Page images
PDF
EPUB

CHAPTER X. the door, is the shepherd of the VERILY, verily, I say unto sheep.; you, He that entereth not

3 To him the porter openeth; by the door into the sheep-fold, and the sheep hear his voice: but climbeth up some other way, and he calleth his own sheep the same is a thief and a robber. by name, and leadeth them

2 But he that entereth in by out. moord, or taken away, when it was of the Jews had expressly and depardoned. See on 1': 29. Hence, cidedly declared that Jesus was a when it was not pardoned, it remained sinner. This declaration in referon a person. The idea then is, Your ence to one who claimed to be the sins are not forgiven.

Messiah, the Son of God, was equiva

lent to a declaration that he was an REFLECTIONS. 1. In all our ca- impostor, a deceiver of the people, lamities, let us acknowledge the provi- and one who ought not to be followed dence of God, as having some wise as a leader. The knowledge that and merciful design. vs. 3, 4.

such a declaration had been made 2. The blessings which Jesus has had, doubtless, come to Jesus; and bestowed on a guilty world show that he availed himself of the opportunity he was indeed the divine teacher and when some of the Pharisees (see 9 : the Saviour. vs. 25, 30–33. Are we 40) were present, with others (see ever perplexed with doubt as to the 10: 19), to show the impropriety of truth of Christianity ? Let us exam- such a declaration, to describe the ine what it has done and is daily qualities of a true guide, and thus to doing for men. By its works let it furnish the means of forming an be known.

opinion both respecting himself and 3. A fair and candid mind soon respecting those who professed to be sees, yes, it feels, the truth of the the proper religious guardians of the claims which Jesus makes, as the Sa- people. For this purpose he adopted viour, on our belief and obedience. the figure of a sheep-fold and a shepvs. 17, 35-38.

herd. By describing the qualities of 4. An humble sense of our de- a shepherd, he wished to draw attenficiencies is a needful preparation to tion to himself, as being, not an improfit by the gospel. A haughty, self-postor, but truly the guide and proconfident spirit will receive no bless- tector, that is, the Saviour, of men. ing. v. 39. Compare James 4 : 6. 1. The sheep-fold. This was an

5. Our obligations and our dan- enclosure, surrounded sometimes by gers are proportioned to our advan: low stone walls, and sometimes by a tages. v. 41. And O how dreadful fence of wicker-work, and furnished to live and die in the midst of Chris- with a gate. Into this enclosure the tian privileges, with a load of unpar- sheep were driven for the night. doned guilt on our heads !

3. The porter ; the keeper of the

gate, a servant whom the shepherd CHAPTER X.

employed to keep guard during the The former part of this chapter is night. || He calleth his own sheep by believed to be very closely connected, name. Sheep were objects of much as to the occasion on which it was endearment in Oriental countries, and spoken, with the preceding chapter. names were given them to which In v. 21, allusion is made to the mira- they became accustomed; just as cle of healing the blind man, and no domestic animals among us intimation is given by the writer that receive names from their owners. what he is now about to record was || Leadeth them out. In those parts spoken on another occasion. In the of the world, the sheep were not preceding chapter, v. 24, the leaders driven before a person, but the shep

some

4 And when he putteth forth not what things they were which his own sheep, he goeth before he spake unto them them, and the sheep follow him: 7 Then said Jesus unto them for they know his voice. again, Verily, verily, I say unto

5 And a stranger will they you, I am the door of the sheep. not follow, but will flee from 8 All that ever came before him :

for they know not the me are thieves and robbers: but voice of strangers.

the sheep did not hear them. 6 This parable spake Jesus 9 I am the door : by me if unto them: but they understood any man enter in, he shall be herd went before, and they followed representing himself as the door, both him.

in respect to shepherds and in respect The characteristics of a good shep- to the sheep. herd, as given in vs. 1–5, are these : 8. All that ever came before me. This 1. He comes honestly and uprightly language is not to be taken in so exinto the fold. 2. The sheep know tensive a sense as to include the truly him, and he has an intimate acquaint- pious leaders of the people in former ance with them.

He carefully ages. It was intended to cover a very guides the sheep, and they follow him. considerable space of time before the As the Lord and guide of his people, coming of Jesus, when the high priest, these characteristics are found in hood and other sacred offices had Jesus Christ. While our Saviour become exceedingly degenerate, and thus described himself as the true were rather sources of emolument to shepherd, and furnished hints for dis- those who bore them, than means of tinguishing the unfaithful guides of serving, and benefiting the people. the people at that time, he also gave It would also particularly apply to a description of those who, in all sub- the very generation that was contemsequent ages, should act by his au- porary with Jesus. All that had apthority, and should be worthy to be peared among them as religious guides, called shepherds.

