduct.”

“When the testing time comes each man reveals what he is by what he does.”

“Conduct conforms to character as the stream does to the fountain.”

“Character is revealed by our conduct in the crises of life.”[24]

 

Of course, the comments made by our Lord to the Pharisees but for the benefit of the apostles serve three important purposes: First and foremost, the Master is establishing a comparison between Himself and His enemies, the Pharisees. They are thieves and robbers, but also hirelings who perform their pastoral duties so long as they received personal benefit. As soon as personal risk of any kind is seen, they are so like any hireling when he sees a wolf. He cuts and runs, motivated only by self interest. Second of course, the Lord Jesus Christ wants to bring along His apostles so they will not themselves act like hirelings. Remembering that they were men who had jobs they left to follow the Lord Jesus Christ, none of the twelve but Judas Iscariot followed the Lord Jesus Christ for what they could gain materially. Nevertheless, it is always good to remind disciples and redraw the lines that needed drawing in the first place. Those men are to serve as undershepherds of the Lord’s flocks, so running away when they see wolves approaching are not an option. Therefore, this is in part for their edification. Finally, there is the person who is neither sheep nor shepherd who hears the Good Shepherd speaking. The Lord Jesus Christ speaks (and the preacher preaches, by the way) so that His sheep will hear His voice and will follow Him. If the bystander hears the Lord’s voice and follows Him, it may be that he is both sheep and someday undershepherd. If you are an undershepherd, can you shepherd the Lord’s flock yet not be so craven and indifferent to their welfare that you will run and hide when you see danger to them approaching?

I know a man who has been in the ministry approaching fifty years. Forty years ago he once said in my hearing that whenever he perceived trouble arising in a church where he was pastor his habit was to immediately resign and moved on, leaving the problem for the next guy to resolve. His conduct since then bears out what he said. He has probably averaged a new pastorate every three or four years. That, beloved, is the behavior of a hireling. And the one thing you know about such a fellow is that he does not care for the sheep, the Lord Jesus Christ said as much in John 10.13.

Verse 14 shows us the intimacy that exists between the Good Shepherd and His sheep:

 

“I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.”

 

By restating that He is the Good Shepherd the Lord Jesus Christ is emphasizing the contrast that exists between the hirelings mentioned in verses 12-13 (which are, of course, the Pharisees of John chapter 9). They are only men, and not very good men at that truth be told, while He is the God of Israel (remember His “I am” declaration) who as the Good Shepherd will give His life for the sheep. And what is the result of the Good Shepherd giving His life for the sheep? He knows His sheep and is known by His sheep. That is, the Lord Jesus Christ comes to know His sheep and His sheep come to know the Good Shepherd; this as a direct result of Him giving His life for His sheep. Arthur W. Pink is a marvelous devotional commentator who provides wonderful observations. Yet another example: Here in John 10.14 he points out that we see the Savior identify Himself as the Good Shepherd in connection with His death on the cross and laying down His life for the sheep. Pink then points out that in Hebrews 13.20 in connection with His resurrection from the dead our Lord is referred to as the Great Shepherd of the sheep. And in First Peter 5.4 in connection with His glorious second coming in power and great glory He is referred to by the Apostle Peter as the Chief Shepherd who shall appear.[25] What a wonderful Savior and glorious Shepherd of the sheep is our Lord Jesus Christ.

Verse 15 points out to us the intimacy that exists between the Father and the Son:

 

“As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.”

 

Interesting, is it not, that the Greek word for know, ginwskw, is found four times in these two verses, twice in verse 14 and twice in verse 15. The Savior knows and is known by His sheep, and knows and is known by the Father. Not to suggest that the depth of the Christian’s knowledge will ever reach the depth of Christ’s knowledge or of the Father’s knowledge, but each is a knowledge born of experience. It is an interacting knowledge and not a purely abstract knowledge. It is to know and to be known. This is the relationship the Christian has with the Savior, the Savior has with the Christian, and is the relationship the Father and the Son have with each other, though our human limitations mean our knowledge is necessarily restricted. This is a stunning assertion that is unique to the Christian faith in light of the Muslim claim that Allah is absolutely unknowable.[26] As well, notice once again that reference is made by the Savior to Him laying down His life for the sheep. And why not make mention of His sacrifice once more? His sacrifice as the Good Shepherd is profoundly important, and is the central act of all God’s dealings with mankind, providing the basis for everything having to do with our salvation from sins and our salvation to glory in eternity. Mention it not only again, but again and again.

Verse 16 brings to our attention the Gentile sheep saved by the Shepherd:

 

“And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.”

 

A phrase at a time: The verse begins,

 

“And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold.”

 

It is difficult to imagine who our Lord might be referring to if He is not speaking of Gentiles “which are not of this fold,” this fold being the nation of Israel, this fold being Judaism. Also interesting is that the Savior refers to these as yet unsaved people who will become Christians as sheep; “other sheep I have.” The next phrase reads

 

“them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice.”

