I know My own and My own know Me
John 10:1-21 from the daily reading in the One year Bible
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6 This figure of speech Jesus spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things were which He had been saying to them.
7 So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
11 “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. 12 He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, 15 even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 I have 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. 17 For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. 18 No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.”
19 A division occurred again among the Jews because of these words. 20 Many of them were saying, “He has a demon and is insane. Why do you listen to Him?” 21 Others were saying, “These are not the sayings of one demon-possessed. A demon cannot open the eyes of the blind, can he?”
In today’s text Jesus says: “ I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Jesus is the door, the entry way to salvation. Salvation is redemption from the consequences, the curse of sin. It is eternal life. Jesus says: “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies.” (John 11:25) Jesus is also the door to living free from the consequences of sin now, in this life. He is the doorway to abundant life. In John 14:6 Jesus says: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” This too speaks both of the future eternal life with God, but also that Jesus is the way to the Father now. 2 Corinthians 5:17-19 says: Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them. Sin separated us from God. Jesus reconciles us to God and restores the relationship God desires to have with us, an intimate relationship of communion, communication and fellowship. Salvation, redemption, reconciliation and restoration are all ours through Jesus Christ, the door, the good shepherd. Jesus says: “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” Jesus died on the cross so that we would live eternally and abundantly, reconciled to God and restored to all that He intended, free from the consequences and the curse of sin.
Ephesians 2:8-9 says: For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. All that we have through Christ is a free gift to us from God, not based on what we did or what we do. Yet there is something we must do to walk in all that we have been given. Jesus says: “The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” We need to both know and heed to the voice of Jesus. We need to follow Him, where He leads. All that we have is through Him, but also with Him. If we listen to and follow the voice of others we will be lead to death and destruction, all that we have with Christ will be stolen from us. Jesus says: “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” (John 14:15) In Matthew 5:17-20 Jesus says: “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” To enter the eternal kingdom of heaven and to walk in the fullness of the blessings and promises of the kingdom now, we must know and heed the voice of Jesus. Jesus tells us the key to knowing and following His voice. He says: “ But the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you.” (John 14:26 Amp)
It can be difficult for us to fully know and comprehend all that Jesus wants us to understand through the illustration of sheep and shepherd. Unless we have experienced that relationship, we cannot completely understand its meaning. There is one in scripture who did know and understand, one who fought lion and bear for his sheep. (1 Samuel 17:34) The psalmist, David, who rose from the obscurity of shepherd to become king, all because he knew the one who was his shepherd. May his psalm be our prayer:
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Amen. Thank You Lord. Amen.