before Jesus, and not connected with 6. They understood not what things Jesus, had proved themselves quite they were, &c. They perceived not destitute of the proper characteristics. fully the meaning of the parable. In || Are thieves and robbers ; not true other instances, also, the Saviour's shepherds, careful for the welfare of parables were not understood. Still, the flock, but intent on their own they were not lost. They made an gain and emolument. || The sheep impression; and at a subsequent pe- did not hear them; the truly pious riod they would be recollected and did not follow them as their leaders. rightly apprehended. The parables Thus those who had assumed the were intended for coming ages too, office of a spiritual shepherd without as well as for the companies which deriving it from Jesus the Messiah, or first heard them.

without reference to his authority, and 7. Jesus said unto them again. He to the great principles which he was resumed the same topic and employed enforcing, were not true shepherds. the same figure. What follows in 9. I am the door. By me if any several successive verses is partly an man enter in, &c. In respect, like. explanation of the parable, and partly wise, to the members of the flock, he an addition to it; an extended appli- is the door. It is only through him cation to himself of the illustration that men can come into a state of furnished by a sheep-fold and a shep- safety and happiness, just as only herd. He first drew instruction re- through the gate can a sheep pass specting himself from the sheep-fold ; l in and out. || Enter in ; into the fold,

saved, and shall go in and out, cause he is a hireling, and careth and find pasture.

not for the sheep. 10 The thief cometh not, 14 I am the good shepherd, but for to steal, and to kill, and and know my sheep, and am to destroy: I am come that they known of mine. might have lise, and that they 15 As the Father knoweth might have it more abundantly. me, even so know I the Father :

il I am the good shepherd : and I lay down my life for the the good shepherd giveth his sheep. life for the sheep.

16 And other sheep I have, 12 But he that is a hireling, which are not of this fold : them and not the shepherd, whose also I must bring, and they shall own the sheep are not, seeth hear my voice; and there shall the wolf coming, and leaveth be one fold, and one shepherd. the sheep, and fleeth ; and the 17 Therefore doth

my

Father wolf catcheth them, and scatter- love me, because I lay down eth the sheep.

my life, that I might take it 13 The hireling fleeth, be- again. as a member of the flock. · || He shall more obvious, if it were not sepabe saved : shall be secure.

rated from the preceding verse, and if 10. The thief. Jesus next passed the first word were fully translated. to draw a contrast between himself Thus, vs. 14, 15-I am the good shepand those who professed to lead the herd, and know my sheep, and am people, but who in reality were seek- known of mine, even as the Father ing only their own gain. Thus he knoweth me and I know the Father ; illustrated his own solicitude for the the word knoro having here the adwelfare of his people, as being the true, ditional idea of loving. For the sheep; the good shepherd. || That they might in behalf of them, so as to secure have life ; have true happiness. Je their highest interests; in plain lansus came, not for his own sake, but guage, for the salvation of my peo for the sake of his people; not for ple. any personal emolument, but for their 16. Not of this fold ; not of the highest welfare.

Jewish nation. Jesus was to gather 11. Giveth his life for the sheep ; a people from among the Gentiles. will himself die, rather than that the || One fold. The separation between sheep should be destroyed.

Jews and Gentiles was to end, and 14. Know my sheep. The word the company of the Saviour's followknow has here, as in various other ers, to be formed out of them both, places, the additional idea of loving was to be one body. Compare Eph. and caring for. The meaning of the 2: 13—18. verse is, I tenderly love my sheep, 17. That I might take it again. The and am loved by them; between me design of Jesus in laying down his life and them there is a strong mutual was, the salvation of his people (see attachment.

v. 15); and his laying it down was 15. This verse, as it stands in the to be followed by his resuming it. original, is a more full declaration of The word that expresses here a result the mutual love which exists between which would be connected with the Christ and his followers. That love giving up of his life; as if he had is compared to the mutual love which said, I lay down my life, yet so that exists between the Father and Christ. I shall take it again. Christ's subThe meaning of the verse would be jection to death was to be eminently

18 No man taketh it from 20 And many of them said, me, but I lay it down of my- He hath a devil, and is mad; . self. I have power to lay it why hear ye him? down, and I have power to 21 Others said, These are take it again. This command not the words of him that hath ment have I received of my a devil. Can a devil open the Father.

eyes of the blind? 19 There was a division there- 22 And it was at Jerusalem fore again among the Jews for the feast of the dedication, and these sayings.

it was winter. a temporary one. Compare Heb. 10:

22. The feast of the dedication. 12, 13. 7: 25.

About 170 years before the birth of 18. No man taketh it from me; that Christ, Antiochus Epiphanes, king of is, against my own will. || Lay it Syria, inflicted great cruelties on the down of myself ; of my own accord. Jews, ordered them to change their His death was to be a voluntary one. religion, and to embrace his own idol, Compare Matt. 26: 53, 54. ll Como atrous system, forbade their usual mandment; direction, charge. sacrifices, their festivals, and their

20. And is mad; is beside himself, Sabbath.' In order to pollute the temtalks in a senseless manner. Compare ple, and drive the Jews from their 7:20. 8: 48.

sacred observances, he placed a statue

of the heathen god Jupiter Olympius Hints. 1. The comparison of Je- on the altar of the temple, and offered sus to a shepherd shows the affection- up a hog in mock-sacrifice. For the ate care which he exercises over his space of three years, the temple refollowers. Compare Ps. 23.

mained desecrated and deserted. At 2. This comparison should teach us the end of three years, Judas Maccathe necessity of a cordial submission beus, with an army of faithful Jews, to his guidance. Can we be safe obtained remarkable successes over amid our numerous spiritual foes the generals of Antiochus, and rewithout the care and guidance of the stored the worship of the nation. great and good Shepherd ?