 

Pay attention to the certainty with which the Savior speaks. “I must bring” and “they shall hear my voice.” There is no question in His mind what will happen with respect to the salvation of His sheep, who will hear His voice and who will follow Him. The verse ends,

 

“and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.”

 

There is no question about the Savior once and for all gathering all Jewish people who have believed in Him and all Gentiles who have believed in Him together into one fold. No one that I know of questions that certainty. The issue is how quickly will this take place and where will this take place? Confusion arises from the fact that the word “fold” at the beginning of verse 16 is the usual word meaning a sheepfold (the pen where sheep are placed at night for their protection), while the word “fold” at the end of this verse is the word that actually refers to a flock. Why it was translated in this fashion I do not know. What is clear, however, is that the sheep that hear Christ’s voice and follow Him will comprise a single flock of sheep and will not be segregated into a Jewish Christian flock and a Gentile Christian flock. There is only one flock.

Verses 17-18 further illuminate our understanding of the relationship existing between the Father and the Good Shepherd:

 

17    Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.

18    No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

 

Please do not misunderstand verse 17 as a declaration by the Lord Jesus Christ of the Father’s love for Him being conditional, based upon His compliance with the Father’s will. He always does His Father’s will.[27] Rather, the Father’s love for Him is eternal, based as it is on their absolute unity of essence and purpose, and the fact that they are in reality One God.[28] This verse is a declaration by Christ of the Father’s love for Him and also His voluntary laying down of His life so that He might take it up again, of course referring to the resurrection following His crucifixion. Anticipating those who would try to explain Christ’s crucifixion in terms of Him being a helpless victim overwhelmed by events beyond His control, He makes three strong statements: First, no man takes His life from Him, but He lays it down Himself. Second, He has power (read authority here) to both lay down and also to take up His life. Third, His actions are according to the will of God and not any group of chief priests or a traitorous disciple.

 

Finally, THE DISPUTE AMONG THE JEWS IS SUMMARIZED

 

19    There was a division therefore again among the Jews for these sayings.

20    And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him?

21    Others said, These are not the words of him that hath a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind?

 

Verse 19 informs us that there was a division again among the Jews over what our Lord said. Thus, this is a recurrence of an ongoing dispute. But who are these Jews? The Pharisees only, or a larger crowd that had assembled? I am inclined to think the Jews referred to here are a larger crowd that had assembled as our Lord spoke.

Notice the dispute that is recorded in verses 20-21, with some insisting our Lord is demonized, or perhaps insane. Why listen to the guy? Others are kinder, pointing out that His words are not inspired by a demon, especially in light of the fact that He worked the miracle of giving sight to the blind.

The problem, of course, is that even those who saw themselves as somewhat sympathetic to the Lord Jesus Christ did nothing beyond uttering a few sympathetic words. They were still lost, still sinners whose sins remained unforgiven, still not born again, and content to sit on the sidelines with everyone else when came the time to arrest Him, to unjustly try Him, and to wrongly crucify Him.

 

As wonderful and compelling as John 10.1-21 has proven to be, our primary interest in the passage has been to gain an understanding of the metaphor of the flock used by the Lord in the gospel of John. The sheepfold of Judaism contained the Jewish population, some of whom were Christ’s sheep and were called out by Him, His sheep hearing the Good Shepherd’s voice, knowing His voice, and passing through the Door (which also was Him). It was in John 10.16 that our Lord made reference to His “other sheep,” who I and just about all others who comment take to be Gentiles who are sheep outside the sheepfold of Judaism. Whenever one of His sheep responds to His voice, be he Jewish or be he Gentile, he becomes part of the Good Shepherd’s flock. Arthur W. Pink wonderfully comprehends the issue when he writes,

 

“The ‘one flock’ comprehends, we believe, the whole family of God, made up of believers before the nation of Israel came into existence, of believing Israelites, of believing Gentiles, and of those who shall be saved. The ‘one flock’ will have been gathered from various ‘folds.’”[29]

 

Consider now, if you will, the Apostle Paul’s use of the metaphor, found in Acts 20.28-30 on the occasion of his final meeting with the Ephesian elders, where he says to them,

 

28    Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

29    For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

30    Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

 

There can be no denying that in this context the Apostle Paul twice uses the metaphor of the flock to refer to the Ephesian congregation and only to the Ephesian congregation. Can the same be said about the Apostle Peter’s two uses of the metaphor in First Peter 5.2-3?

 

2      Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

3      Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

 

Though some might protest against the obvious, the fact that the Apostle Peter mentions that he is referring to “the flock of God which is among you” and that the elders should be examples to the flock, is clear indication that the flock is a congregation and is not by its use here a reference to all Christians everywhere.

