| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 54 - Page 86 of 210 Index | Zoom | |
It is surely true then that the "other sheep" cannot refer to true Israelites who lived
outside Palestine. It must refer, as Professor Bruce says, to Gentiles. It is important to
get this clear, otherwise wrong deductions will be made which can only lead to wrong
interpretation of the passage.
"The reason My Father loves me is that I lay down My life--only to take it up again.
No-one takes it from Me, but I lay down of My own accord. I have authority to lay it
down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from My Father"
(John 10: 17, 18).
The Father's love for the Son is drawn by the voluntary offering of the Son for the sin
of the world (Heb. 9: 14). There was no compulsion from the Father. The Son willingly
gave Himself as a sacrifice for His people's sins which were laid upon Him, the sinless
One (Isa. 53: 5, 6). But this was not done just to exhibit His unselfish love, but also in
order to resume His life, for a dead Saviour is useless. He laid down His life in order to
receive it again, and He had the power to do this that no human being ever possessed
(John 10: 18). We have noted before that the whole Godhead was involved in the
stupendous miracle of Christ's resurrection; the Father (Gal. 1: 1), the Son Himself (in
the context we are studying), and the Holy Spirit (I Pet. 3: 18). He had power to lay it
down and power to take it again (John 10: 18). This reminds us of His statement
concerning the temple of His body, "in three days I will raise it up" (John 2: 19), and all
this was in line with the Father's will.
"At these words the Jews were again divided. Many of them said, `He is demon-
possessed and raving mad. Why listen to Him?'. But others said, `These are not the
sayings of a man possessed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?'."
(John 10: 19-21).
Division of opinion about the Lord is a common thing in John's Gospel (6: 52, 60, 66;
7: 12; 8: 22; 9: 16; 10: 19, 24, 41; 12: 19, 29, 42). This has always been so and is
still true today. It is either worshipping Him or stoning Him; there can be no neutral
position, as the Saviour has clearly taught.