The Berean Expositor
Volume 54 - Page 84 of 210
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The word "parable" of the A.V. is not parabole, the usual word, but paroimia, a
proverb, a deep saying. His listeners could not see the point of His story.
The Lord now adds another figure in verse 7:
"Therefore Jesus said again, `I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who
ever came before Me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am
the gate; whoever enters through Me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find
pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may
have life, and have it to the full" (10: 7-10).
The Pharisees and others did not understand the Lord's words, so to make them
clearer, He adds the figure of the gate or door. There was only one door into the
sheepfold, and that door or gate was an illustration of Christ Himself, for there is no other
way to obtain salvation and the gift of everlasting life except through Him, and later He
will describe Himself as the Way (14: 6). Others come and declare themselves to be the
solution to all human troubles. Israel had had false leaders and false Messiahs who had
led them to disaster (Acts 5: 36, 37), hence the words of John 10: 12 & 13, and the Lord
will predict that there will be many more (Matt. 24: 23). They were like the worthless
shepherd who deserts the flock (Zech. 11: 17). The true Shepherd on the other hand
continually cares for the sheep, meeting all their needs. He is even willing to risk His life
for them (John 10: 11), and His one object is that they might have not ordinary life, but life
to the full or in abundance, and that eternally:
"I am the good Shepherd; I know My sheep and My sheep know Me--just as the
Father knows Me and I know the Father--and I lay down My life for the sheep" (10: 14,
Not only is He alone the way into God's sheepfold, but there is an intimacy between
Him and His sheep. They know and love each other. Some may protest at the so-called
narrowness of these verses of Christ and they point out that there is good in all religions
and they all worship the same God. But has any one of these religions someone who like
Christ had taken upon Himself the sin of the world and paid the penalty for that sin by
dying in their place? Not only this, but is raised from the dead and has the power to raise
from the dead all who believe and trust Him also, and guarantee to them everlasting life?
There is only one way to this, and that is through Christ by faith. Narrow it may be,
but it is the narrowness of truth nevertheless, and it was this that the Lord was
emphasizing to those who were listening to Him, some of whom were His enemies.
The Lord goes on,
"I have other sheep that are not of (ek) this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They
too will listen to My voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd" (10: 16).
Who are the "other sheep"? Some say they are the Jews of the dispersion, but this
cannot be true for a number of reasons. The Lord Jesus says they are not of (ek) this fold.
John uses this preposition many times to express origin. The "other sheep" do not
originate from this fold, which is certainly Israel. Jewish nationality was not decided by