This joyful event was followed by a 3. What compassion for his people, festival of eight days; and it became and what concern for their salvation, thenceforward a custom annually to that he should die for them! v. 11. celebrate, by a festival of eight days, Compare 15: 13. Rom. 5: 8.

this renewal of worship, and this new 4. The repeated mention of Christ's dedication of the temple. It occurred dying for his people clearly shows, in the Jewish month Kisleu, correthat there was a special efficacy in sponding to our December. It was his death, as procuring their salvation. this festival which is here denomiCompare 3: 14, 15. 1 Pet. 2: 24. nated the dedication. It was also 3:18.

called by other names; for instance, 5. Notice the extensiveness of the the days of the dedication (renewal] of Saviour's love. v. 16.

the altar, the purification of the temple, 6. How sadly does prejudice blind also by the single name Lights, be. the mind! And how great is the cause the Jews profusely lighted their need of divine illumination in order houses during the festival, in rememrightly to discern and truly to relish brance of the return of peace and joy. the instructions of Christ ! v. 20.

In the apocryphal books, 1 Macca. 7. The character and acts of Jesus bees 4:52–59, 2 Macc. 10:1–8, an carry conviction to a candid mind, account is given of this new consethat his doctrines are true. v. 21. cration of the temple.

23 And Jesus walked in the cause ye are not of my sheep, as temple in Solomon's porch.

I said unto you. 24 Then came the Jews 27 My sheep hear my voice, and round about him, and said unto I know them, and they follow me : him, How long dost thou make 28 And I give unto them us to doubt ? If thou be the eternal lise; and they shall never Christ, tell us plainly.

perish, neither shall any pluck 25 Jesus answered them, I them out of my hand. told you, and ye believed not : 29 My Father, which gave the works that I do in my them me, is greater than all; Father's name, they bear wit- and none is able to pluck them ness of me.

out of my Father's hand. 26 But ye believe not, be- 30 I and my Father are one.

23. In Solomon's porch. The temple the Messiah, which were furnished was furnished with various porches, by his miraculous works.

Such a or porticoes. Of these the eastern course he pursued, when the messenone was called Solomon's. It was so gers of John the Baptist proposed a called, probably, because it occupied similar inquiry. See Matt. 11: 4,5. the precise spot of the one originally 26. Ye are not of my sheep ; ye built by Solomon, and was believed possess not that pious disposition to stand on the foundation which Sol- which characterizes my true followomon had laid. It was believed that sers, and which is necessary in order the original portico was not wholly rightly to discern and to estimate my destroyed when the temple was laid instructions and my claims; ye are waste by Nebuchadnezzar (2 Kings not truly pious. Sheep are an em25:9); and the one standing in our blem of the innocent and pious, who Saviour s time was regarded as only submit themselves to the guidance a repairing of the original one. of God and of those whom he has

24. Make us to doubt ; keep us in qualified and authorized to be spiritual suspense.

guides. Compare Matt. 25 : 33. || As 25. I told you. Whether or not I said unto you. These words ought Jesus had said expressly that he was properly to commence the next verse, the Messiah, he habitually used lan- as in sense they are immediately conguage which was equivalent to such nected with the words that follow. a declaration, and which the Jews Thus ; As I said unto you, my sheep understood as equivalent to such a hear my voice, &c. Jesus had made declaration. He had not practised con- a declaration which was equivalent to cealment, nor had he purposely kept such a remark. See verse 14; and any one in a tormenting suspense. compare v. 3. Compare 5:17, 19, &c. 6: 29, 35, 48. 27. My sheep; the truly pious, who See, also, 6: 68, 69. At the same time, follow me. he knew that a positive declaration by 28. They shall never perish. Comhimself, however plainly made, would pare 6: 35, 39, 40. Rom. 8: 30—39. carry with it no conviction, and would 29. Which gave them me.

See 6: not be adapted to the just demands of 37, 39. 17: 2. reflecting persons. Such a declara- 30. I and my Father are one. This tion the chief men among the Jews remark was made with reference to would doubtless abuse, as they actu- the protection and salvation of those ally did afterwards. See Matt. 26 : who follow Christ, as his disciples. 63–66. Jesus therefore referred The Saviour asserted, therefore, that them to the evidences of his being between him and the Father there

« PreviousContinue »