John 10:7-15; 27-30
Allen Rea, pastor
Dunn Memorial Baptist Church, Baxley
Whenever our national leadership threatens stricter control of guns, sales of firearms skyrocket. Why does this always happen? People do not like the thought of not being able to protect themselves. People want a hand in their own security. In John 10 Jesus both offers and presents Himself as a guardian and protector of the sheep. This chapter contains promises that no government official can ever veto or override by executive order.
Even at a cursory glance, this passage has remarkable and unmistakable resemblances to the entire Old Testament, but especially the 23rd Psalm. Modern scholarship may try to suggest that shepherds were the outcasts of society, but most of the patriarchs in Genesis were shepherds. It seems odd to suggest the Israel would look down on what their forefathers practiced for so long.
David affirms that the LORD is his shepherd, and because of this he has contentment, leadership, peace, protection, comfort, presence, and a permanent place prepared in eternity. David was promised a Son whose Kingdom would not end (2 Samuel 7). The Lord Jesus Christ is both David’s Son and his Shepherd. Therefore, as Christ spoke these powerful words any Jew well-versed in the Old Testament knew His words echoed with previous revelation.
Jesus begins this passage by calling Himself the Door, and begins by using a comparison between Himself and the thief, i.e. Satan. The thief only has three things to offer his followers: stealing, killing, and destroying. Jesus, on the other hand, offers life by offering His own. Life will be abundant only when His substitution is accepted. Jesus offers protection against the lying murderous thief.
Jesus stated that He had “other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd” (10:16). Christians often fail to recognize the Jewish origins of our faith. We are Gentiles, non-Jewish, people. God is not done with Israel. The church has not replaced Israel. God has not ceased to protect Israel.
The context of Jesus’ Second Coming will be His protection of Israel (Zechariah 14). Paul reminded the Ephesians of this in Ephesians 2:11-22. We “formerly were afar off have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:13). We were separate strangers. Jesus promised in this passage that He was going to unite Jew and Gentile in one mighty work of God separate and distinct from Israel: the Church. “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household” (Ephesians 2:19).
Jesus protects the church, and hurts when it is harmed (Acts 9:5). Jesus will return for His church in the Rapture. Prophecy is the promise of God’s protection.
News out of Washington and against Washington does not leave us with much hope in humanity. No amount of military strength can possibly protect us. By faith we must rely on and trust the rod and staff of our Shepherd instead of the rifle and snipers of men. John 10 is the promise of protection from the one that neither slumbers nor sleeps (Psalm 121:3-4).
Trust Him with you soul. Trust Him with your life. Trust Him. Always.