The Good Shepherd Is God
John 10:19-30 MKJV Then a division occurred again among the Jews because of these words. (20) And many of them said, He has a demon and is insane. Why do you hear him? (21) Others said, These are not words of one who has been possessed by a demon. A demon is not able to open the eyes of blind ones. (22) And the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem, and it was winter. (23) And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's Porch. (24) Then the Jews encircled Him and said to Him, How long do you make us doubt? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly. (25) Jesus answered them, I told you and you did not believe. The works that I do in My Father's name, they bear witness of Me. (26) But you did not believe because you are not of My sheep. As I said to you, (27) My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. (28) And I give to them eternal life, and they shall never ever perish, and not anyone shall pluck them out of My hand. (29) My Father who gave them to me is greater than all, and no one is able to pluck them out of My Father's hand. (30) I and the Father are one!
We have moved from Tabernacles (September) to Hannukah (December), the mellow fruitfulness of autumn harvest has given way to a cold winter of discontent. Jesus is still dodging the direct question of His being the Messiah. Why? Because it was so obvious!
“Jesus answered them, "I have told you, but you do not believe it. The works that I do in my Father's name testify on my behalf, but you do not believe because you do not belong to my sheep.”
In other words “if you have not figured it out by now, after all these miracles, you are just a stubborn unbeliever”. And if they were stubborn unbelievers claiming to be the Messiah would not turn them into believers, it was far more likely to just drive them into a frenzy of murderous hate. And that could easily get out of control in the political powder keg that was Jerusalem under Roman occupation.
Jesus then defines two distinct groups – “not sheep” and “sheep”. The “not sheep” lack spiritual perception and “do not hear my voice” but the true sheep have active spiritual perception and “hear my voice….and they follow Me”
“But you do not believe because you do not belong to my sheep. My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me.”
The believers, the sheep, are secure because they have the spiritual faculties to hear God and follow Him. They do not go astray any more than someone with a GPS unit in their car goes astray. They get direct guidance from God that keeps them on the right track:
Isaiah 30:21 MKJV And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, This is the way, walk in it, when you turn to the right hand and when you turn to the left.
Isaiah 35:8-10 MKJV And a highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called, The Way of Holiness. The unclean shall not pass over it. But He shall be with them; the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err in it. (9) No lion shall be there, nor any beast of prey shall go up on it; it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there. (10) And the ransomed of Jehovah shall return and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy on their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
The voice of Jesus is not heard by all, but it is heard by His sheep and because of this a spiritual communion develops – we “have fellowship with Him” and we know Christ and Christ knows us. . “I know them”
1 John 1:3 MKJV that which we have seen and heard we declare unto you, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 13:14 MKJV (14) May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.
This fellowship creates such a strong bond of love that men or demons cannot break it: “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. (29) What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it from the Father's hand.”
It is God the Father who creates people and sets the spirit within them and who forms their consciences, therefore He is the One who “gives them” to Jesus. He gives them to Christ by creating within them the ability to believe Christ and to receive Him and to love Him and have fellowship with Him. Spiritually sensitive people often feel this spiritual attraction at a young age though it may be years before they are truly born-again. It seems that there are those that Christ draws - and those that Christ repels.
God guards those who are His and protects them and because of His great might Satan is not able to wrench them out of the Father’s grasp. No matter how much suffering a saint goes though, or how tempted she may be, or how confused a man may become God is able to remedy the situation of provide a way of escape. .
1 Corinthians 10:13 MKJV (13) No temptation has taken you but what is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted above what you are able, but with the temptation also will make a way to escape, so that you may be able to bear it.
Finally Jesus tells us the real reason that His sheep are safe – “I and the Father are one!” in other words the Good Shepherd Is God!