Waters of Life

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JOHN - The Light Shines in the Darkness
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to John
PART 2 - Light Shines in the Darkness (John 5:1 - 11:54)
C - Jesus' Last Journey to Jerusalem (John 7:1 - 11:54) The Parting of Darkness and Light
3. Jesus the Good Shepherd (John 10:1–39)

a) The The sheep hear the voice of the true shepherd (John 10:1-6)

In chapter 7 and 8 Jesus pointed out to his foes the reality of their condition, then in chapter 9 their blindness to the knowledge of God and his Son as well as themselves. In chapter 10, he frees his own from the duty of following their sinful leaders, and calls them to himself. He is the Good Shepherd, the only door leading to God.

JOHN 10:1-6
1 Most certainly, I tell you, one who doesn’t enter by the door into the sheep fold, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 But one who enters in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out. 4 Whenever he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 They will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him; for they don’t know the voice of strangers.” 6 Jesus spoke this parable to them, but they didn’t understand what he was telling them.

In some villages peasants gather their sheep in a large enclosure and guard it by night. By morning, the shepherds come and enter the enclosure calling their sheep. The guards permit them to enter, then an odd thing happens: the shepherds do not each drive or pull their sheep from the crowded enclosure, but call out in recognizable voices. The sheep can tell one voice from the other, and follow their own shepherd’s voice. Even if the shepherd’s owner dresses up in a disguise, the sheep will follow the voice of their owner. Whereas if a bogus shepherd were to come dressed up as their owner, the sheep would not move at all. The sheep follow the right voice of the genuine shepherd. By calling he leads his own to green pastures and refreshing waters. His sheep crowd behind him; not one of them stays behind; they trust their shepherd fully.

Jesus used this allegory to show us that all who are willing listen to his voice, for them Jesus is the divine Shepherd. He did not come to the people of the Old Covenant to snatch or steal, but he chose God’s peculiar people from among them and called them to Himself. He rescued them and fed them with spiritual food. Other "shepherds" are more like robbers prowling round the flock like ravening wolves. They enter in with the help of agents and trickery. They snatch the sheep for themselves and devour them. They live for themselves and honor themselves. They do not genuinely serve the flock. Pastors and servers in churches who were not called by God personally and are not abiding truly in Christ, our Lord calls these robbers. They harm rather than help.

Jesus predicted that his genuine followers would keep away from strange shepherds and stay apart from them, sensing the danger in time. He also urged them to trust the promise that God Himself would tend His flock as recorded in Psalm 23.

People did not grasp Jesus’ words, not realizing that their ‘shepherds’ were unfaithful and evil (Jeremiah 2:8; 10:21; Ezekiel 34:1–10; Zechariah 11:4–6). Despite this, God was ready, to become their Good Shepherd, to save His people and send them sincere pastors, just as Moses and David were. The Bible uses pastoral metaphors; the terms "shepherd" and "flock" and the "Lamb of God" and "redemption by bloodshed", all come from the thought forms of the pastoral countryside. God in His Son is called the Good Shepherd, to stress His essential care of us.

b) Jesus is the authentic door (John 10:7-10)

JOHN 10:7-10
7 Jesus therefore said to them again, “Most certainly, I tell you, I am the sheep’s door. 8 All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep didn’t listen to them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters in by me, he will be saved, and will go in and go out, and will find pasture. 10 The thief only comes to steal, kill, and destroy. I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.

Jesus described himself as the door leading to the flock of God. There is no way to fellowship with the redeemed in the church apart from Christ. Whoever tries to make one religious without Christ resembles a thief who confuses the minds of God’s sheep with errors. The Holy Spirit does not lead us by diverging paths, but into the narrow gate that is Jesus. Anyone who does not enter thereby, nor eat his flesh, nor drink his blood, has no right to serve God’s children. We ourselves need to die to our complacency and enter Christ’s fold; then we become part of his flock.

All the eminent people who appeared before or after Christ and did not live by his Holy Spirit, are thieves who delude. Jesus says that all philosophers and ideologists and national leaders are robbers if they do not believe in him and submit to him; they corrupt the crowds with their teaching and habits. But true prophets who abide in Christ’s Spirit and pre-dated him were broken-hearted, coming to God through the door. Jesus prepared them and sent them for faithful service to his flock and fold.

No one can enter the fold of God unless he dies to himself and clings to Jesus to save him. Jesus makes his obedient sheep kings and priests. The sincere pastor goes out of the door into the world appealing to men to be saved. Then he returns with them into the body of Christ, for them to abide in him and he in them. Such pastors do not regard themselves as superior to the sheep, for they all enter into Christ. Whoever abides in humility, finds in his Lord the fullness of power and knowledge. The humble heart finds in Jesus an unfailing pasture.

Four times Jesus warns his flock against the scribes and priests who seek their own glory and corrupt others.

At the same time Christ called everyone to himself to give a true life of goodness and peace and make him a source of blessing to others. Whoever comes to Christ becomes a spring of virtues flowing to others. Shepherds do not live for themselves, but sacrifice their days and lives for the flock. The Spirit of God does not give us the heavenly life just for our personal salvation, but appoints us servants and pastors to deny ourselves and love others. With the increase of love there is an increase of the overflow. Nothing is lovelier than service for the Lord’s sake! This is meant by the expression, "That they might have life more abundantly!"

PRAYER: Lord Jesus Christ, thank you for being the door that leads to God. We worship you because you called us into your fellowship, to serve God and man. Help us to submit ourselves and find true life. Enable us to win souls as led by your Spirit, and be a blessing to all with the favor you grant us.


  1. What are the blessings Jesus bestows on his sheep?


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