| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 54 - Page 83 of 210 Index | Zoom | |
9: 39 - 10: 21.
pp. 221 - 225
The Lord Jesus concluded His healing work with the blind man by saying:
"For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who
see will become blind" (9: 39, N.I.V.).
There appears to be a contradiction between this verse and 3: 17, 12: 47, where the
Lord declares that He did not come to this world to judge but to save it. These verses
state that He did not come to execute judgment. That lies in the future. Verse 39 which
we are considering is linked to the reaction of those who witnessed His mighty works and
words. Some will see and some will become blind. This is decided by themselves,
whether they are for or against Him. They are not forced either way, but they have to
come to a decision. As we have seen before, they cannot remain neutral. The Pharisees
blinded their own eyes, yet they professed to see. In which case Christ declared that their
guilt remained (41). Later He called them "blind guides" (Matt. 23: 16).
This chapter begins with a double Amen which emphasizes its importance. Its great
theme is the activity and concern of the true Shepherd for the sheep under His care.
Israel, the people of God, are often called "sheep" in the O.T. and God Himself was their
Shepherd (Psa. 79: 13; 100: 3). He appointed under-shepherds, but many of them
proved to be false teachers who looked after their own interests rather than the sheep
entrusted to their care. This is clearly shown in Ezek. 34: which the reader should
consult. The Jews, listening to Christ, would therefore have no difficulty with the
illustration He used of Himself as the Good Shepherd. Whether they accepted Him as
such was another matter.
The Good Shepherd commences by saying:
"I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs
in by some other way, is a thief and a robber."
The sheep pen was a large enclosure, square shaped, having one entrance on one side.
This enabled someone to act as watchman to guard and regulate whoever came into the
fold. If anyone was seen climbing in some other way, it was obvious that he was not a
friend, but an enemy who had come to damage and to steal. There was a close link
between the shepherd and his sheep. The sheep would follow him and recognize the
voice of the shepherd, and this is still true today in the East (10: 3, 4). A stranger made no
impression on them, for they could not recognize his voice (5).
"Jesus used this figure of speech, but they did not understand what He was telling
them" (10: 6).