This is one of my favorite chapters, because it speaks the Gospel Truth. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own (Isaiah 53:6 NLT). Sheep are stupid, they are selfish and stubborn — just like us humans. Sheep will wander from the flock. The grass looks greener and tastier over there. But, there’s a wolf hiding behind a tree waiting for the sheep to get just a little bit closer.
I once led a group of about 30 American tourists in Caracas, Venezuela, by myself. They had about an hour to shop in the downtown plaza, then we were to get in the vans to go to our next stop. I’d get a head count, then I’d see out of the corner of my eye, two of them wandering off to check out an interesting store. I’d go after them, get them back to the group only to lose two others who went off in another direction. The wolves there were pickpockets. And, yes, one of them got their wallet stolen.
For this group of tourists, I was the shepherd. They were my responsibility. Jesus is our Good Shepherd and in this chapter, He tells us how He protects us and why we should trust HIM and HIM only! Pay attention! Let’s dig in….
“I tell you the truth, anyone who sneaks over the wall of a sheepfold, rather than going through the gate, must surely be a thief and a robber! 2 But the one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. 5 They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t know his voice.”
6 Those who heard Jesus use this illustration didn’t understand what he meant, 7 so he explained it to them: “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who came before me were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them. 9 Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. 10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. 12 A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. 13 The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep.
14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, 15 just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd.
17 “The Father loves me because I sacrifice my life so I may take it back again. 18 No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.”
19 When he said these things, the people[c] were again divided in their opinions about him. 20 Some said, “He’s demon possessed and out of his mind. Why listen to a man like that?” 21 Others said, “This doesn’t sound like a man possessed by a demon! Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”
Jesus Claims to Be the Son of God
22 It was now winter, and Jesus was in Jerusalem at the time of Hanukkah, the Festival of Dedication. 23 He was in the Temple, walking through the section known as Solomon’s Colonnade. 24 The people surrounded him and asked, “How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”
25 Jesus replied, “I have already told you, and you don’t believe me. The proof is the work I do in my Father’s name. 26 But you don’t believe me because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, 29 for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand. 30 The Father and I are one.”
31 Once again the people picked up stones to kill him. 32 Jesus said, “At my Father’s direction I have done many good works. For which one are you going to stone me?”
33 They replied, “We’re stoning you not for any good work, but for blasphemy! You, a mere man, claim to be God.”
34 Jesus replied, “It is written in your own Scriptures that God said to certain leaders of the people, ‘I say, you are gods!’ 35 And you know that the Scriptures cannot be altered. So if those people who received God’s message were called ‘gods,’ 36 why do you call it blasphemy when I say, ‘I am the Son of God’? After all, the Father set me apart and sent me into the world. 37 Don’t believe me unless I carry out my Father’s work. 38 But if I do his work, believe in the evidence of the miraculous works I have done, even if you don’t believe me. Then you will know and understand that the Father is in me, and I am in the Father.”
39 Once again they tried to arrest him, but he got away and left them. 40 He went beyond the Jordan River near the place where John was first baptizing and stayed there awhile. 41 And many followed him. “John didn’t perform miraculous signs,” they remarked to one another, “but everything he said about this man has come true.” 42 And many who were there believed in Jesus.John 10 NLT
Through Jesus Christ Alone
God sent Jesus to save us. In Acts and the Epistles, both Peter and Paul confirm that everything regarding salvation is THROUGH Jesus Christ only. You’ll notice it’s THROUGH Him, not with Him. So that we can’t boast that we did good works to deserve salvation. No amount of good works can ever get you into Heaven. Without going THROUGH Jesus, you are not good enough to get into Heaven.
In the Book of Acts Luke reports that Peter said…
“This is the message of Good News for the people of Israel—that there is peace with God through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.”Acts 10:36 NLT
In Philippians, Paul writes in two separate places…
I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us….
…For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.Philippians 3:14; 4:13 NLT
In 2 Corinthians Paul writes…
For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.2 Corinthians 5:21 NLT
And Paul writes in Galatians…
For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.Galatians 3:26 NLT
So let’s recap everything that we get THROUGH Jesus Christ…
- Our Calling
- Righteousness — be made right with God
- Adoption — become children of God
Notice again, please, that it’s not “with” Jesus, which implies that we are working with Him in order to be saved or gain grace points. No, this is all a gift from God’s Grace (Sola Gratia) THROUGH Jesus only. We do not get this through a church or a priest or a saint. Not even through Mary — which is like the pagan religions who seek “enlightenment” through the worship of idols. God does not tolerate idolatry! Why do you do it?!
It’s not too late for you!
Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.
- Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever and that He rose from the dead 3 days later.
- Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180 in your life and surrender your life to Him.
- Be Baptized — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
- Receive the Holy Spirit in your heart.
If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven and that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, this is what you have to do…