Admittedly, John 10.1-21 does not suggest that Christians are sheep that are brought into the sheepfold of the congregation, the church of Jesus Christ. That passage only shows that Christ’s Jewish sheep are called out of the sheepfold of Judaism and that Christ’s “other sheep” join them in belonging to one flock of the Good Shepherd’s sheep. I suggest for your consideration that though all Christians everywhere are of the same flock, we will not be gathered into a single sheepfold this side of heaven, but will someday be so gathered in heaven, as Hebrews 12.22-23 reveals:

 

22    But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,

23    To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect.

 

I am persuaded that there will come a day when the Good Shepherd, that Great Shepherd of the sheep, will incorporate all who are His flock into this general assembly and church of the firstborn, will bring us all into one all-encompassing sheepfold. But that will not be, in my opinion, until our Chief Shepherd shall appear at the time of His second coming in power and in great glory. Until the Rapture occurs, I believe it is our Savior’s plan to bring His sheep into little sheepfolds that we recognize as congregations, assemblies of born again, scripturally baptized believers in Jesus Christ. These are small sheepfolds in which He pens members of His flock, with undershepherds assigned to feed the flock and to provide protection for them as needed.

What then do we learn from the metaphor of the flock if metaphors are useful to enhance our understanding? By means of the metaphor of the flock we gain a clearer picture of our Savior as the Good Shepherd, as the Great Shepherd, and as the Chief Shepherd. By means of the flock we can obtain a clearer picture of ourselves as sheep who know and are known by our Shepherd, and who must be both led and fed by Him and His designees. Finally, and this is what is most frequently lost by both Protestants and Baptists, in my opinion, the flock metaphor enhances our understanding of the place and the importance of the church of Jesus Christ in the lives of Christ’s sheep as a provision for protection from spiritual danger and as a provision for nourishment and growth under the oversight of undershepherds. So many sheep erroneously think they are competent to provide for themselves and to protect themselves, yet the Apostle Paul warned the Ephesian undershepherds (and not the congregation at large) of the danger the flock was in. I read Acts 20.29-30 again:

 

29    For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

30    Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

 

There are many ways in which the church of Jesus Christ is described in the New Testament. However, it is the metaphor of the flock which best shows not only the danger sheep face from thieves, from robbers, from the neglect of hirelings, from grievous wolves that enter in among us, and from men who arise from among church leaders who will speak perverse things to draw away disciples after them, but also our Good Shepherd’s provision for your nurture and your protection. Our wonderful Shepherd of the sheep knew perfectly what He was doing when He brought the church into existence. We should therefore honor His wisdom by complying with His wishes and His provision for us as His sheep.



[1] While I am convinced the New Testament does not support his understanding of the church, I am indebted to Earl D. Radmacher, What The Church Is All About: A Biblical And Historical Study, (Chicago: Moody Press, 1978, reprinted from 1972 Western Conservative Theology Seminary edition originally titled The Nature Of The Church), pages 298-307.

[2] 1 Corinthians 12.28

[3] 1 Samuel 8.7

[4] Acts 2.22-23

[5] Romans 8.9; Ephesians 1.13-14

[6] Deuteronomy 5.1-3; Romans 3.19

[7] John 1.17

[8] 1 Thessalonians 4.13-18

[9] I have modified to reflect my own convictions excepts from J. Dwight Pentecost, Things To Come, (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1958), pages 201-202 and Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology, Vol. IV, (Dallas, TX: Dallas Seminary Press, 1948), pages 47-53.

[10] http://www.calvaryroadbaptist.org/sermon.php?sermonDate=20150518a

[11] http://www.calvaryroadbaptist.org/sermon.php?sermonDate=20150524b

[12] http://www.calvaryroadbaptist.org/sermon.php?sermonDate=20150531b

[13] Arthur W. Pink, Exposition of the Gospel of John, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1976), Vol 2, pages 102-103.

[14] Andreas J. Kostenberger, John - ECNT, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2004), page 299.

[15] A. T. Robertson, Word Pictures In The New Testament, Vol V, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1932), page 175.

[16] John 9.22-34

[17] John 6.35; 8.12

[18] Deuteronomy 28.6; Psalm 23.2; 79.13; 100.3; 121.8; Ezekiel 34.12-15

[19] Pink, page 115.

[20] Jeremiah 23.1-4; Ezekiel 34; Zechariah 11.4-17

[21] 2 Samuel 5.2; Psalm 78.70-72; Ezekiel 37.24; Micah 5.4

[22] Isaiah 63.1; Psalm 77.20

[23] D. A. Carson, The Gospel According To John (PNTC), (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1991), page 386.

[24] Pink, pages 124.

[25] Pink, page 125.

[26] Georges Houssney, Engaging Islam, (Boulder, CO: Treeline Publishing LLC, 2010), page 85

[27] John 8.29

[28] Deuteronomy 6.4; 1 Corinthians 8.4, 6; 1 Timothy 2.5

[29] Pink, page 130.


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